Last modified: 2015-11-17 by ivan sache
Keywords: albaida del aljarafe |
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Flag of Albaida del Aljarafe, left, current version; right, former version - Images after the Símbolos de Sevilla website, 6 June 2014
The municipality of Albaida del Aljarafe (3,089 inhabitants in 2014; 1,100 ha; municipal website) is located 20 km of Seville.
Albaida del Aljarafe was known in the Roman times as Laelia; the town is known by eight series of coins and medals, most of them featuring busts of emperors and local agricultural products, here wheat spikes and palms. During the Muslim period, the place was known as Al-Bayda ("The White"). Conquered in 1246 by Pelayo Pérez Correa (Pelay Correa), Master of the Order of St. James, Solucar de Albayda was transferred in 1252 by King Alfonso X to his brother Fadrique, then, in 1203 to the Cathedral of Seville, which chartered and resettled the place in 1302. Albaida del Aljarafe was acquired in 1578 by Enrique de Guzmán, 2nd Count of Olivares.
Ivan Sache, 6 June 2014
The symbols of Albaida del Aljarafe were proposed on 15 May 1994 by Juan José Antequera Luengo. They do not appear to have been officialy approved.
The flag (photo) is in proportions 11:18, white with the municipal coat of arms. The white colour recalls the Arab name of the town, "The White".
The coat of arms (municipal website) of Albaida del Aljarafe is "Per pale, 1. Azure a tower or masoned and port and windows sable, 2. Quarterly per saltire, 1. and 3. Azure a caldron checky or and gules hilted by seven snake's heads vert, 2. and 4. Argent five ermine spots sable per saltire. The shield surmounted by a Royal crown closed."
The ink seals of Albaida del Aljarafe, known since the last third of the 19h century (1877), feature Fadrique's tower, surrounded dexter by a branch of olive and sinister by a wheat spike. A more modern version was used from time to time, showing letter "A" surrounded by the two plant parts and surmounting the writing "Kaelia" (an erroneous writing of Laelia). The tower was re-designed in a more heraldical manner, while the plant parts, without specific significance, were removed. For the sake of differentiation from other arms featuring a tower, a second tower, featuring the arms of the Counts of Olivares, was added.
[Juan José Antequera Luengo. "Heráldica oficial de la provincia de Sevilla"].
The former version of the coat of arms appears to be still used on some flags, as evidenced by a photo of the Mayor.
Fadrique's tower, akak Torremocha (lit., the truncated tower) is the emblematic monument of the town. Its origin is still a matter of dispute between local historians: some say the tower was first erectd by the Arabs and revamped by Fadrique. Other claim that Fadrique built the tower from scratch, as "evidenced" by the Gothic writing still viisble over the tower's gate: "El infante don Frederic mandá fazer esta torre" (Infante Fadrique ordered to build this tower). If so, the tower was erected around 1253, atop a hill watching the valley of Guadiamar. The watch tower has a rectangle base of 10.15 m x 8.30 m. The walls are 1.65 m in width. The gate (2.35 m x 1.15 m) opens 85 cm above the tower's basement, which indicates that a ladder was required to enter it. The today's tower is 7.60 m in height, but its original height is unknown and cannot be easily guessed from the remaining parts.
Ivan Sache & Klaus-Michael Schneider, 6 June 2014