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Municipality of Alhaurín el Grande (Andalusia, Spain)

Málaga Province

Last modified: 2015-07-28 by ivan sache
Keywords: spain | andalusia | malaga | alhaurín el grande | coat of arms |
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[Alhaurín el Grande, Málaga, Andalusia (Spain)] 2:3
image by Blas Delgado, Oct 14 2005

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Basic data:

Size: 72,6 Km²
Population: 17.950
Residents known as: Alhaurinos
Monuments: Cobertizo Arch, Moorish Tower, Los Corchos
Morisco Mill, Church of Nuestra Señora de la
Geographic location: In the middle of the
Guadalhorce Valley, 27 kilometres from Malaga, at 239
metres above sea level.
Tourist information: Town Hall, Plaza del Convento, s/n. 29120.
Phone: 952 491 275
Fax: 952 490 252
On the Internet:

Alhaurín el Grande is situated at the foot of the northern slopes of the Mijas mountains, offering wonderful views over the Guadalhorce Valley, rich in fruit and vegetable patches, and olive and cereal groves. The municipality has other urban areas apart from Alhaurín itself, the result of its agricultural development, such as Villa franco del Guadalhorce, el Cigarral and la Fuente del Perro. The principal river is the Fahala, into which the Jurique and the Torres streams flow. There is also the Pasadas river, which flows from the Barranco Blanco area through beautiful waterfalls and lakes.

The original name has led to much discussion in the past, but we do know that Pliny referred to the place as both "Andorisae" and "Andorisippo." On the other hand, Rodríguez Berlanga suggests "Iluro," Guillén Robles claims it was Lauro, but there is little documentation to support these theories. Archaeological remains from various periods point to human presence of the area from Neolithic, Iberian, Greek, Roman and Visigoth times. The Moors called it "Alhaurín," and after the re-conquest the "El Grande" was added to distinguish it from its neighbouring Alhaurín de la Torre, meaning "The Garden of Allah," "The Hole" or "The Valley," although recent investigations would suggest also "The Free."

Alhaurin el Grande was re-conquered by the Christian forces in May of 1485, when it was incorporated into the Castillian crown. Its Council was established in 1492, and in 1505 the parish church was built. Shortly afterwards the Royal Hospital of Santa Catalina was built, and in 1634, the people of the town purchased jurisdiction and the title "villa" from the crown, which included the Bourbon fleur-de-lis on the coat-of-arms. The history of the town in the 18th century is recorded in the land registry of the Marqués de la Ensenada, whose documents dating from 1751 are conserved in the Municipal Library. During the 19th century this was the place where the richer families of Malaga city had their leisure homes.

Blas Delgado, Oct 15 2005

Local Ombudsman (?)

The Citizen Attorney (Spanish: "Defensor del Ciudadano," literally, Citizen Defender, like an Ombudsman) of Alhaurín el Grande has a flag; it appears waving-like in its section in the town website.

Blas Delgado, Oct 14 and 17 2005

It is unusual for a municipality, much more so for a small one such as Alhaurín (even if it is surnamed "el Grande" i.e. the Great :-) ) to have a Local Ombudsman. And it is far more unusual for him to have a distinguishing flag – not even the (national) Spanish Ombudsman ("Defensor del Pueblo") has one.

That webpage shows indeed a scan of a leaflet published by Alhaurín's Ombudsman, showing on its cover a flag "tierced per bend sinister" VWB, as that sent by Blas, and the city arms. The flag also appears, this time alone, on the back of the leaflet, above the ombudsman's title.

Still, I find it hard to believe that this is some sort of Alhaurín Ombudsman's distinguishing flag. There is quite little tradition of issuing such flags in Spain, apart from naval and army rank flags, and I said before not even the Spanish Ombudsman has one. I wonder if this is a former flag of Alhaurín, or whoever designed the leaflet chose a wrong flag as that of Alhaurín.

Santiago Dotor, Oct 18 and 20 2005