I imagine that most people, when shopping among the colourful sights and enticing aromas of the Central Market, are blissful unaware that they are planning their meals upon the place where executions used to take place in the city.
Naturally these executions were public, and at a time when neither cinemas, Bingo Halls nor the Internet existed, they were what passed for entertainment in Valencia.
One such execution took place on 28th July 1460, although this ‘delinquent’ was a little different from the usual list of murderers, thieves and villains who made up a typical day’s chopping list.
On that day they killed Margarida Borrás, whose crime was that she was a man trapped inside a woman’s body, and who had been, according to witnesses “seen in at least ten different dwellings dressed as a woman”.
Margarida, or Miquel as her father, a well known Valencian Notary had originally decided, was not accompanied by gentlemen or heretics; these used to be pushed off life’s mortal coil in Calle Caballeros and Paseo de la Pechina respectively.
Margarida was of course tortured before her execution, although she wasn’t burnt alive, which was the standard recipe for homosexuals, such as one Pedro Vego a watchmaker’s son, at the time.
Margarida was forced to wear a man’s clothing for her final date and her private parts were exposed for all to see, as a lesson to all.
Not all the news is bad however; Margarida’s name is given to the prize awarded every year since 1995 by Lambda, a Valencian Gay Rights association.
Read about other, unpleasant Valencian executions here: