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La Algaba (Municipality, Andalusia, Spain)

Last modified: 2016-12-24 by ivan sache
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Flag of La Algaba - Image from the Símbolos de Sevilla website, 3 June 2014

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Presentation of La Algaba

The municipality of La Algaba (16,105 inhabitants in 2014; 1,758 ha; municipal website) is located 10 km north-west of Seville.

La Algaba is named for the Arab toponym Al-Gaba, "The wood". The town was reconquerred in 1247 by King Ferdinand III the Saint, who transferred it to his son Fadrique. Reincorporated to the Royal domain after Fadrique's death, La Algaba was granted in 1304 to Infante Alfonso de la Cerda, who subsequently transferred it to the Count of Niebla. The Count swapped the town for Medina Sidonia with Juan Guzmán.
The Marquisate of La Algaba was erected in 1568 by Philip II for Francisco de Guzmán, the 5th lord of La Algaba. The Palace of the Marquis of La Algaba was built in 1474 in Seville by Juan de Guzmán, 1st lord of La Algaba; it houses the Seville Center of Mudéjar Art, inaugurated on 11 January 2013.

Ivan Sache, 3 June 2014

Symbols of La Algaba

The flag of La Algaba (photo, photo, photo) is horizontally divided celestial blue-white with the municipal coat of arms in the middle.
The memoir supporting the proposed flag was submitted on 26 November 1993 by Juan José Antequera Luengo. Used at least since the 1970s, the flag was considered as "traditional", although there is no clue on its origin.

The coat of arms of La Algaba is "Per pale, 1. Azure two caldrons checky or and gules in pale hilted with seven snake's heads vert 4 and 3 a bordure argent eight ermine spots sable, 2. Argent an Arab tower masoned sable the gate dexter surrounded by two branches of laurel crossed in base. Tne shield surmounted by a Royal crown closed."
The memoir supporting the proposed coat of arms was submitted on 10 November 1986 by Juan José Antequera Luengo. The coat of arms was adopted on 3 September 1987 by the Municipal Council. Out of the 15 Councillors, Molina Moela (
PSOE) voted against the proposal, arguing that "the municipality has social issues more important to handle" and that "the Socialists of La Algaba are opposed to duchies and marquisates, those matters being a concern for history and not municipalities".

In his Relaciones (1768),Tomás López reports that the gate of the Guzmán tower in Algabe is surmounted by a "coat of arms featuring two caldrons, engraved in relief, in white marble, ebneath the shield a writing in Gothic letters no longer readable", that the town does not use either these arms or any other, while the Marquis uses this design on a blue shield. After the suppression of the feudal rule in 1823, the town used an ink seal, oval with the border inscribed with "Ayuntamiento Constitucional de La Algaba" and the Guzmán tower in the field. A few decades later, the seal, then inscribed with "Alcaldia Constitucional de La Algaba" featured a more heraldic tower with a pomegranate placed on the gate. In a later version of the arms, the shield was designed in French shape, the tower was surrounded by branches of laurel and olive crossed in base, on a field argent; the shield was surmounted by a Marquis' coronet. Argote de Molina reports that the Marquis of La Algaba used arms featuring two cauldrons on a field azure and a bordure argent charged with ermine spots, one more than represented on the tower.

[Juan José Antequera Luengo. Heráldica oficial de la provincia de Sevilla]

Ivan Sache & Klaus-Michael Schneider, 3 June 2014