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Meet Suero de Quiñones

Suero de Quinones was a Knight Who Spent a Month Camped Next to a Bridge with 10 of His Friends to Challenge Every Knight Who Crossed to Joust for No Reason.

Suero de Quinones, also known as El del Passo, was a night and author born in the Kingdom of Leon. He gained popularity for staging a pas d’armes at the river Orbigo. But did you know why Quinones chose to challenge every night who crossed the river?

Suero de Quinones, a knight who spent a month, camped next to a bridge with ten of his friends to challenge every knight who crossed to a joust for no reason other than to break 300 lances.

Was it For Love or a Publicity Stunt? 

Was it For Love or a Publicity Stunt? 

Don Suero’s stated motivation for defending the bridge was that only victory would free him from his obsession with Doa Leonor de Tovar. Every Thursday, he wore an iron collar around his neck to symbolize the prison in which she held his heart, and he claimed to be in excruciating pain due to this unrequited love.

The tournament took months to organize, and it had the full support and sponsorship of King Juan II of Castile. Sixty-eight knights from all over Europe responded to the challenge, which became known as the El Paso Honroso defense or The Path of Honor.

Don Suero and his nine companions defended the bridge from July 10 to August 9, 1434. On the final date, with every defender, including Don Suero, suffering from serious injuries but no challenger having crossed the bridge, the judges declared him victorious and free of the iron collar.

The notary Pero Rodrguez de Lena had been appointed by King Juan II as a scribe to record the details of the month-long tournament. A Franciscan priest, Juan de Pineda, transcribed the events into an engaging narrative, El Libro del Passo Honroso, which helped spread Don Suero de Quinones’ legend throughout Spain. (Source: Latino Rebels

According to Father Pineda’s account, after the defenders’ wounds healed, Don Suero and his companions made the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela to thank the apostle for their victory. Don Suero left behind an iron collar attached to a gold chain, which is now on display in the cathedral’s museum.  (Source: Latino Rebels

Jousting Till Death

Dona Leonor de Tovar, Don Suero’s knightly love, agreed to marry him upon his return to León. They appear to have lived happily ever after. Don Gutierre de Quijada, a knight who had participated in the tournament and had long been bitter about his defeat at El Paso Honroso, challenged and killed Don Suero in a joust near the town of Castroverde twenty-four years later.

Despite the tragic end to Don Suero’s life, the challenge of the bridge of Hospital de Orbigo remained the most famous tournament in medieval Europe. The true purpose of the contest, hidden behind the literary pretext of unrequited love, was for Castile to outdo several games organized by other Spanish kingdoms.  (Source: Latino Rebels

Jousting Legend’s Legacy

Don Suero de Quinones earned a place in history by creating this legendary event. He has streets named after him in his hometown of León and Madrid. Every year, over one weekend and with thousands in attendance, the El Paso Honroso challenge is reenacted next to the bridge of Hospital de Orbigo. (Source: Latino Rebels

Image from FascinatingSpain

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