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Alhabia (Municipality, Andalusia, Spain)

Last modified: 2015-08-21 by ivan sache
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Flag of Alhabia - Image from the Símbolos de Almería website, 9 May 2014

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Presentation of Alhabia

The municipality of Alhabia (671 inhabitants in 2013; 1,639 ha; municipal website) is located 30 km north of Almería.

Alhabia was originally established by the Moors near a small lake formed by the confluence of rivers Andarax and Nacimiento. The origin of the place is reflected by the disputed etymology of its name, coming from an Arab word meaning either "a plain" or "a pond". The name of the village evolved as Hayva, Aljaiba, Aljabia, Aljabiati, and eventually Alhabia, recorded in 1587.
Al-Idrisi mentioned in the 12th century that a castle had been erected there in the 9th century, being one of the 20 fortresses that protected the domain of Urs al-Yaman; remains of towers have been actually excavated. After the establishment of the Kingdom of Granada in the 13th century, Alhabia was incorporated in the taha (district) of Marchena.
Gutierre de Cárdenas y Chacón was granted in 1494 the former taha of Marchena as a reward for his support to the Catholic Monarchs in the reconquest of Andalusia. Alhabia became an independent municipality in 1835, following the suppression of the feudal domain of Maqueda y Arcos. The village experienced a demographical and economical boom in the early 20th century thanks to the cultivation of Ohanes grapes.

Carolina Yebra Rittwagen (1881-1959), born in a rich family of Almería grape traders, married in 1906 José Sanchez Vicas, the pharmacist of Alhabia, where she would spend the rest of her life. The premature death of her husband and the loss of her vision did not prevent Carolina to manage the pharmacy and to raise her six sons. One of them, the pharmacist Francisco Sánchez Yebra, initiated in 1975 the building of a monument dedicated to his mother, nicknamed "the Mother of Rural Pharmacy ins Spain". The monument, sculpted by Santiago de Santiago and erected in the garden of the pharmacy, recalls that Carolina Yebra Rittwagen participated in 1903 in the Flower Games, organized during the Almería Fair by the local Literature Circle, with Miguel de Unamuno as the honour guest. The statue depicts Carolina wearing the costume designed for her by Francísca Hernández, a famous milliner ofAlmería, which is exhibited in the Terque Ethnographical Museum (website).

Ivan Sache, 14 May 2014

Symbols of Alhabia

The flag and arms of Alhabia, adopted on 28 April 1992 and revised on 13 December 1995, as suggested on 8 June 1995, are prescribed by Decree No. 367, adopted on 29 July 1996 by the Government of Andalusia and published on 29 August 1996 in the official gazette of Andalusia, No. 99, p. 10,664 (text). This was confirmed by a Decree 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 symbols are described as follows:

Flag: Rectangular panel in proportions 1:2, vertically divided in the middle, green at hoist and yellow at fly. The green part charged with a yellow jug, in height 1/2 of the flag's hoist and in length proportional to the requirement of the design.

Coat of arms: Vert a jug or in base waves argent and azure. The shield surmounted with a Royal crown closed.

The jug refers to the traditional pottery workshop of Alhabia, of provincial and regional fame [Diario de Almería, 11 March 2010). The waves and the green background allude to agriculture, the main source of income for the municipality..
[Símbolos de las Entidades Locales de Andalucía. Almería (PDF file)]

Ivan Sache, 14 May 2014