The charming city of Guanajuato in central Mexico has many narrow streets and alleys, but El Callejon del Beso is by far one of the narrowest, so narrow that the balconies of the opposing houses practically kiss each other. And that’s exactly what this street is famous for —kissing. “El Callejon del Beso” itself means “the alley of the kiss”. Everyday, especially during the romantic month of February, hundreds of couples wait patiently for their turn to stand on the third step underneath the balconies and share a kiss. It is said that couples who kiss each other on the third step are guaranteed fifteen years of happiness.
Photo credit: Guanajuato México/Flickr
The tradition arises from a local legend of two tragic lovers who used to steal kisses across the balcony. The girl was named Dona Carmen and was the daughter of a rich Spaniard, while her lover, Luis, came from a poor miner’s family. Dona’s father didn’t approve of the relationship, so young Luis rented a small room that was directly opposite to her window and balcony. Unbeknown to either family, the couple would meet late at night and kissed over the narrow alley. As fate would have it, the couple's secret nightly liaisons were discovered by the girl’s father. Mad with rage, the father grabbed a dagger and buried it into the breast of his own daughter. Some say that Luis tried to protect her by jumping across the balcony but he tripped and fell, and broke his neck, landing on the third step.
The bedroom where Dona supposedly lived has been turned into a gift shop now. Visitors can walk into the fateful balcony and write their names and messages onto small locks which they attach to the balcony’s metal bars.
Also see: The Wall of “I Love You”s in Paris
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