La Vuelta a España (Tour of Spain) 2015

Spanish Heraldry
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Chris Green
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La Vuelta a España (Tour of Spain) 2015

Postby Chris Green » 19 Aug 2015, 08:36

There was considerable interest in my daily posts about the heraldry of places associated with this year's Tour de France. So here goes with La Vuelta, Spain's annual cycling event, which starts on 22 August. Once again it will be "The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly" I guess.

The first stage will be from Puerto Banus to Marbella, both of which are situated in the Province of Málaga in the autonomous region of Andalusia.

Andalusia's "coat of arms" rates its own Wiki page, and needs it to try to explain the non-heraldic monstrosity that was created in 1918:

Image

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coat_of_arms_of_Andalusia

Málaga's arms are certainly heraldic, though scarcely beauteous. Oddly the (dexter) "view of the city and fortress with two saints hovering overhead" are the traditional arms of the city, granted in 1494, while the (sinister) "barry of twelve gules and or" are of much later date, assumed during the Republic, and have no apparent connection with the not-dissimilar arms of Aragon.

Image

It is not clear to me (yet) whether the bordure, with its bows and sheaves of arrows, formed part of the original arms.

The city of Marbella's arms repeat the bow and arrows of the arms of Málaga, together with a castle and the sea, not particularly original for a coastal town, but the castle has an unusual design and the depiction of the sea is not the usual barry bendy argent and azure. If anyone can find the blazon and can translate it, that would be helpful.

Image
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Re: La Vuelta a España (Tour of Spain)

Postby JMcMillan » 19 Aug 2015, 13:03

Not a bow and arrows but an ox-yoke and arrows, the royal badges of Isabel and Ferdinand respectively.
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Re: La Vuelta a España (Tour of Spain)

Postby Chris Green » 19 Aug 2015, 15:20

JMcMillan wrote:Not a bow and arrows but an ox-yoke and arrows, the royal badges of Isabel and Ferdinand respectively.


Ah yes. Now I see. I thought the "bow" was rather strangely shaped, even for a composite. Now that you explain it I can see that they are intended to be ox-bows.

It was really no yoke to make such an egregious error. :mrgreen:
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Re: La Vuelta a España (Tour of Spain)

Postby Michael F. McCartney » 20 Aug 2015, 01:45

:)

Also "the usual barry wavy" not barry bendy. Other than that, I bow to your superior knowledge ;)
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Re: La Vuelta a España (Tour of Spain)

Postby JMcMillan » 20 Aug 2015, 04:28

Chris Green wrote:The city of Marbella's arms repeat the bow and arrows of the arms of Málaga, together with a castle and the sea, not particularly original for a coastal town, but the castle has an unusual design and the depiction of the sea is not the usual barry bendy argent and azure. If anyone can find the blazon and can translate it, that would be helpful.


From a Spanish heraldry/vexillology discussion board:

"The coat of arms of Marbella was granted by the Catholic Kings [Ferdinand and Isabel] on 3 November 1493 upon petition by the city council. In the letters patent its elements are expressly stated:

A la mano derecha un yugo con sus coyundas que es la devysa de my el Rey, e a la mano yzquierda un manojo de frechas que es la devysa de my la Reyna e debaxo una torre con unas ondas de la mar al pye que es la que está a la guarda del puerto de la mar de la dicha çibdad."

In translation: "On the right hand a yoke with its thongs, which is the device of me, the King, and on the left hand a sheaf of arrows, which is the device of me, the Queen, and below them a tower with some waves of the sea at its foot, which is the one that guards the seaport of the said city."

I note that I assigned the two badges to the wrong monarchs. I always thought the yugo was for Ysabel and the flechas for Fernando.
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Re: La Vuelta a España (Tour of Spain)

Postby JMcMillan » 20 Aug 2015, 04:53

And from webmalaga.com, a more modern blazon: En campo de plata, una torre derruida sobre ondas de agua de azur, adiestrada de un yugo de oro puesto en palo y siniestrada de un haz de cinco flechas del mismo metal.

Argent a ruined tower upon waves of the sea Azure, flanked in dexter by a yoke palewise Or and in sinister by a sheaf of five arrows of the same.
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Re: La Vuelta a España (Tour of Spain)

Postby Chris Green » 20 Aug 2015, 06:57

Michael F. McCartney wrote::)

Also "the usual barry wavy" not barry bendy. Other than that, I bow to your superior knowledge ;)


Aaargh! Too little sleep. I of all people should get that right. Just look at my CoA!!! Two egregious errors already in this thread. :shock:
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Re: La Vuelta a España (Tour of Spain)

Postby Chris Green » 23 Aug 2015, 06:22

Today's (23 August) route takes the cyclists from Alhaurín de la Torre to El Caminito del Rey. The latter, one may hope, is but the general name for the finishing point, since if the riders had to cycle El Caminito, few if any would survive.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caminito_del_Rey

El Caminito lies in the municipality of Ardales whose arms are:

Image

The Spanish blazon is: Escudo de gules, puente defendido, de oro, la punta de azur, al timbre corona real cerrada.

My guess is that the castellated bridge represents a historical structure, since the principal approach to the town was the old Camino del Rio which crossed the Rio Túron. It is conceivable of course, if the arms were granted in the last 100 years, that the reference is somewhat obliquely, to El Caminito del Rey, though I expect this is simply a coincidence.
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Re: La Vuelta a España (Tour of Spain)

Postby Chris Green » 24 Aug 2015, 06:58

The Vuelta remains in the vicinity of Málaga today (24 August). departing from Mijas. The CoA of Mijas features yet another tower, this time between two trees. Admittedly the watchtowers on the coast were important to the people of Mijas, originally to defend against Muslim corsairs seeking Christians to enslave, later to watch for pirates. So we can scarcely blame the herald for selecting a charge that recalls the importance of such towers to Mijas.

Image

En campo de plata, una torre de plata sobre un cerro, acostada de dos medios árboles de su color. El blasón está orlado exteriormente de flores de acanto de sinople, azur y gules y por timbre corona de oro de cinco florones culminados en perlas.


The blazon is passing strange: a watchtower argent on a field argent?! Nor does the blazon seem to match the emblazonment: the mantling as shown isn't of acanthus leaves and the coronet is wrong. The hill on which the tower stands has been rendered as brown (definitely brown not gold - compare the coronet), whereas it should be argent, and the tower itself is depicted as gray, not argent (perhaps in an attempt by the artist to overcome the impossible blazon).
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Re: La Vuelta a España (Tour of Spain)

Postby Chris Green » 24 Aug 2015, 19:13

Tomorrow's (25 August) stage takes the Vuelta through the province of Cadiz from Estepona to Vejer de la Frontera.

The arms of Vejer de la Frontera recall how important the Christian faith was to the Spaniards undertaking the reconquista of areas long held by the Moors.

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Escudo medio partido y cortado: 1º de Castilla; 2º, de León; 3º, de oro, una zorra andante, de sable. Bordadura general de plata cargada con la inscripción "IN DEI NOMINE AMEN". Al timbre, corona real abierta


"Una zorra" is apparently the Spanish for a bitch, and not a fox as the enblazonment led me to expect. [But see following posts]

The route takes the cyclists through San Roque whose arms are:

Image

Nearby lies another place whose arms are remarkably similar, though its inhabitants owe allegiance to a different monarch:

Image
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