This German legend dates back to medieval times, and tells the tale of how a minster and knight (Tannhauser) passed by the hill of Venus. They entered in response to a call and stayed living an unholy life with the enchantress. The knight soon tired of sin and forswore his worship of Venus, leaving her.
He made a pilgrimage to Rome and asked the Pope for forgiveness - when he was refused he returned to Venus. The Pope had claimed that his staff would blossom before forgiving such a person, and when three days later it did, he sent messengers throughout the country searching for the sinner. By then Tannhauser had vanished.