La Vuelta a España (Tour of Spain) 2015

Spanish Heraldry
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Michael F. McCartney
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Re: La Vuelta a España (Tour of Spain)

Postby Michael F. McCartney » 29 Aug 2015, 16:27

Thanks for posting these arms, and to Joe for his commentary. Besides the decidedly Iberian heraldry, it's been a strenuous exercise of my atrophied Spanish!

Re: San Roque - you showed an almost-identical coat for an unnamed nearby place owing loyalty to a different monarch ... OK, I give up - where?
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Iain Boyd
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Re: La Vuelta a España (Tour of Spain)

Postby Iain Boyd » 29 Aug 2015, 23:34

Gibraltar, Michael.

Regards,

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Re: La Vuelta a España (Tour of Spain)

Postby Michael F. McCartney » 30 Aug 2015, 09:25

Ah! (sound of hand slapping forehead)
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Chris Green
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Re: La Vuelta a España (Tour of Spain)

Postby Chris Green » 30 Aug 2015, 15:29

If only to prove that the supply of Spanish municipal coats of arms consisting principally of a tower/castle/fortified bridge/gate is - as you suspected - inexhaustible, today's stage (30 August) started from Torrevieja:

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En el mar observamos los veleros que fueron los medios de exportación de la sal de las salinas. Las dos pequeñas casas o barracas que se encuentran en tierra representan la incipiente Torrevieja, sobre un cielo salpicado por las gaviotas. La torre vigía ocupa el centro del escudo, encontrándose semidestruida, recordando el devastador terremoto que asoló Torrevieja en 1829. También se encuentra el rombo con las cuatro franjas rojas y amarillas, signo de pertenencia al extinguido Reino de Aragón. El emblema esta coronado simbólicamente por la corona real.


and proceeded via Santa Pola

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Primer, d'Aragó, quatre pals de gules; segón, plata, sobre un mar d'atzur, una torre del seu color natural surmontada d'un àncora; per timbre corona reial oberta. L'escut apareix orlat i amb segnes branques verdes.


and Benidorm:

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En campo de azur, una torre de piedra aclarada de sable, terrazada de una especie de playa que se prolonga por los flancos formando una bahía, con una torre en cada puntal; dentro de la bahía ondas de mar de plata y azur y en la siniestra una barca de sable; en el horizonte que forma el mar y a la diestra, un montículo en forma de islote; la torre principal está surmontada de un escudo de dama de oro con cuatro palos de gules. Timbre: Corona de barón.


not to mention Calp/Calpe:

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finishing at El Poble Nou de Benitatxell:

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Partido y medio cortado. Al primer cuartel, de oro, cuatro palos de gules; al todo abrazado de azur sembrado de flores de lis de oro y brisado con lambel de gules. Al segundo, de gules, seis casas de plata, aclaradas de sable, puestas en dos fajas de tres y tres. Al tercer, de oro, cinco estrellas de ocho puntas de azur. Al timbre, corona real abierta.


Hombre! no tower, just six houses!
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Re: La Vuelta a España (Tour of Spain)

Postby Chris Green » 31 Aug 2015, 07:09

Today (31 August) the Vuelta starts from Valencia, whose arms are displayed on a lozenge. This is not unusual in Spain (mostly in those parts formerly in Aragon), but I have not (yet) come across it elsewhere. Valencia was granted the privilege of using the royal arms of Aragon by King Peter IV of Aragon (and Valencia) in 1377. They were apparently commonly depicted on a lozenge from an early date, possibly to avoid confusion with the royal arms.

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The cyclists' destination today is Castellón/Castelló de la Plana whose Aragonese-related arms are also lozenge-shaped:

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The castle is tediously predictable, but may perhaps be forgiven since it reflects the very name of the town. Sadly there seems now to be no castle, the defences having been torn down in the 19th century to allow the city to expand. The original (Moorish) castle was in the hills, but the community that had grown up around it moved to the plain (la Plana) in 1251.
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Re: La Vuelta a España (Tour of Spain)

Postby Chris Green » 02 Sep 2015, 08:30

Today the focus of the Vuelta switches to the Pyrenees, in particular Andorra. 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 España (Tour of Spain)

Postby Chris Green » 03 Sep 2015, 06:09

Today (3 September) the Vuelta departs from the Andorran village of Escaldes-Engordany whose arms are allegedly this monstrosity, which brings even logos into disrepute:

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The area is known for its hot springs so supposedly the design represents a spring flowing under a stone arch.

The cyclists' destination is Lleida/Lérida across the border in Catalonia whose arms are displayed on a lozenge:

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En campo de oro, cuatro palos, de gules; resaltados de un tallo, de sinople, del que salen otros tres, del mismo color, rematados de una flor de lis, de plata.
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Re: La Vuelta a España (Tour of Spain)

Postby Chris Green » 03 Sep 2015, 18:07

Tomorrow (4 September) the stage starts from Calatyud in the province of Zaragoza. Catalayud's arms contain neither castle nor the pallets of Aragon:

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Escudo: partido de oro y gules, y brochante un caballero armado de punta en blanco, al natural, que sostiene en su diestra una lanza con un pendón de plata cargado de una cruz griega de gules, y que cabalga en un caballo de plata; campaña de plata con la leyenda en letras capitales de sable AUGUSTA BILBILIS. Timbrado de corona real abierta.


Augusta Bilbilis was the Roman name of the town, Bilbilis being the earlier Celtiberian name. Apparently the very first coins minted in Bilbilis featured a mounted man with a spear, so it seems that the herald responsible for the CoA had a very good handle on Calatyud's history.

The Vuelta's finishing line tomorrow is at Tarazona, also in Zaragoza province. Here the herald also tried hard to include the town's early history, though I think you will agree with a less pleasing result:

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Cuadrilondo rectangular de base conopial, que trae, de azur, un castillo de oro, mazonado de sable, aclarado de gules y rastrillado de plata, acostado por dos escudetes con el Señal Real de Aragón y cuyo homenaje central está sumado de dos sarmientos de inople, frutados de púrpura y fileteados de oro, los cuales se cruzan formando un óvalo resaltado de una filacteria de plata con el lema, en letras capitales de sable, VICTRIX, el cual encierra una flor de lis de oro; bordura de plata cargada con el lema, en letras capitales de sable, *TVRIASO *TVBALCAIN ME AEDIFICAVIT HERCULES ME REAEDIFICAVIT. Al timbre, Corona Real abierta.


The Roman name of the town was Turiaso, hence the word in chief. The remainder of the bordure consists of the ancient claim that the town was built by Tubalcain and rebuilt by Hercules. The reason for the word Victrix (victorious) is unclear (to me), unless it refers to the Roman Legio VI Victrix which was heavily involved in the final conquest of the peninsula.
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Re: La Vuelta a España (Tour of Spain)

Postby Chris Green » 04 Sep 2015, 15:11

Tomorrow (5 September) the Vuelta sets off from Vitoria-Gasteiz (Vitoria = Spanish, Gasteiz = Basque) whose CoA again consists principally of a castle. But this time several other charges are included - a pair of lions passant guardant and a pair of crows, together with a mysterious escutcheon over the entrance to the castle with the letters Y and II. The shield has draped around it a ribbon bearing the words Haec est Victoria quae vincit.

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De plata y en él, castillo natural almenado, puertas y ventanas sinople, sostenido de dos Leones gules encontrados en posición natural andante, y sobre las almenas del costado dos cuervos sable mirando al frente; sobre la puerta principal escusón de gules y en él las iniciales de Isabel II, de oro, teniendo las dos últimas una parte menos de longitud y latitud; timbrado de la corona mural. El todo plazado y surmontado de la Corona Ducal, y saliente de ella una cinta azul con las letras de oro con este lema: "HAEC EST VICTORIA QUAE VINCIT".


The latin text is from the Gospel of St John, chapter 1 verse 4: ... this is the victory that overcometh [the world, even our faith] .... Thus the victory referred to is that of Christianity, and not as some British military historians would have us believe, a commemoration of the victory of the British/Portuguese/Spanish army under Wellington over the French army of Joseph Bonaparte and Marshel Jourdain on 21 June 1813.

The mysterious letters Y II refer to the Spanish Queen (Y)Isabel II (1830-1904) who ruled from 1833 to 1868 when she was deposed. Why Vitoria recalls "La Reina de los Tristes Destinos", who had no obvious connection with Vitoria, is not clear.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isabella_II_of_Spain
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Re: La Vuelta a España (Tour of Spain)

Postby Chris Green » 06 Sep 2015, 07:18

Today (6 September) the Vuelta pedals through Asturias whose arms feature an unusual cross, known as la Cruz de la Victoria in Spanish. The text that constitutes the bordure reads: "Hoc Signo Tuetur Pius Hoc Signo Vincitur Inimicos " (With this sign the pious are defended; with this sign the enemy are defeated.) The cross relates to that said to have been carried by King Pelayo (Pelagius) of Visigothic Asturias at the Battle of Covadonga in AD722,

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Curiously the greek alpha is a capital letter but the omega is not.

One of the towns on the route is Ribadesella whose arms include the Cruz de la Victoria (though apparently lacking the alpha and omega) and half a sailing vessel. Half a ship may at first glance seem odd, but a whole one would never have squeezed into half a shield.

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Partido. Primero, en campo de azur, la Cruz de la Victoria, de oro y pedrería. Segundo, de plata, una mebarcación, saliente del flanco diestro, sobre ondas de azur y plata.
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