plaza de guzmán el bueno 

Alfonso Pérez de Guzmán was born in León around 1256. King Sancho IV had entrusted him with the defence of Tarifa, much to the displeasure of Prince John, who was to reign in León for three years, and who laid siege to Tarifa and, unable to force its surrender with threats or offers and exasperated by Guzmán’s tenacious loyalty, resorted to the most barbarous of methods.


Taking hold of Guzmán’s son, he showed him to his father before the fortress walls and presented the defender with a frightful dilemma: “Hand over Tarifa or your son dies.” A tragic ordeal went on in Guzmán’s heart as he debated between paternal love and the trust he held, but, throwing down his dagger, he said: “I fathered no son to go against my country”, his word triumphing over his son.

For this reason the king gave him the byname “The Good” and the demesne of Sanlúcar. In a year of famine, he opened up his pantries and gave bread to the poor, and became generally known by his byname.

In 1894, the province of León raised a statue to him at the entrance to the city, near the railway station.

The fine bronze statue by Aniceto Marinas shows Guzmán the Good with his shield in his left hand and his dagger in his right, as if about to throw it.

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