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Villa de Otura (Municipality, Andalusia, Spain)

Last modified: 2015-10-18 by ivan sache
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Flag of Villa de Otura - Image from the Símbolos de Granada website, 15 May 2014

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Presentation of Villa de Otura

The municipality of Villa de Otura (5,883 inhabitants in 2007; 2,400 ha; municipal website) is located 10 km south of Granada. Villa de Otura is on the southern limit of the territory known as "La Campana", on which the sound of the bell (in Spanish, campana) of the Watch Tower of the Alhambra of Granada can be heard.
The official name of the municipality was changed from Otura to Villa de Otura by Decree No. 47, adopted on 9 April 2013 by the Government of Andalusia and published on 25 April 2013 in the official gazette of Andalusia, No. 80, pp. 10-1 (text). The change, approved on 24 February 2012 by the Municipal Council, was submitted on 5 March 2012 and revized on 1 October 2012; the change was approved on 7 September 2012 by the Council of the Granda Province, on 12 November 2012 by the Ministry of Public Administration, on 10 December 2012 by the Andalusian Council of Local Concertation, on 25 January 2013 by the Council of Local Administration and Institutional Relations, and on 22 February 2013 by the Head of Judicial Assessment.

After the reconquest of Granada, the Catholic Monarchs granted Villa de Otura to Muhammed el Mulleh, a Nasrid diplomat who had negotiated the surrender of Granada. Shortly after, King Ferdinand transferred the domain to the Royal convent of Santa Cruz, which retroceded it to the king a few years later.
Villa de Otura proudly presents itself as the place of one of the most famous episodes of the Christian reconquest, the Moor's Last Sigh. After the fall of the Nasrid Kingdom of Granada, the last king, Boabdil, left the town with his court; when reaching the Pass of the Moor's Sigh, located at 860 m asl, south of Villa de Otura, Boabdil looked back to his cherished birth town and could not held back a loud sigh. His fiery mother told him: "Now you weep like a woman over what you could not defend as a man". The event was popularized by the romantic writers in the 19th century. François-René de Chateaubriand (1768-1848) described the Moor's Last Sigh in his novel Aventures du dernier Abencérage (1828). More recently, Salman Rushdie published a novel called The Moor's Last Sigh (1996), including a recurrent evocation of the event. The Spanish historians and the tradition picture Boabdil, "The Child", as a coward, but the historical reality is different; he carried on the struggle against the Christians in Morocco until killed in a battle, years later, aged 71.

Ivan Sache, 22 July 2009

Symbols of Villa de Otura

The flag and arms of Villa de Otura, approved on 31 May 2005 by the Municipal Council and submitted on 2 June 2005 to the Directorate General of the Local Administration, are prescribed by a Decree adopted on 20 June 2005 by the Directorate General of the Local Administration and published on 4 July 2005 in the official gazette of Andalusia, No. 128, p. 35 (text).
The symbols are described as follows:

Flag: Panel in proportions 2:3 in hoist and length, respectively. Divided in five horizontal stripes with the following proportions: 1/8, 1/8, 1/2, 1/8 and 1/8, with colours blue-white-green-white-blue, respectively; in the central stripe at hoist, a circle made of eight white tears.
Coat of arms: Shield of Spanish shape. Quarterly, 1. Or a bridge sable masoned argent on waves azure and argent, 2. Vert a tower or, 3. Vert, a wheat spike and a tobacco leaf all or crossed per saltire, 4. Or the bust of King Boabdil, shedding three tears, all proper. Grafted in base, azure a pomegranate or faceted gules. The shield surmounted with a Royal crown open.

The waves symbolize the tributaries of river Dílar. The tower represents the Nasrid fortified manor erected in the 16th century. Wheat and tobacco are particularily developped in the area. The fourth quarter of the shield evokes the Moor's Last Sigh. The pomegranate (granada) represents the Province of Granada.
[Símbolos de las Entidades Locales de Andalucía. Granada (PDF file)]

Ivan Sache, 27 June 2009