Avalon, or Insula Avallonis, the legendary island of Celtic mythology, is where, according to some sources, King Arthur’s Excalibur sword was forged. This island is said to be the land of the fairies and ruled over by Oberon and Titania, the king and queen of all fairies. It is also the place where King Arthur was taken, fatally wounded, to meet his death. In short, Avalon is a utopian paradise where the legends of English knights and political wholeness unite in a kingdom lost in the mists of time.
To reach Avalon it is necessary to undertake a sea voyage. The historian maintains that on that island nature produced grain, apples and grapes by itself, without the need to sow, plow or cultivate. He also said that whomever lives in Avalon could live for more than 100 years.
It is the place where the famous witch Morgan Le Fay lived and where, according to legend, apples grew all the year round. It is believed that its name means “the island of apples,” as in the Breton language aval is the name of that fruit; the island of Avalon has also been called Ynys Witrin, meaning “island of crystal,” a name that makes clear reference to the place’s mystical qualities.
Like all mythological paradises, this place has been sought in all corners of the Earth. Some scholars say they found it in Glastonbury, a town in the English county of Somerset where, before the plains were drained, the hill of Glastonbury Tor rose above the marshes. Legend has it that in the 12th century, King Edward II of England sent an expedition to this place, which led to the discovery of the sarcophagus of King Arthur, and which was later taken to Glastonbury Abbey.
It is said that after the Battle of Camlann, in which, after clashing with Mordred, King Arthur was mortally wounded, the king was taken to Avalon on a boat by the nine fairy queens: Morgana, Moronoe, Mazoe, Gliten, Glitonea, Gliton, Tyronoe, Titania and Thiton. There they laid him upon a golden bed where, according to many sources, Morgana remains to this day watching over his body. There are also versions that say that Arthur did not die and that he will return to guide his people.
Avalon has been, for centuries, a mythical place that symbolizes purity, abundance and magic, and which is the reason for the strong significance it has had in Western culture for so many years. It is a terrestrial utopia and, at the same time, a point of political reference of a time when rulers and their knights were brave, honest and virtuous, a harmonious bridge between the earthy and the celestial, between what is and what some would like it to be. There are the intact values (those that we have corrupted to the point of dismantling), and there are the nine fairies that guard King Arthur and his paradise of apples.