Maria Bellido. The courage of a hero.

bellidoThe heroine of Bailen born January 28, 1755 in the town of Jaen Porcuna the name María Inés Juliana Vallejo Bellido in a humble family of nine children. There he met a young native and resident of Bailen, whose name was Luis Domingo Cobo Muela whom he married. Once married they established their home on Calle Las Eras of our town, now known as Sebastian Elcano Street.

The feat for which will become part of our story begins to emerge on July 18, 1808 with the skirmishes that herald the beginning of a momentous event. "The Culiancha" nickname which will be named by their profuse hips with it at the time 53 years old, and like other residents of the town of Bailen would take active part in the battle. The men joined directly to the troops; elders lent supplies and health services, and children and women contributed to the element that was most needed in the battlefield, water.

Among all those brave women, our protagonist will come into play when directly addressing the General Reding, gave him water, and just at the time when the vessel rose, a bullet broke the cantarillo. She did not flinch. He picked up the pot where he had been a bit of water and offered it to the General, who praised its work and offered to reward.

This resilience and courage, and action that made ​​his life at risk, in combat and instead more killed by enemy artillery, made ​​our countrywoman a popular heroine.

The oddest thing about this fact was that after the victory of the Spanish troops, the woman went to the most complete oblivion. So much so that it was thought that this character was a product of the popular imagination, or creating heroes victors they needed to highlight their victories.

MARIA BELLIDO-4This will be enhanced with the fact that for a time confuse María Inés María Juliana with her sister Paula Bellido. After some research through the registration of birth of each of them leads us to understand that the latter could not be, because he was born in 1743 and in the year taking place battle would have 65, advanced age to perform the duties that would lead to fame; and especially in those times, that people that age were practically elderly.

Maria Bellido is predestined to become a legend as usual with the great myths of history, as just eight die onths after that event, namely the March 7, 1809.

Ultimately , legend or reality , Bailen remembers his local hero as demonstrated over time and is reflected in events like the one held in 1862 when Queen Elizabeth II on her visit to the City of Bailen during your trip to Andalusia the authorities of the town given away to his Majesty with a case of holy stick , containing a silver and filigree silver and gold cantarito to fire, bay leaves held between a bullet shrapnel . The provincial deputy and poet Don Francisco Rentero that place , to make the offer , made ​​to his Majesty a brief review of the historical record that contained the symbol offered . She told a detailed story of the act committed by María Bellido . The bullet was the one that gave the basis of the French ranks broke the pitcher of heroin and was kept for many years by Maria Josefa Malpesa , niece of our character, in return for which it received a pension of the Royal House.

Bailen pays tribute to the heroic woman , besides keeping his memory alive . First , dedicating a street, where according to tradition lived and died the star of this little story. Even a very unique first centenary of the Battle of Bailen remember , the stone which was placed in front of the building which had been home with this inscription is preserved : "The workers of Bailen Maria Bellido, prototype value and charity the centenary of his heroic feat : July 19, 1808 to 1908 " . In the Place of General Brown , a monumental fountain topped by a female statue neoclassic promised gift by Queen Elizabeth II is preserved when his 1862 visit . Though this statue symbolizes the " Spain Victorious " , the town of Bailen always has been identified as Maria Bellido and maintaining its traditional feel and nothing and nobody can change that this monument is the representation of our popular heroine.



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