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Sanlúcar de Barrameda (Municipality, Andalusia, Spain)

Last modified: 2015-09-13 by ivan sache
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Flag of Sanlúcar de Barrameda - Image from the Símbolos de Cadíz website, 30 March 2014

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Presentation of Sanlúcar de Barrameda

The municipality of Sanlúcar de Barrameda (67,301 inhabitants in 2013, 45,881 inh. in the town proper; 17,430 ha; municipal website) is located on the left bank of the estuary of river Guadlaquivir, 60 km north-west o Cádiz.

Sanlúcar de Barrameda, located in a natural harbour of strategical singificance, has been settled since the early ages by seamen and traders. The Phenicians built in the Algaida dunes a temple dedicated to Astarte, the goddess of love and fecunfity. The Muslims subsequently erected a fortress known as the Seven Towers' Castle to defend the mouth of Guadalquivir. "Barrameda" comes from Arabic bab-rha-mda, meaning "a shaky land / gate", referring to a sandbank that complicated navigation on the river.
After the Christian reconquest, King Sancho IV granted the fortress and the neighbouring town in 1297 to Guzmá:n the Good. The Guzmán lineage and their descendants, the Dukes of Medina Sidonia, would rule the town until 1640.

Sanlúcar was a port of reference in the conquest of the New World, where Christopher Colombus embarked for his third voyage and Magellan started his circumnavigation voyage. Linking the Americas to the port of Seville, owned by the Dukes of Medina Sidonia, Sanlúcar susbequently entered its Gilded Age. In 1640, Sanlúcar became a Royal domain; the town declined after the establishment of the Contract Office - the body regulating trade with the Americas - in Cádiz.
Sanlúcar re-emerged in the 19th century, when made the capital of a Maritime Province that spread on the coast from Ayamonte to Rota and up to Lebrija in the hinterland; established on 30 July 1845 by Royal Order, the province was suppressed in 1933. The Dukes of Montpensier, who had established their court in Seville, built in Sanlúcar a palace in Romantic style, where they would spend the summer season. Other wealthy summer houses were built and the social life resumed; the yearly festival peaked with a parade of decorated horse-driven carts on the beach, still organized today. At the same period, the porduction of sweet wines and liquors was initiated, soon becoming the main source of income for the area.

Ivan Sache, 30 March 2014

Symbols of Sanlúcar de Barrameda

The flag (photo, flag, photo) of Sanlúcar de Barrameda, adopted on 22 December 1997 by the Municipal Council and approved on 23 April 1998 by the Royal Academy of Córdoba (provided the municipal coat of arms would be officially approved, too), is prescribed by Decree No. 193, adopted on 6 October 1998 by the Government of Andalusia and published on 12 November 1998 in the official gazette ofAndalusia, No. 129, pp. 19,938-19,939 (text). This was confirmed by a Decree adopted on 30 November 2004 by the Directorate General of the Local Administration and published on 20 December 2004 in the official gazette of Andalusia, No. 246, pp. 28,986-29,002 (text.
The flag is described as follows:

Flag: Rectangular, in proportions 2.5 units in length on 1.5 unit in width, divided perpendicularily to the hoist in two stripes. The upper stripe is crimson red, charged in the center with the crowned official coat of arms of Sanlúcar de Barrameda, covering 2/5 of the flag's hoist. The lower stripe is blue, charged with two yellow wavy stripes, the upper being thinner.

Red was widely used in the standard and banners of the town's militia, as reported in the Municipal Archives. Therefore, red is the modern main colour of the municipal flag. The blue waves represent river Guadlaquivir. The yellow colour was incorporated to the design upon suggestion by the town's citizens, as the colour of the emblematic product of Sanlúcar, the Manzanilla wine.
[Municipal website]

The coat of arms of Sanlúcar de Barrameda is prescribed by Royal Decree No. 2,653, adopted on 29 September 1977 by the Spanish Government and published on 24 October 1977 in the Spanish official gazette, No. 254, p. 23,338 (text). This was confirmed by a Decree adopted on 30 November 2004 by the Directorate General of the Local Administration and published on 20 December 2004 in the official gazette of Andalusia, No. 246, pp. 28,986-29,002 (text.
The "rehabilitated" coat of arms, approved by the Royal Academy of History, is described as follows:

Coat of arms: Argent [azure on the flag] a winged bull proper [argent] on a Gospel or over waves azure and argent the bull ensigned with a tower proper surmounted by a star or. A bordure [or] inscribed "LUCIFERI FANUM" [in letters sable]. The shield surmounted by a Royal crown closed.

The coat of arms mixes christian and pagan elements. A standing-alone winged bull has been used to represent the town since the early ages. Today, the bull lies on a Gospel charged with an ink-pot and a quill, the gospel symbolizing Evangelist St. Luke, the town's patron saint. The waves in base represent the sea. The tower surmounted by a star, added to the arms in the 18th century, represents the temple dedicated to Venus by the first settlers of the place. The Latin legend "Luciferi Fanum" refers to this sacred place.
[Municipal website]

Ivan Sache, 30 March 2014