Last modified: 2017-01-04 by ivan sache
Keywords: alhaurín el grande |
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Flag of Alhaurín el Grande - Image from the Símbolos de Málaga website, 12 September 2016
The municipality of Alhaurín el Grande (24,338 inhabitants in 2015; 7,310 ha; municipal website), self-styled the "Garden of Andalusia", is located on the northern slopes of Sierra de Mijas, 30 km south-west of Málaga.
Alhaurín el Grande has been permanently settled at least since the Neolithic. Remains of villae and thermae, as well as statues, capitals and coins, indicate that the place was significant during the Roman domination. The Muslims developed trade and agriculture, establishing oil mills and hydraulic devices, such as the Morisco Cork Mill (10th-15th century, originally used as a floor mill), and fortresses, such as the Nasrid Hurique watch tower (12th century) and the castle of Fahala. One of the entrance gates to the Muslim town, the Cobertizo Arch, erected in the late 12th century, has been preserved until now; the gate provided access to the alcaicería, the borough where silk and products of agriculture and cattle-breeding were traded.
Reconquerred in May 1485 by the Catholic Monarchs, Alhaurín was incorporated to the Crown of Castile, as part of Málaga. The share of the reconquerred lands among the new colonists was made in 1492, while the parish was erected in 1505. The villagers obtained the status of villa in 1634; forming on 1666 the Corregimiento de las Cuatro Villas with the neighbouring towns of Álora, Coín, and Cártama.
In the 19th century, wealthy foreign merchants from Málaga (Power, Quilin, Eliot and Larios) established their summer residence in Alhaurín and acquired there wealthy rural estates. The first hydrotherapic sanatorium in Spain was inaugurated in the town in 1844.
Alhaurín el Grande is the birth place of the soldier and historian Ildefonso Marzo (1794-1856), author of the first historical study of the Province of Málaga (Historia de Málaga y su provincia), and of Lieutenant Colonel of the Civil Guard Antonio Tejero (b. 1932), leader of the pathetic attempt of coup against the young Spanish democracy on 23 February 1981, known as "Tejerazo" or "23F". After nearly 24 hours of armed occupation of the Congress of Deputies and after King Juan Carlos had reassured his support to the Constitutional order and the process of democratization in a famous speech on the national TV (video), the rebels surrendered to the police. Tejero served 15 years in a military prison and was released on 2 December 1996.
Alhaurín el Grande was the last residence of the English travel writer and historian Gerald Brenan (1894-1987), a familiar of the Bloomsbury Group who spent most of his life in Spain. Brenan settled in Alhaurín in 1971. His forced repatriation to an English old people's house in 1984 stirred a big controversy; upon popular pressure, the national and regional governments secured the return of "Don Geraldo" to Alhaurín, where he died a few years later. Brenan's most authoritative work is The Spanish Labyrinth: An Account of the Social and Political Background of the Civil War, published in 1943. He was portrayed by the actor Samuel West in the movie Carrington, shot by Christopher Hampton in 1995.
Ivan Sache, 12 September 2016
The flag of Alhaurín el Grande (photo, photo, photo, photo), adopted on 29 May 1987 by the Municipal Council, is prescribed by Decree No. 190, adopted on 26 August 1987 by the Government of Andalusia and published on 15 September 1987 in the official gazette of Andalusia, No. 78, p. 4,523 (text). This was confirmed by a Resolution 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: Tierced per bend, with the colours purple of Castile and white and green of Andalusia, charged with the local coat of arms fully included in the white stripe.
The colours of the flag could also refer to the rivalry that once opposed two local religious brotherhoods, the Hermandad de Nuestro padre Jesús Nazareno (Los Morados, The Purples) and the Cofradía de la Santa Vera Cruz (full name, Real, Muy Antigua, Ilustre y Venerable Cofradía Franciscana del Santísimo Cristo de la Vera Cruz, María Santísima de la Soledad y del Santo Sepulcro de Alhaurín el Grande; founded in the beginning of the 16th century) (Los Verdes, The Greens), white highlighting peace and concord restored by the two entities
[Símbolos de Málaga]
The coat of arms of Alhaurín el Grande is made of a shield of arms of Castile and León with an oval Bourbon inescutcheon ("Azure a fleur-de-lis or"), surrounded by the Collar of the Order of the Golden Fleece, and placed on the chest of an Imperial double-headed eagle surmounted by an Imperial crown. The arms do not appear to have been officially registered; this did not prevent the registration of the flag since, at the time, the Law did not explicitly prohibited the use of non-registered arms on flags.
A similar coat of arms appears, engraved on stone, on the facade of the Town Hall. The arms were granted in 1669 by King Charles II, as stated by the caption engraved beneath the shield. The Bourbon inescutcheon is not present on the shield, which is not unexpected, since the grant was made 31 years before the coronation of Philip V, the first Bourbon King of Spain. The inescutcheon is said to have been granted by Ferdinand VI.
[Alhaurín su historia, by Cristóbal González Ramírez, Town's Chronicler, 26 July 2013]
Ivan Sache, 12 September 2016