This heroic, enigmatic figure is well remembered, in this little, off-track town where he was born, withfresh flowers right there.
El Cid, Vivar, Spain. Birthplace.
"Cid" comes from the Arabic meaning "sir" or "lord." This El Cid was the standard-bearer and commander under King Sancho II, heir to King Ferdinand I. He conducted an unauthorized raid into Toledo, angered the new King Alfonso, brother of Sancho (then deceased), was exiled, and then began to serve the Muslim ruler of Saragossa (Zaragoza).
He engaged in much back and forth between sides, then El Cid aimed for control of Valencia, for himself. See http://www.historymedren.about.com/library/who/blwwcid.htm. 1043?-1099. 11th Century.
El Cid is also of movie fame. See the 1961 film at http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0054847/.
He had two swords: Colada and Tezone, see Names of Swords, at http://www.squidoo.com/famous-swords-list. Colada. Pina colada?
He is the subject of epic poetry. See El Cantar de Mio Cid, "The Lay of the Cid,"at //omacl.org/Cid/; and the Arab Alqamah's records of the conquest of Valencia by El Cid. See more on El Cid at ://www.gksdesign.com/atotos/cid/cidhistorical.htm; still trying to find an English Alqamah. Do a search.
In myth, he is a brave knight who fought the Muslims; in reality, probably a mercenary or "soldier of fortune" who was often in conflict with the Christian King. Still, talented, and as honorable as any other good knight of the time. See http://www.enotes.com/middle-ages-biographies/cid-el
Visit his birthplace at Bivar, or Vivar, or Bevar. See www.who2.com/elcid. It will take you up some back roads, and to a tiny village. There is a well-kept memorial with fine tower to climb up and see the countryside. See historymedren.about.com/library/who/blwwcid.
Some sites say he was born in Burgos, not far, www.azureva.com/gb/espagne/magazine/esmag8burgos.php3, but we found his monument here. Even a Burgos site that claims in one place to be the birthplace later states that Bivar is. See Spain Road Ways, Burgos.
Read about his life at this curriculum site - www.medievaltimes.com/images/Chapter1.pdf
Choose any destination off the beaten track and go there. Best way to learn some history as well. We fill in details at home.
For more on the legends surrounding El Cid, see legends.dm.net/paladins/cid. A paladin is a chivalric model, see http://www.thefreedictionary.com/paladin - and, that site says, the name given to any of the 12 peers of Charlemagne's court. Have honor (?) will travel. See ://www.thrillingdetective.com/paladin.html