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Abarán (Municipality, Region of Murcia, Spain)

Last modified: 2016-04-25 by ivan sache
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Presentation of Abarán

The municipality of Abarán (13,086 inhabitants in 2014; 11,494 ha; municipal website) is located in the north of the Region of Murcia, 5 km of Cieza and 40 km of Murcia.
Abarán was first documented, as Fauaran, in 1281, when the place was granted by King of Castile Sancho IV to the Order of St. James. The etymology of Abarán is disputed, either from Berber hawwara or from much older roots, aran / navaran, referring to a valley.
Abarán was granted the status of villa in 1588.

The Big Noria (Noria Grande), originally erected in Abarán in 1805 and rebuilt in 1951 by Nicomedes Caballero, is the biggest in Europe. The wheel, 11.92 m in diameter, lifts up 25 liters of water per second, which allows the irrigation of 155 tahúllas (in the south-east of Spain, a tahúlla represents 0.1118 ha). The neighbouring Noria de la Hoya de Don García, originally erected in 1816 and rebuilt in 1951, too, has a wheel of 8. 20 m in diameter, which allows the irrigation of 233 tahúllas. The Candelón noria, originally erected in 1850 and revamped in 1968, irrigates 15 tahúllas. The Ñorica noria, the smallest of the Abarán norias, has a wheel of only 5 m in diameter, which allows the irrigation of 8 tahúllas. Finally, the Félix Cayetano noria, originally erected in the beginning of the 20th century and totally rebuilt in 2003, irrigates 30 tahúllas.
The Cervantes Theater of Abarán was designed in 1926 by the architect José Antonio Rodríguez, as one of the first buildings in the Region of Murcia completely built on an iron skeleton, therefore earthquake- proof. Mostly used as a cinema, the Cervantes Theater was eventually closed in 1984 and completely restored in 2000 by the architect José Miguel Templado.

Ivan Sache, 22 April 2015

Symbols of Abarán

The flag of Abarán, adopted on 11 December 1986 by the Municipal Council, is prescribed by a Decree adopted on 25 August 1987 by the Government of the Region of Murcia and published on 28 August 1987 in the official gazette of the Region of Murcia, No. 196, p. 3,613 (text).
The flag is described as follows:

Flag: Tierced in base. White with a flag green stripe, charged with a celestial blue stripe of half width. In the middle of the flag is placed the coat of arms of the town, as approved on 12 December 1958 by the Council of Ministers, "Argent a Cross of St. James over waves argent and azure in dexter canton a crescent azure. The shield surmounted by a Lord's coronet."

The flag was designed by Luis Lisón Hernández.
The Royal Academy of History validated the flag, recommending to substitute the lord's coronet - represented as a Marquis' coronet on the drawing - by the adequate Royal crown closed.
[Boletín de la Real Academia de la Historia, 1987, 184, 3:565]

The coat of arms of Abarán is prescribed by a Decree adopted on 12 December 1958 by the Spanish Government and published on 24 December 1958 in the Spanish official gazette, No. 307, p. 11,719 (text).
The coat of arms is not described in the Decree.

The coat of arms of Abarán (municipal website) is "Argent a Cross of St. James over waves argent and azure in dexter canton a crescent azure. The shield surmounted by a Lord's coronet."
The design of the arms is based on a memoir written in 1958 by Antonio de Hoyos Ruiz, Professor of Philosophy and Literature at the University of Murcia, also Librarian and Archivist of the Provincial Council of Murcia. At the time, Abarán used during its festival a coat of arms designed by the noted painter José María Almela (1900-1989), featuring the Cross of St. James, two towers and a bridge, surrounded by the motto "UNOS PASARON OTROS QUEDARON" (Some Left, Other Remained). The Municipal Council unanimously approved on 14 April 1958 the proposal submitted by Antonio de Hoyos. The proposal was forwarded on 31 December 1958 to the Royal Academy of History.
The Academy introduced some changes to the proposed design: the cross was moved to the center of the shield, the tree was removed, as was the motto "VIVE SIEMPRE LA PAZ DEL VALLE". The Royal crown was substituted for a 12-pointed lord's coronet since the town never belonged to the Royal domain. Finally, the field was made argent, the colour of the Order of St. James, instead of or. The cross recalls that the Order of St. James ruled the place from the 13th to the 19th century. The crescent azure refers to the Muslim rule. The waves represent river Segura.

Ivan Sache, 22 April 2015