La Vuelta a España 2016

Spanish Heraldry
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Chris Green
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Re: La Vuelta a España 2016

Postby Chris Green » 27 Aug 2016, 16:02

Rantia not ranita! Duh :oops: :mrgreen:

"Rantia" means" restraint (which is what I need to stop myself from banging my head against the computer screen!). So perhaps the motto means "Extol the glory of restraint", which seems a bit odd, but not impossible.

"A crescent reversed" Mr M seems perfectly logical, so why do neither Boutell nor Friar mention it as an option (when they are keen that we should know what a sinister and a dexter facing crescent are called)?
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Re: La Vuelta a España 2016

Postby Chris Green » 28 Aug 2016, 08:52

Sunday's stage starts from Cistierna a small town in the Province of Léon.

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Blazon: Escudo de azur, un castillo de plata; en punta ondas de azur y plata.


Yet another castle I fear, this one apparently built in the air above a river or lake.

The destination is Oviedo, capital of the Principality (once Kingdom) of Asturias.

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The cross relates to that said to have been carried by King Pelayo (Pelagius) of Visigothic Asturias at the Battle of Covadonga in AD722, Curiously the cross as emblazoned in the arms of Oviedo does not have the Greek alpha and omega hanging from the cross arms as in the arms of Asturias.

There is much discussion about the possible removal of the words surrounding the shield, which serve as an augmentation of honour. Oviedo was granted the title by Franco by decree of 25 March 1938 for Oviedo's resistance to republican marxist forces. This does not sit easy in modern democratic, post-Franco Spain.

http://www.elcomercio.es/oviedo/201604/05/oviedo-invicta-heroica-desde-20160405004136-v.html
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Re: La Vuelta a España 2016

Postby Chris Green » 29 Aug 2016, 08:20

Before the riders can have a rest day there is one more stage today (Monday). This starts from Lugones whose arms are:

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or possibly:

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As far as I can discover neither version is official, both emblazonments having been copied from old heraldic books. They may indeed refer to a family called Lugones.

The race passes through Gijón, on the Bay of Biscay, the largest city in Asturias. Gijón's arms require less heraldic artistry and more portrait artistry:

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Blazon: Sobre campo de plata, la figura del infante Don Pelayo sobre una pequeña meseta rocosa, portando en la mano izquierda la Cruz de la Victoria a modo de báculo y en la diestra, paralela al cuerpo y dirigida hacia el suelo, la espada desenvainada. Además, la figura de Don Pelayo lleva manto real y casco de cuero, propio de los godos.


The "Infante Don Pelayo" pictured is better known as Pelagius, who won the battle of Covadonga in AD722 over the Muslims and became first King of Asturias.
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Re: La Vuelta a España 2016

Postby Chris Green » 31 Aug 2016, 06:19

Today (Wednesday) the Vuelta resumes after its rest day still in Asturias and still battling the coastal breezes of the Bay of Biscay as well as the mountainous areas south of the coastal strip. The start point is Colunga whose arms include a proper looking raven and three extremely silly ducks in a row:

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The finishing line is on Peña Cabarga a mountain behind Santander and El Astillero a major shipyard nestling well-protected in Santander Bay. The name Santander is to be found on many high streets and seen on many adverts these days as it is the name of one of the biggest banking groups in Europe, which has its roots and head office in the city.

Santander's coat of arms is another, like Oviedo, whose arms bear a bordure with a motto from the days of Franco:

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The unusual tower held the mechanism that operated the great chain that protected the entrance to the Bay of Santander. I supposed that one of the two haloed heads was intended to represent Saint Andrew, but could not identify his wing-man. It turns out that the heads represent Saint Emeterius and Saint Celedonius, third century martyrs.

El Astillero's arms include a pretty conventional three-masted ship sailing on the sea (though I have still not yet worked out the blazon for the sort of waves depicted here). But there is a peculiar wooden structure in base which I assume to represent the shipyard, perhaps a slipway?

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"Semper Sic Vincitur" roughly translates as "Always Overcome".
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Re: La Vuelta a España 2016

Postby Chris Green » 31 Aug 2016, 18:29

After Chris Froome's victory in today's stage the Vuelta starts tomorrow (Thursday) from Los Corrales de Buelna, south-west of Santander and makes its eastwards way through the hills to Bilbao.

Los Corrales' arms exhibit two mysteries, perhaps three: are there two arms marshalled together; do the gules f-d-l on azure constitute a breach of the tincture "rule" (if indeed such a "rule" exists in Hispanic heraldry); what is the strange circular charge in the sinister half?

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Blazon: Escudo partido, primero en campo de gules, siete flores de lis, de azur. Segundo, de sinople con la Estela de Lombera en oro. timbrado con la corona real española.

Taking the last first. The charge is unique to Los Corrales and represents one side (supposedly the reverse) of one of three carved stones called "primera, segunda y tercera estela de Lombera".

https://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Segunda_estela_de_Lombera

I am not sure about the tincture conventions in Hispanic heraldry, but would only say that this is I think the first example of colour on colour that I have come across in this series of posts. Moreover the Spanish Wiki entry says: El escudo se organiza en campo de oro con siete flores de Lis de azur y en otro cuartel campo de Sinople, la riqueza agraria y ganadera del valle con la Estela de Lombera en Oro. So perhaps the emblazonment is wrong.

I can find no evidence that the two halves are two shields marshalled together.

Bilbao has two CoAs, one for the old town, the other for the modern "Greater Bilbao". Oddly those responsible for the new arms chose simply to use the old arms but on an oval shield:

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Blazon: En campo de plata un puente de dos ojos, sumado de la iglesia de San Antón de su color y a su siniestra dos lobos de sable andantes y en palo, sobre ondas de azur y plata. Al timbre una corona real abierta o antigua que es un círculo de oro engastado de piedras preciosas y decorado de ocho florones, visible, interpolados de perlas; la corona forrada de gules. El todo rodeado de dos ramas cruzadas, en la diestra de laurel, de sinople frutada de gules, y en la siniestra de olivo, de sinople frutada de sable.


For once the bridge is not protected by a castle but by the church of St Anthony. Why two wolves are flying in formation over the bridge is another unresolved mystery I fear.
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Re: La Vuelta a España 2016

Postby Chris Green » 02 Sep 2016, 11:31

Friday's stage (the longest in the whole Vuelta) takes the riders further eastwards, firstly through the hills via Durango into the Basque country, leaving the coast after San Sebastián and tackling the hill country again before crossing the border into France (though still in the Basque country), and recrossing the border to finish at the village of Urdax-Dantxarinea.

Durango's arms feature the same formation-flying wolves as Bilbao, this time over a more typical bridge with two towers. The word "Tabira" also features (though the blazon says "Tavira" {those Bs and Vs in Spanish!}). Tabira appears to be another name for Durango.

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Blazon: En campo de azur y sobre ondas de agua de plata y azur, un puente de tres arcadas, con dos torres altas, todo donjonado y almenado, aclaradas de azur ojos, puertas y ventanas, y entre las dos torres dos lobos de sable puestos en palo pasantes a la siniestra. Sobre las torres y en jefe, la leyenda “Tavira”, en letras de oro.


San Sebastián's arms consist of a three-masted sailing ship in full sail with the superfluous letters "S S", presumably to help the ignorant guess that these are the arms of San Sebastián rather than any other city presumptuous enough to use a three-masted sailing ship, but also the city's motto "Ganadas Por Fidelidad Nobeleza Y Lealtad" (Won for Fidelity, Nobility and Loyalty). This motto is not a Franco augmentation, but given by Emperor Charles V in 1522 for the stout defence put up against the French ten years earlier.

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https://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Escudo_de_San_Sebasti%C3%A1n
http://delsansebastianquefue.blogspot.se/2012/07/el-escudo-de-san-sebastian.html

Urdax, or Urdazubi in the Basque language, is famous for its cave system. Its monastery is a stop on the pilgrims' way to Santiago de Compostela.

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Blazon: Trae de azur con un báculo puesto en banda, acompañado de un creciente ranversado de plata, en jefe y de una estrell de oro de ocho puntas, en punta.


It occurs to me the the "creciente ranversado" (a crescent reversed) may refer to the overthrow of the Moors during the Reconquista. The Moors traditionally used the crescent as a charge on their flags, but never, as far as I know reversed.
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Re: La Vuelta a España 2016

Postby JMcMillan » 02 Sep 2016, 14:03

Chris,

Why the fixation on "flying" wolves? Do you similarly refer to the lions in the arms of England or Denmark as "flying"? They don't have any ground to stand on, either.
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Re: La Vuelta a España 2016

Postby Chris Green » 02 Sep 2016, 14:26

JMcMillan wrote:Chris,

Why the fixation on "flying" wolves? Do you similarly refer to the lions in the arms of England or Denmark as "flying"? They don't have any ground to stand on, either.


Simply because they are depicted "flying" or perhaps "hovering" over the bridge. The lions you mention are not.
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Re: La Vuelta a España 2016

Postby JMcMillan » 02 Sep 2016, 22:51

Chris Green wrote:
JMcMillan wrote:Chris,

Why the fixation on "flying" wolves? Do you similarly refer to the lions in the arms of England or Denmark as "flying"? They don't have any ground to stand on, either.


Simply because they are depicted "flying" or perhaps "hovering" over the bridge. The lions you mention are not.


I don't think so; I think they're just placed in that part of the field, and likewise with the other "flying wolves."
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Re: La Vuelta a España 2016

Postby Chris Green » 03 Sep 2016, 06:32

I don't think so; I think they're just placed in that part of the field, and likewise with the other "flying wolves."


I think you have missed my points.

1) Why place two wolves in the space above the bridge so that they appear to hang in mid-air. They do look incongruous.

2) Why include two wolves over the bridges in the arms of two separate communities? Do they have some particular significance? An important family? An historical event?

3) I am trying (apparently unsuccessfully) to inject some light-hearted comments occasionally, particularly where the arms are tediously repetitive (more bridges, more castles).
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