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Los Barrios (Municipality, Andalusia, Spain)

Last modified: 2017-06-04 by ivan sache
Keywords: los barrios | palmones |
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Flag of Los Barrios - Image from the Símbolos de Cadíz website, 29 March 2014

See also:

Presentation of Los Barrios

The municipality of Los Barrios (22,946 inhabitants in 2013; 33,133 ha; municipal website) is located 20 km south-east of Cádiz and 10 km north-west of Algeciras. The municipality is made of the town of Los Barrios (16,338 inh.) and of the villages of Los Corijillos (2,636 inh.), Palmones (1,972 inh.), Guadacorte (1,13 inh.) and Puente Romano (252 inh.).

Los Barrios was established on the left bank of river Plamones, on a site already settled in the Lower Paleolithic. Some authors believe that a Roman villa was subsequently established on the site, but Roman remains have been found only in the neighborhood of the town.
In the Middle Ages, the local Muslim settlement was divided into two boroughs (barrios), which were abandoned when the Border (of the Kingdom of Castile) was moved southwards to the Strait of Gibraltar. Alfonso XI's hunting record does not mention the place, which is not surprising, since the place was grown with pastures and crops. The oldest written mention of Dos Barrios (Two Boroughs) is found in a donation made by the 3rd Duke of Medina Sidonia to Martín de Bocanegra, Mayor of Medina Sidoani and Corregidor of Gibraltar, as a reward for his contribution to the conquets of Melilla (1497). Los Barrios was listed in 1502 among the districts of Gibraltar, which matched former Muslim settlements.
The population of the village increased in the next centuries, the name of Los Barrios eventually superseding Dos Barrios. ín 1604, Andrés de Villegas Sanabria, lord of Benahavis and Daydín and Alférez Mayor of Gibraltar, founded a domain including "the tower and houses of Los Barrios" for his second son, Jacinto de Villegas. For diverse reasons, the domain was progressively abandoned and the houses fell into ruins; in 1649, several inhabitants of Gibraltar moved to Los Barrios to escape the epidemic of black plague. In the late 17th century, the only remaining inhabitants of the place were day labourers who moved during the summer season to the nieghbouring towns.

After the seizure of Gibraltar in 1704 by the Anglo-Dutch fleet, several Spanish colonists exiled to Los Barrios, settling near the St. Isidor chapel and oratory, founded in 1700 by Bartolomé de Escoto y Bohórquez, Cantor of Cádiz. His nephew and successor, Juan Felipe García de Ariño, allowed the colonists to establish inns and huts near the chapel, which became the first sanctuary of the Gibraltar exiles.
The new settlement was nominally part of the town of Gibraltar, whose Corregidor lived in San Roque; on 9 September 1756, King Ferdinand VI signed the Royal Letters establishing the new municipality of Los Barrios, then counting some 1,800 inhabitants.

Los Barrios was seized on 21 February 1831 by Salvador Manzanares (1788-1831), who raised against Ferdinand VII's absolutist restauration and was captured and executed a few months later in Estepona. In 1868, General Juan Prim (1814-1870) and Admiral Juan Bautista Topete (1821-1885) met in Los Barrios, in the house of the local Representative José González de la Vega, where they planned the coup that would led to the overthroning of Queen Isabel II - who had granted the title of ciudad to the town in 1854 upon González de la Vega's request.

Ivan Sache, 29 March 2014

Symbols of Los Barrios

The flag (photo, photo, photo) and arms of Los Barrios, adopted on 13 May 2013 by the Municipal Council and submitted on 23 May 2013 to the Directorate General of the Local Administration, are prescribed by a Resolution adopted on 28 May 2013 by the Directorate General of the Local Administration and published on 13 June 2013 in the official gazette of Andalusia, No. 114, pp. 89-90. (text).
The symbols are described as follows:

Flag: Rectangular flag, with two horizontal stripes, the upper yellow and the lower green. In the middle, the municipal coat of arms.
Coat of arms: On a field or (yellow) a tower proper (brown) port and windows argent (white) the gate charged with a key sable (black) surrounded by two branches vert (green) crossed in base and tied by a scroll gules (red). The branch dexter (on the shield's right and observer's left) of myrtle, fructed purpure (since purpure is the closest tincture to the purplish black colour of the fruit). The branch sinister (on the shield's left and viewer's right) of palm. The shield surmounted with a Royal crown closed.

The previous coat of arms of Los Barrios was prescribed by Decree No. 2,218, adopted on 9 July 1964 by the Spanish Government and published on 29 July 1964 in the Spanish official gazette, No. 181, p. 9,805 (text. This was confirmed by a Resolution 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 "rehabilitated" coat of arms, "of immemorial use" and validated by the Royal Academy of History, is described as follows:

Coat of arms: Or a castle proper the gate charged with a key sable surrounded by two branches vert. The shield surmounted by a Royal crown.

Los Barrios, together with San Roque and Algeciras, inherited the arms of Gibraltar. The tower also evokes a local fortress built in 1604. The palm stands for river Palmones, while the myrtle (mirto) stands for Murto, where the river has its source.
[Símbolos de las Entidades Locales de Andalucía. Cádiz]

Klaus-Michael Schneider & Ivan Sache, 7 May 2014

Municipal district of Palmones


Flag of Palmones - Image by Ivan Sache, 17 July 2010

Palmones is located on the mouth of river Palmones in the Bay of Algeciras. The municipal district of Palmones, established on 11 November 2004, is the second oldest municipal district in the Province of Cádiz.

Palmones developed in the Roman times around salt marshes, whose production was used by the local fisheries, then the main source of income of the coastal towns. The one-arched bridge locally known as the "Roman bridge", although completely revamped in the 18th century, indeed matches Roman models.
Although nothing remains locally from the Muslim period; however, the battle of river Palmones is a milestone in the Christian reconquest: on 12 December 1343, King Alfonso XI defeated troops sent by King of Granada, Yusuf I, to lift the siege of Algeciras by the Christian army. Palmones was once famous for its shipyards, set up after the incorporation of the region to the Kingdom of Castile. In the 17th century, galleys and other ocean-going ships were built or repaired in Palmones. In 1779, Admiral Antonio Barceló revamped the shipyards to build the gunboats he had specifically designed for the reconquest of Gibraltar. At the same period, the port of Palmones was used to ship to America and Gibraltar ammunition produced in the neighbouring Royal Artillery Factory of Jimena.

The flag of Palmones is horizontally divided blue-white-blue (8:11:8).
The flag symbolizes the mouths of rivers Palmones and Guadarranque, the places where the maritime population of Palmones settled. The white stripe represents the salt marshes that once covered the territory of Palmones. The Roman salt marshes supplied salt to Carteia (Guadarranque) and Baelo Claudia (Bolonia), the salt being used to preserve fish.
[Municipal website]

Ivan Sache & Valentin Poposki, 17 July 2010

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