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Lucena (Municipality, Andalusia, Spain)

Last modified: 2014-03-23 by ivan sache
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Flag of Lucena - Image by "Américo Toledano" (Wikimedia Commons), 16 July 2009

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Presentation of Lucena

The municipality of Lucena (41,698 inhabitants in 2008; 35,109 ha; municipal website) is located 70 km south of Córdoba, near the geographic center of Andalusia.
An important agriculture center, Lucena is the second producer of olives in the world and an important place of wine trade (Montilla-Moriles wines); the town has also a strong industrial component, being the second producer of furniture and the first producer of refrigeration in Spain.

The origin of the name of Lucena is disputed: Latin, Luciena (Lucius' estate), Hebrew, Eli Ossana (God save us), or Moorish, al-Yussana. In the Middle Ages, Lucena was indeed known as "The Town of the Three Cultures" (Muslim, Jewish and Christian) or "The Sefarad Pearl", with the most important Jewish community in Al-Andalus. In the 9th-12th centuries, Lucena was inhabited only by Jews, who set up a university in the town. In 1148, the Almohad rulers invaded and sacked the "Jews' Town", whose inhabitants had refused to abjure their religion. The survivors moved northwards to Toledo, a much more tolerant place, where they founded a famous translators' school. The antique synagogue, called Juderia, is still visible in town.
In 1240, Lucena was seized by King Fernand III the Saint. Reconquered by the Moors in 1333, the town was eventually incorporated in the Kingdom of Castile in 1483, when Diego III Fernández de Córdoba defeated in the Battle of Lucena the last Nasrid king of Granada, Boabdil, who was jailed for a while in the Castle of Moral.

Ivan Sache, 16 July 2009

Symbols of Lucena

The flag of Lucena, adopted on 29 March 2005 by the Municipal Council and submitted on 11 May 2005 to the Directorate General of the Local Administration, is prescribed by a Decree adopted on 20 May 2005 by the Directorate General of the Local Administration and published on 2 June 2005 in the official gazette of Andalusia, No. 106, p. 38 (text).
The flag is described as follows:

Flag: The flag shall be rectangular, with proportions of 3 in length on 2 in hoist, made of three equal horizontal stripes, blue, white and green from top to bottom. Centered all over, the coat of arms of the town.

The coat of arms of Lucena, adopted on 29 April 1997 and revised on 18 May 1999 by the Municipal Council, as suggested on 11 June 1998 by the Royal Academy of Cordóba, is prescribed by Decree No. 17, adopted on 24 January 2000 by the Government of Andalusia and published on 22 February 2000 in the official gazette of Andalusia, No. 22 (text). This was confirmed by a Decree adopted on 30 November 2004 by the Government of Andalusia and published on 20 December 2004 in the official gazette of Andalusia, No. 246, pp. 28,986-29,002 (text).
The coat of arms is described as follows:

Coat of arms: Per pale, 1. Azure a six-pointed star argent, 2. Vert a castle or ports and windows fimbriated sable. Grafted in base, gules a planr of lily proper. The shield surrounded by the writing "MUY NOBLE, MUY LEAL Y MARIANA CIUDAD DE LUCENA" [Very Noble, Very Loyal and Marian Town of Lucena]. [Crown not mentioned].

The star alludes to the name of the town, once known as "Lux Baetica" [Light of Hispania Baetica]. The tower recalls that Lucena was a Castilian outpost on the border with the Kingdom of Granada for 250 years and that Baobadil was jailed there after having been captured by Lucena-born Martín Hurtado in 1843 during the battle of Arroyo de Martín González. The lily is the symbol of the town's patron saint, the Blessed Virgin of Araceli.
[Símbolos de las Entidades Locales de Andalucía. Córdoba (PDF file)]

Ivan Sache, 16 July 2009