La Vuelta a España 2017

Spanish Heraldry
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Chris Green
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Re: La Vuelta a España 2017

Postby Chris Green » 07 Sep 2017, 08:42

Thursday sees the riders set off from Suances heading for the monastery of Santo Toribio de Liébana.

Suances:

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Spanish blazon: Escudo medio partido y cortado: 1.º, en campo de plata, roble de sinople, acostado de dos figuras de hombre de perfil, afrontadas, de sable y carnación, dándose la mano en actitud de saludo; 2.º, en campo de oro, torre de gules; 3.º, en campo de azur, nave de plata sobre tres ondas de plata y azur. Timbrado con la corona real de España.


I have no ideas about Q1. Q2 is similar to Castile but with the tinctures swapped. Q3 simply reflects the fact that Suances is a coastal town that once relied on its fisheries.

The monastery itself has no arms, nor indeed has the Comarca of Liébana. The nearest village is Potes, derived from the Latin "Pontes" (the bridges). The arms reflect the importance of the river crossing and also the 15th century Torre del Infantado. This explains why the tower is separate from the bridge rather than sitting on it as often seen in other Spanish municipal arms (Logroño for example).

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Spanish blazon: De azur, un puente de oro sobre ondas, acompañado en jefe de una torre de lo mismo. El escudo se timbra con la corona real española.


I have to say that many of these Spanish municipal arms approved during the last 20-30 years show a singular lack of original thought. If there is an old bridge, include it; an old castle, better include that; a coastal town, better put in a boat. I have yet to discover whether there was a national policy at that time for every community that didn't already have one to have a coat of arms created for it. But if that was the case, was it the community itself who decided on the design or some authority that made recommendations?
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Re: La Vuelta a España 2017

Postby JMcMillan » 07 Sep 2017, 14:57

Chris Green wrote:I have yet to discover whether there was a national policy at that time for every community that didn't already have one to have a coat of arms created for it. But if that was the case, was it the community itself who decided on the design or some authority that made recommendations?


Chris, I hadn't thought about it in this connection, but when Spain went to the present system of regional devolution, one of the powers delegated to the autonomous communities was control over civic heraldry. (This was the basis on which the Castile & Leon administration named the Marquess of La Floresta as its cronista.)

Because of this, I imagine that the quality and originality of the arms in this series depend on how the regional administration concerned has chosen to exercise its armorial powers and whether or not it has someone in charge who knows anything about heraldry.
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Re: La Vuelta a España 2017

Postby Michael F. McCartney » 08 Sep 2017, 07:30

The design - and especially the emblazonment! - of the civic arms of Logroño are especially nice! The writing on the bordure, while alien to most who are not Spanish or Latin American, is quite acceptable in Spain (witness similar writing on many of the arms in this thread) and very well rendered in this example.

If there was a Vuelta de Armas, this one would be a strong contender!
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Re: La Vuelta a España 2017

Postby Chris Green » 08 Sep 2017, 09:09

Today (Friday) the Vuelta starts from Caso whose arms continue the "this is Spain so it's OK to write messages on our arms!" theme:

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Spanish blazon: Partido. Primero, en campo de azur, la Cruz de la Victoria de oro y piedras preciosas, y en orla, en letras de sable, la frase "EL BIEN DEL CIELO NOS VINO". Segundo, en sinople, un toro furioso, de plata.


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 Caso, as in those of Oviedo, does not have the Greek alpha and omega hanging from the cross arms as in the arms of Asturias. The bull doesn't look particularly furious to me, simply rampant. Surely he should be head down, pawing the ground, perhaps with steam coming from his nostrils.

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The finish is at Gijón, which the race passed through only last year, so these arms will come as no surprise to many:

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Spanish 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 2017

Postby Arthur Radburn » 08 Sep 2017, 10:00

Chris Green wrote:The bull doesn't look particularly furious to me, simply rampant. Surely he should be head down, pawing the ground, perhaps with steam coming from his nostrils.

According to this Spanish website on heraldry, as translated by Google, a bull or ox rampant is blazoned as "furioso".
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Re: La Vuelta a España 2017

Postby Chris Green » 08 Sep 2017, 10:48

Thank you Arthur. The site doesn't seem to give my preferred stance for "un toro furioso".
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Re: La Vuelta a España 2017

Postby Chris Green » 09 Sep 2017, 09:23

Saturday is the penultimate day of the Vuelta. Before transferring to Madrid, the riders have one more stage in Asturias, from Corvera de Asturias on the coast to Alto de L'Angliru due south.

The arms of Corvera de Asturias are made up of those of Avilés, the nearby city, and two local notable families: Solís and Rodriguez de León.

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Spanish blazon: Terciado en faja. 1º, en campo de gules, las armas de Avilés. 2º, de gules, un sol figurado de oro (Solís).3º, partido: 1º, de plata, león de gules con su cabeza cubierta por una celada de plata, sobre ondas de azur y plata; 2º, de plata, leon de gules, coronado, lampasado y armado de oro, sobre ondas de azur y plata. Bordura de azur, cargada con cinco manzanas de oro (Trasona). Al timbre, corona real cerrada.


Like Santander, which the Vuelta visited last year, the harbour at Avilés was protected by a great chain drawn across the harbour mouth. Sadly neither chain nor harbour survive, the latter drained and filled in during the 19th century. The arms of Solís are of course canting. As for the arms of Rodriguez de León, I cannot begin to guess. Two lions (for León), one helmeted, one crowned, apparently walking on water?!

The Alto de l'Angliru is one of the toughest and most criticised climbs in cycling. If it had a coat of arms it would be something like: Azure on a base vert a pile inverted argent goutté de sang. As it is the nearest municipality is Riosa, whose arms include the Asturian Cross of Victoria:

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Re: La Vuelta a España 2017

Postby Chris Green » 10 Sep 2017, 08:16

Today is the last day of the Vuelta. Will Chris Froome win? Yesterday Alberto Contador made a supreme effort to win the stage, the first by a Spaniard in this year's Vuelta. He retires after today so he and Spain can be proud of his many achievements: including Vuelta 1st 3 times, Tour de France 1st twice, Giro d'Italia 1st twice (not so proud of his ban for drugs 2010-12 which saw him stripped of a Tour de France and a Giro d'Italia win).

Contador was born at Pinto near Madrid, so there will be thousands of his home fans on the streets to cheer him on. Pinto's arms are very unusual. On a field of the Spanish gold and red a globe with a red dot in the centre showing the position of Pinto. How odd is that?!

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Spanish blazon: Jaquelado de quince escaques, ocho de oro y siete de gules, cargado con la figura de un globo terráqueo de azur, con los continentes en oro y un punto de gules en el centro de la península ibérica. Al timbre corona real de España.


The race sets off from Arroyomolinos whose arms indicate the importance of its water mills.

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Spanish blazon: Escudo partido. 1 de gules una torre de oro. 2 de oro siete ruedas de acería de sable puestas 2.2,2,1. Entado en punta de ondas de plata y azur. Timbrado de la Corona Real Española.


Either the emblazonment or the blazon is wrong. Should the mill wheels not be sable? Or should the blazon say ... aceria de gules ...?

The race passes through Brunete, the dexter half of whose arms at first sight look to be charged with 13 bezants, They aren't. According to the blazon they are loaves of bread. 13 loaves of bread = a baker's dozen!

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Spanish blazon: Escudo partido. 1º, de gules, trece panes de oro, puestos 3,3,3,3 y 1. 2º, de azur, un losanje de plata, cargado de un castillo de gules, mazonado de sable y aclarado del campo, cantonado de 4 leoncillos de oro.


Dog owners beware in Brunete. Here they post your dog's poo back to you for proper disposal!

The last kilometres are in the centre of Madrid, whose arms we reviewed before in 2015, but are worth another look:

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This emblazonment is rather better than that used in 2015. The origins of the arms can be found here:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coat_of_arms_of_Madrid
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Re: La Vuelta a España 2017

Postby JMcMillan » 10 Sep 2017, 16:16

Chris Green wrote:The race sets off from Arroyomolinos whose arms indicate the importance of its water mills.

(snip)

Either the emblazonment or the blazon is wrong. Should the mill wheels not be sable? Or should the blazon say ... aceria de gules ...?


The town's official regulation on use of the arms quotes from the Madrid Community (autonomous administration) decree establishing the arms which specifies sable, so it would seem that the blazon is correct and the emblazonment wrong. Yet every representation of the arms in this very same regulation shows the wheels as red. In the section where the municipal council "translates" the official blazon into non-heraldic language, the color of every component of the shield except the wheels is specified in ordinary Spanish. So the plain language version of the sinister half of the shield says a la derecha, 7 ruedas dispuestas de dos en dos, excepto la última, centrada, sobre fondo dorado, or, in English "on the [viewer's] right, 7 wheels arranged two by two, except the last one centered, on a golden field."

Now presumably local readers would understand acería, the ordinary Spanish word for a steel mill, without explanation. But the most common meaning of sable in Spanish is "saber/sabre." Could it be that, when connected with the reference to a steel mill, non-heraldists have taken "ruedas de acería de sable" to refer to the waterwheels powering a mill to produce steel for swords? I can't think of any other reason why the people preparing the regulation would have omitted to explain that, in this case, sable should be interpreted in the alternative Spanish meaning, "black."

https://www.ayto-arroyomolinos.org/ayun ... o_v1-3.pdf
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Re: La Vuelta a España 2017

Postby Chris Green » 10 Sep 2017, 20:58

Chris Froome didn't win the last stage, but he was near enough to the winner to ensure that he won not only overall (Tunica gules), but also the points (tunica vert) and combined (tunica argent) classifications. He was born in Nairobi, whose arms are:

Image

That's all folks!
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