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Villanueva Mesía (Municipality, Andalusia, Spain)

Last modified: 2015-10-18 by ivan sache
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Flag of Villanueva Mesía - Image by Klaus-Michael Schneider, 14 May 2014

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Presentation of Villanueva Mesía

The municipality of Villanueva Mesía (2,045 inhabitants in 2014; 1,118 ha; municipal website) is located 40 km west of Granada.

Villanueva Mesía is locally believed to have emerged near a "venta del río", therefore an inn located near a river, here Genil. This could be the "cabo de las ventas" (seat of the inns), part of the land granted to Alvaro de Luna on 7 December 1490. The domain of Villanueva Mesía was probably established on 30 October 1615, when Francisco Mesía acquired the land from the Municipality of Granada. The sale was approved on 17 May 1616 by King Philip III. Nothing happened for the next years, probably because of the illness of the buyer, who eventually died in 1619. The domain was transferred in 1620 to Alonso de Loaysa.
The Ensenada Cadaster (1751) shows the ferry that crossed river Genil. Owned by the carter Francisco Escamilla, the ferry yielded an annual income of 550 reales. Established in the 16th century, the ferry was operated untl the middle of the 19th century, when replaced by a bridge. The villagers did not pay the toll, why the foreigners did. The last guardian of the bridge, Antonio Guerrero, aka Antoñico el de la Puente, was equipped with a gun, which convinced the reluctant travellers to pay the fee. Suppressed by a flood in 1924, the bridge was rebuilt only in 1969. The ferry yielded to the town the colloquial name of Villanueva de la Barca.

Ivan Sache, 14 May 2014

Symbols of Villanueva Mesía

The flag and arms of Villanueva Mesía, adopted on 14 November 2002 by the Municipal Council, are prescribed by Decree No. 53, adopted on 18 February 2003 by the Government of Andalusia and published on 6 March 2003 in the official gazette of Andalusia, No. 44, p. 4,906 (text). Originally adopted on 29 Apeil 2002 by the Municipal Cpuncil, the symbols were rejected by the Royal Academy of Córdoba. The final Decree 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, in proportions 2:3, made of three equal horizontal stripes, in turn, yellow, blue, and yellow.
Coat of arms: Argent a bridge vert ensigned by a town gules made of four houses and a central arch in fess a pallet wavy azure from the bridge's arcg to the shield's point. The shield surmounted by a Royal crown closed.

The flag is explained in the Preamble of the Decree as derived from the coat of arms of the Mesía lineage, "Or three fesses azure". This lineage, originating in the Mexía family, came from Galicia to support King Ferdinand III the Saint.

Ivan Sache & Klaus-Michael Schneider, 14 May 2014