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A view of Triana from the Puente de Isabel II (Triana bridge). SUR
Triana: Beyond the three-branched river
THE STORY BEHIND A PLACE NAME

Triana: Beyond the three-branched river

Mythology claims the goddess Astarte founded Triana after settling on the western banks of the river after fleeing the persecution of Hercules

Tony Bryant

Seville

Friday, 12 April 2024, 16:04

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Although a district of Seville city, the locals of Triana, known as 'trianero/as, will fiercely disassociate themselves from their neighbours (sevillano/as) on the opposite side of the river, for most see themselves as autonomous from Seville. Located on the west bank of the Guadalquivir, Triana, which is historically linked to the river, accommodated more Gypsies than any other town in Spain during the 19th century, although they were not the first to settle there.

According to mythology, the goddess Astarte founded Triana when she settled on the western banks of the river after fleeing the persecution of Hercules, the mythological founder of Seville.

The true origins of the name have baffled researchers for many years, resulting in several theories, including that it was part of a Roman colony founded by Trajan, the emperor born in the Roman city of Italica in 53BC. This theory claims the name Triana derived from the original denomination of Trajana. Although the first settlements in this area appear to be from the Roman era, historians believe that Trajana referred to a villa or small estate located between the Guadalquivir and Guadiana rivers.

According to other historians, the name derives from a mixture of the Roman 'tri' (three) and the Celtic, 'ana' (river), because the river split into three branches in this area at that time. This theory is backed by historian Justino Matute y Gaviria, who cites this version in his book Triana y su Iglesia Parroquial (Triana and its Parish Church), published in the early 19th century.

Others claim the name derives from the Latin, 'trans amnem', meaning 'what is beyond the river'. This theory has gained momentum among other academics, who claim Triana's Arabic name was Ma Wara An-Nahr, 'beyond the river'. However, the Arabs knew the area more commonly as Atrayana, or Athriana.

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