La Vuelta a España 2017

Spanish Heraldry
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Chris Green
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La Vuelta a España 2017

Postby Chris Green » 19 Aug 2017, 12:47

This year's Tour of Spain starts in France, Nimes to be exact. The coat of arms of Nimes is somewhat odd, featuring a crocodile, a creature never found in France, at least not in the wild. Crocodiles would however have been known to some of Caesar's veterans who were given land here, and may have featured in funeral carvings. Who knows, some enterprising legionary may even have transported a crocodile, or its stuffed carcass, here. "Col Nem" stands for "Colonia Nemausus", Nemausus being the local Celtic deity.

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Blazon:
English: Gules, a palm tree Vert on a terrace in base likewise, to the bole of which is attached by a chain Or in band a crocodile passing contourné Vert too, collared Or, surmounted with the inscriptions COL on dexter and NEM on sinister likewise, the branches of the palm tree supporting in the dexter quarter a laurel wreath attached Or.
Français : de gueules au palmier terrassé de sinople, au fût duquel est attaché par une chaîne d’or en bande un crocodile passant contourné aussi de sinople, colleté d’or, surmonté des inscriptions COL à dextre et NEM à senestre du même, les branches du palmier soutenant au quartier dextre une couronne de lauriers liée d’or.
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Re: La Vuelta a España 2017

Postby Arthur Radburn » 19 Aug 2017, 14:33

An unusual coat of arms, which breaks important rules in the 'Anglo' book, but apparently not in the French : colour on colour, words on the shield.
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Re: La Vuelta a España 2017

Postby JMcMillan » 19 Aug 2017, 18:07

From the Nimes tourism department site, http://www.ot-nimes.fr/patrimoine/histo ... armoiries/:

"On a coin minted at Nimes to celebrate [the defeat of Antony and Cleopatra at Actium in 31 BC], a crocodile chained to a palm tree crowned with laurels symbolizes vanquished Egypt. The inscription, “Col Nem”, colony of Nimes, suggests that the victorious legionnaires were rewarded with lands in the area of Nimes."

Skipping a bit: "Over the centuries, the Nimois became attached to these coins, which were found everywhere. In 1535, they obtained permission from King Francis I to adopt the palm and crocodile as the arms of the city."

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My first thought was that perhaps the tree, croc, and grass were meant to be proper, but another site with a history of the arms gives the 16th century blazon as de gueules, à un palmier de sinople, au tronc duquel est attaché, avec une chaîne d'or, un crocodile passant, aussi de sinople, et une couronne d'or liée d'un ruban de même, posée au premier canton du chef de l'écu.
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Re: La Vuelta a España 2017

Postby JMcMillan » 19 Aug 2017, 19:11

Oops on posting the French blazon. Chris already did that!
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Re: La Vuelta a Espanã 2017

Postby Chris Green » 19 Aug 2017, 20:58

Tomorrow (Sunday) the cyclists leave Nimes for Gruissan, still in France but getting closer to Spain. On the way they will pass through Sérignan whose arms are:

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The French blazon is: De gueules au sautoir losangé d'argent et de sinople, which I would interpret as Gules a Saltire lozengy Argent and Vert.


I can't miss out on sharing the arms of Sete:

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French blazon: d'azur semé de fleurs de lys d'or à la baleine renversée de sable allumée d'argent, lançant un jet d'obus aussi d'or chargé de trois grenades aussi de sable enflammées de gueules.
(You are welcome to try the English blazon!).

The finishing line is at Gruissan whose arms were originally those of an Archbishop of Narbonne, the area being owned by the Archdiocese:

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Blazon: English: Argent a Lion passant between three Crescents Gules; French: D'argent, au lion léopardé de gueules accompagné de trois croissants du même.
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Re: La Vuelta a Espanã 2017

Postby Michael F. McCartney » 20 Aug 2017, 04:55

The last arms shown - Argent a lion passant between three crescents Gules - are the same as the Irish family Dillon. Wiki says the first of that Irish family was a De Lion from Brittany. Could the bishop whose arms were adopted by the diocese have been either a Breton or Irish expat?
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Re: La Vuelta a Espanã 2017

Postby Chris Green » 20 Aug 2017, 06:25

Michael F. McCartney wrote:The last arms shown - Argent a lion passant between three crescents Gules - are the same as the Irish family Dillon. Wiki says the first of that Irish family was a De Lion from Brittany. Could the bishop whose arms were adopted by the diocese have been either a Breton or Irish expat?


Well spotted Michael. The Archbishop in question was the Jacobite Arthur Richard Dillon (1721-1806), son of General Arthur Dillon (who, as a young man, had fought for King James II and was subsequently a successful general in the armies of King Louis XIV). His arms were:

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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arthur_Richard_Dillon
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Re: La Vuelta a Espanã 2017

Postby Chris Green » 20 Aug 2017, 19:29

Tomorrow (Monday) the Vuelta starts once again in France, though one might be confused by the arms of the commune into thinking that one was in Spain:

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These are typical Aragonese arms, but are supposedly the arms of Prades, or Prada de Conflent as it is known in Catalan. I say supposedly because one source gives these as the arms, another gives these:

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My guess is that the "French" arms are what was in use from the time that Prades ceased to be part of Aragon, but that the "Aragonese" arms were in use before that and have been reintroduced, whether officially or unofficially, in response to the recent rise in Catalan nationalism. If that is so, the French government is unlikely to be particularly pleased. More research required I think.

The finish is in Andorra's capital, Andorra la Vella, which apparently has abandoned its arms in favour of an "emblem":

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How this is an improvement over the arms is a mystery to me, unless the logo designer was appalled by the breaking of the tincture "rule".

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Re: La Vuelta a Espanã 2017

Postby Chris Green » 22 Aug 2017, 08:20

As the Vuelta has reached Andorra, I repeat below my post about its arms from 2015:

The CoA of Andorra reflects its feudal history:

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Q1: The arms of the Bishops of Urgell (Catalonia) - one of the current co-Princes
Q2: The arms of the Counts of Foix - a former Prince of Andorra
Q3: The arms of the Kings of Aragon - former feudal lords of Andorra
Q4: The arms of the Viscounts of Béarn - also former feudal lords of Andorra

The house of Foix-Béarn was united with the crown of France when King Henry II of Navarre became King Henry IV of France ("Paris is worth a Mass"!). With the abolition of the French monarchy the role of Co-Prince devolved onto the President of France. Thus one might imagine the modern Andorran arms should perhaps be Quarterly 1st and 4th Urgell, 2nd and 3rd France (France being the junior in terms of length of service). But for one thing France does not have a CoA, it has a rather nasty emblem

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for another it is doubtful that most Andorrans would want their CoA to suggest that somehow they are part of France
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Re: La Vuelta a Espanã 2017

Postby Chris Green » 22 Aug 2017, 08:38

Today (Tuesday) the Vuelta starts again from Escaldes Engordany, as it did in 2015. If anything my loathing of the commune's logo has increased:

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The destination is Tarragona, on the Spanish coast directly south of Andorra. Its arms clearly show it to have been a possession of the Kingdom of Aragon, as do those of the province of Tarragona (even moreso):

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City of Tarragona

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Spanish blazon: Los cuatro palos encarnados en fondo de oro. Superpuestos verados en ondas de oro y gules en palo, inscritos en un escudete tetrágono de forma colocado sobre el todo del escudo. En el ángulo inferior del escudete la Thau característica de la Mitra Arzobispal. Timbrado todo, en la parte superior, con corona de Príncipe.


Province of Tarragona

It is noteworthy that Tarragona is only 20 kilometres from Cambrils, one of the places involved in the recent terrorist attacks in Catalonia.
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