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Peal de Becerro (Municipality, Andalusia, Spain)

Last modified: 2018-03-18 by ivan sache
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Flag of Peal de Becerro - Image from the Símbolos de Jaén website, 11 March 2018

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Presentation of Peal de Becerro

The municipality of Peal de Becerro (5,290 inhabitants in 2017; 14,700 ha; municipal website) is located 80 km east of Jaén.
The municipality is made of the town of Peal de Becerro, of the villages of Toya and Hornos de Peal, and of the exclave of El Almicerán, located in the Sierra de Cazorla, 60 km south-east of Peal de Becerro, on the border with the Province of Granada.

Peal de Becerro became a significant settlement only after the Christian Reconquest, superseding Toya.
Tugia was listed by Ptolemy in his census of the Iberian towns of Oretania. The Toya Sepulchral Chamber (5th-4th centuries BC) is the biggest excavated until now. The quadrangular monument is divided into three longitudinal naves, with a single access in the western side. It was probably the mausoleum of an Iberian prince; the wheels of a war cart and vases, decorated by the Toya Painter, have been retrieved.
The town was surrounded by other, smaller towns, such as La Loma del Gato, El Cerrillo de la Fuente de la Pioja, and El Cerrillo de los Palomares. The Tugia fortified oppidum remained inhabited after the Roman conquest. Its stones were reused in the Middle Ages to erect a castle, mentioned for the first time by the Arab geographer al-Idrisi, as Hisn Tuya, depending on Cazorla. The castle was destroyed in 1224 by King Ferdinand III, who left only a big tower. On 20 January 1231, Toya and Quesada were transferred to the Archbishop of Toledo.

Ivan Sache, 11 March 2018

Symbols of Peal de Becerro

The flag and arms of Peal de Becerro, adopted on 2 August 2017 by the Municipal Council and submitted on 5 February 2018 to the Directorate General of the Local Administration, are prescribed by a Resolution adopted on 9 February 2018 by the Directorate General of the Local Administration and published on 15 February 2018 in the official gazette of Andalusia, No. 33, pp. 138-139 (text).
The symbols are described as follows:

Flag: Rectangular panel, in dimensions 1.5 longer from hoist to fly than wide, in proportions 2:3; horizontally divided into two stripes, the upper olive green and the lower yellow, in width 2/3 and 1/3 of the fly, respectively. Charged in the fifth part at hoist with five blue waves and in the third part at fly, standing on the lower stripe, two towers gules, masoned, in height 2/5 of the flag's width and in width 1/3 of its fly.
Coat of arms: Shield in Spanish shape, quadrangular, rounded-off in base, in proportions six units in height on five units in width. On a field gules, a calf skin (peal de becerro) proper charged in chief with a cross patriarchal or surrounded dexter and sinister by a key argent in pale in base two caldrons proper surmounted by the keys. The shield surmounted by the Royal crown closed of the coat of arms of Spain [description skipped].

The symbols were designed by Juan Carlo Mata Carmona.
The upper stripe represents the olive groves and the mountain environment, while the lower stripe represents the grain crops that surround the town.
The five waves represent the confluence of Guadalquivir and Guadiana Menor and the other three rivers that water the municipality, Guadalentin, Toya and Peal. The two stripes in the yellow part represent also irrigation.
The towers represent the town of Peal via its landmarks, the Mutilated Tower (smaller, without crenelates), and the Clockwork's Tower (taller, with crenelates).
The coat of arms is the "rehabilitation" of the design in traditional use. The original, Latin cross was substituted by a patriarchal cross.
[ Europa Press, 25 June 2017]

The two towers belonged to a fortress that was burned down in 1361 during a Muslim raid.
The Clockwork's Tower, erected at the end of the 14th century, is quadrangular, 12 m in height. The Mutilated Tower, erected in the 13th-14th centuries, is only 7 m in height; it was restored in 1987 by the architect Luis Carlos Gutiérrez Calatrava.
[Municipal website]

Ivan Sache, 11 March 2018