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Palma del Río (Municipality, Andalusia, Spain)

Last modified: 2016-12-20 by ivan sache
Keywords: palma del río |
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Flag of Palma del Río - Image from the Símbolos de Córdoba website, 20 September 2015

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Presentation of Palma del Río

The municipality of Palma del Río (21,582 inhabitants in 2013; 20,019 ha; municipal website) is located on the border with the Province of Seville, 60 km south-west of Córdoba.

Palma del Río, located between rivers Guadalquivir and Genil, has been settled for the earliest ages. The Roman towns listed by Pliny the Elder as Detumo and Segida Augurina were located on the today's municipal territory. A local tradition says that the town was named for its founder, Publius Cornelius Palma. However, the town was most probably named for palms, widely grown in the area.
Palma was subsequently part of the Visigothic province and diocese of Italica, being mentioned for the first time in 855 in St. Eulogius' Memorial de los Santos, as Ludovicus in vico Italicensis provinciae nomine Palma (Louis in the village of the Italica province named Palma). Accordingly, a Mozarab estate lacking fortifications, located on the bank of river Genil, must have been seized by the Arabs.
The Muslims renamed the village Balma and developed irrigated agriculture. A noria equipped with a complex system of powerful wheels was preserved until the middle of the 20th century. Palma was fortified in the 11th-12th centuries; while the early Almoravid fortress has totally disappeared, the later Almohad walls, with towers and gates, have been preserved until now.

Alfonso, Infante of Molina, seized Palma in 1231 and slaughtered the inhabitants. Soon abandoned, the town was eventually reconquerred in 1241 by King Ferdinand III the Saint, who obtained the surrender without fighting and promoted pacific co-existence between the Muslim and Christian populations. Incorporated in the Royal domain, Palma was elected by the Andalusian nobleness to celebrate the "Hermandad General de Andalusia", a confederation of nobles and town councils. The confederation, made of Seville, Córdoba, Jaén, Úbeda, Baeza, Carmona, Écija, Niebla, Jerez de la Frontera, Andújar, Arjona and Santiesteban, gathered in the castle of Palma on 8 May 1313.

The town was granted on 2 September 1342 by Alfonso XI to Egidio Bocanegra, Greater Admiral of the Sea and brother of Simon Bocanegra, Duke of Genoa. After a Muslim raid that decreased the town's population in 1343, the king allowed Bocanegra to re-settle it with Castilian mudéjares coming from Gumiel de Izán. On 23 January 1451, John II granted to Martín Fernández Portocarrero, 6th lord of Palma, the organization of a tax-free market, scheduled for 15 days after Ascension Day, which boosted the economical development of the town. Converted Jews from the neighbouring villages emigrated in 1473 to Palma, where religious freedom was privileged by the lords. Luis Portocarrero, 7th lord of Palma, supported the Catholic Monarchs in the War of Granada and died during the Italian Wars; he was allowed to add to his coat of arms the 15 banners captured in the battle of Lopera (1483), while the Queen offered to the dame of Palma the cloak she had worn during Christmas celebrations.
The County of Palma was erected in 1507 for Luis Portocarrero. Luis Manuel Fernández Portocarrero, better known as Cardinal Portocarrero, played a key role during the 1700 monarchic succession. Palma del Río was granted on 31 January 1888 the title of ciudad by Regent Maria-Cristina.

Ivan Sache, 20 September 2015

Symbols of Palma del Río

The flag (photo, photo) and arms of Palma del Río, approved on 27 January 2011 by the Municipal Council and submitted on 3 February 2011 to the Directorate General of the Local Administration, are prescribed by a Resolution adopted on 18 February 2011 by the Directorate General of the Local Administration and published on 7 March 2011 in the official gazette of Andalusia, No. 46, p. 21 (text).
The symbols are described as follows:

Flag: Divided perpendicularity to the hoist into two equal stripes, the upper reseda yellow and the lower sea blue. Proportions one time and a half longer (from hoist to fly) than high. In the center is placed the municipal coat of arms.
Coat of arms: Or a palm tree vert (green) standing on waves azure and argent accosted by two wolves azure (blue). The shield surmounted by a Royal crown closed. A scroll or inscribed with "LUCHA Y VENCE ENTRE DOS RÍOS" in capital letters vert (green).

The arms are canting, showing a palm (palmera) and waves representing river Genil. The motto reads "Fighting and Victory Between Two Rivers", alluding to rivers Genil and Guadalquivir.
[Símbolos de Córdoba website]

Ivan Sache, 20 September 2015

Former symbols of Palma del Río


Former flag of Palma del Río - Image by Ivan Sache, 20 September 2015

The symbols must have superseded those previously used unofficially. Some photos show a flag divided blue-yellow instead of yellow-blue, with a coat of arms quite different from the prescription, too.

The coat of arms is "Azure a palm tree proper fructed of two coconuts accosted by two lions rampant sable over two waves argent . The shield surmounted by a Ducal coronet."
The shield is in French shape with a convex chief. The lions are sometimes represented as wolves. The field is sometimes argent, surrounded by scrolls inscribed "LUCHA Y VENCE ENTRE DOS RÍOS", in some versions completed with "AÑO CV". These arms are based on a seal used in 1876. The Royal Academy validated a proper design on 8 October 1925 and, in a 1957, the municipal medal "Or a palm tree surrounded by two rivers azure and two wolves rampant proper". Ramírez y de las Casas-Deza reports "Or a palm tree proper planted between two rivers azure".
[Juan José Antequera Lungo. Heráldica oficial de la provincia de Córdoba]

Ivan Sache, 20 September 2015

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