Crushed and overwhelmed by sadness, the princess died without ever knowing that it was all a lie. Popocatepetl returned victorious to his people, hoping to find his beloved princess. Upon arrival, he received the terrible news of the death of Iztaccihuatl.

Devastated by the news, he wandered about the streets for several days and nights, until he decided he had to do something to honor her love and to assure the princess would not ever be forgotten.

He ordered a great tomb to be built under the sun, piling ten hills together to form a huge mountain. He carried the body of his Princess in his arms, took her to the summit, and laid her on the great mountain.

The young warrior lovingly kissed her cold lips, took a smoking torch, and knelt in front of his beloved to watch over her eternal sleep. From then on they remain together, facing each other. Over time, snow covered their bodies forming two enormous volcanoes that would remain together until the end of time.

The legend goes on to say that when the warrior Popocatepetl remembers his beloved, his heart – that preserves the fire of eternal passion – shakes and his torch smokes. That’s why, even today; the Popocatepetl volcano continues spewing fumaroles.

This legend has been passed on from generation to generation since the time of the Aztec Empire, in the XIV century, and the importance given to them is clear, for the names that they have today were given to them since that time.

The Mexican Legend of the Volcanoes
Picture by Jakub Hejtmánek