Last modified: 2010-10-08 by eugene ipavec
Keywords: spain | andalusia | benamejí | cordoba | cross: st. jacob's | st. jacob's cross | order of santiago | ships: 2 | escutcheon | crown: royal (closed) |
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image from the municipal website, modified by Ivan Sache, 11 Jul 2009
The municipality of Benamejí (5,122 inhabitants in 2008; 5,335 ha) is located 90 km south of Córdoba.
Benamejí emerged as an organized settlement in the 11th century, when Emir Abd Allah built the fortress of Banu Bashir, which was subsequently increased by Abd al Arman III. Reconquered in 1240 by Fernando III the Saint, "Benamexir" was transferred by Alfonso X the Wise to the Order of Santiago in 1254. Still disputed by the Moors and the Christians, the village was eventually incorporated to the Kingdom of Castile in 1487. With permission of Pope Clement VII, Charles I sold the village in 1549 to Diego de Bernuy, Municipal Councillor of Burgos, who completely reorganized the domain and the town. Bernuy commissioned the architect Hernan Ruiz II to design a new bridge over the Genil, a water mill, the town's streets and the palace. On 23 May 1675, Charles II erected the Marquisate of Benamejí for José Diego de Bernuy y de Antonio, the 5th lord of Benamejí. The Marquis of Benamejí has been a Grandee of Spain since 1815; the current holder of the title is Manuel de la Lastra y Marcos, 14th Marquis of Benamejí.
Benamejí was an inspiration for several Spanish writers. The warlord of Benamejí, "El Cañeri," is a main character of "La niña de Gómez Arias" (The Daughter of Gómez Arias), one of the five comedies written by Pedro Calderón de la Barca (1600-1681). In "El chato de Benamejí. Vida y milagros de un gran ladrón" (The Pug-Nosed from Benamejí. Life and Miracles of a Great Thief, 2 volumes, 1874), the novelist Manuel Fernández y González (1821-1888) recalls that the bridge of the road linking Córdoba and Málaga and the neighbouring hills made of Benamejí a hotspot of crime in the 19th century, The classic theme of "nobles and rascals" was reused by the brothers Manuel (1874-1947) and Antonio (1875-1939) Machado in their play "La Duquesa de Benamejí," The Duchess of Benamejí, 1932); the authors changed the nobility title from "Marquis" to "Duchess" to avoid offending the real lords of Benamejí. Benamejí is also mentioned in "La Muerte de Antoñito el Camborio," part of Federico García Lorca's "Romancero Gitano" (1924-1927).
Source: Municipal website
Ivan Sache, 11 Jul 2009
The flag and anthem of Benamejí were approved by the Municipal Council on 1 December 2005 and submitted on 7 December 2005 to the General Directorate of Local Administration, which confirmed them by Decree on 3 January 2006, published in the Andalusian official gazette (Boletín Oficial de la Junta de Andalucía, BOJA) No. 15 on 24 January 2006.
The relevant parts of the Decree are the following:
Flag: Rectangular flag, in proportions 2/3, divided in the middle by a diagonal descending from upper hoist to lower fly. The upper part crimson red and the lower part sea blue. The municipal shield in the middle.
The symbols should be registered on the Andalusian Register of Local Entities, with their official written description and graphics (as originally submitted, but unfortunately not apprended to the Decree).
Source: BOJA No. 15, p. 71, 24 Jan 2006
Ivan Sache, 11 Jul 2009