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The Legend of the Rose
A legend tells about a mighty Shah who lived many years ago in Persia with his beloved and only daughter. The princess, who resembled a beautiful flower herself, dedicatedly grew a garden full of fragrant roses.
One day, the powerful ruler returned triumphant from a glorious battle and decided to perpetuate his victory by building a mosque, from which the whole beauty of the rose garden can be observed. A generous reward awaited the one who could build the mosque for just three days, but a severe punishment, too, if he failed.
Only one man dared to try – a talented Bulgarian master-builder. It was an extremely arduous task, but inspired by the beauty of the roses and the princess walking among them, the ambitious young man completed the mosque in time.
Very satisfied with the skilful work, the Shah summoned the master, ready to award him by fulfilling three of his wishes. Without hesitating, the great-hearted man asked his fellow Bulgarians brought into captivity to be released. The ruler agreed cordially.
Next, the young master-builder wished that all poor people are given money, and the Shah accepted willingly his second request, too. Hearing the third one, however, the ruler became very angry and ordered to lock away the master and to beat him up until he forgets his reckless desire. Poor young man! He was punished because he fell madly in love with the girl from the rose garden and wanted her for his wife.
The Shah was unaware that his daughter has also fallen in love with the stranger. In the cover of night, she released her intended and, taking with her only a stalk of her favorite roses she followed him to his home country. But the road, rambling through the hot desert, was too exhausting for the fragile princess. And sadly, after a while, she passed away in the arms of her beloved. Before closing her eyes, however, the beautiful girl asked him to replant her favorite rose in his homeland, in memory of their love.
The grieved young Bulgarian fulfilled the last wish of his love. He planted the frail stalk, and with the inconsolable tears, with which he watered it, the rose grew luxuriant and filled with color and aroma the entire Thracian valley.
And today, the Valley of Roses still treasures the memory of the infinite love between these two young people. Each flower is a reminder of the amazing beauty of the Persian princess, while every dew-drop – of the tears of her beloved.
The legend says that before being produced on several continents, rose oil was first obtained in the Iranian city of Shiraz.