Last modified: 2011-04-02 by peter hans van den muijzenberg
Keywords: gandía | valencia | tree: olive (green) | lozengy: (red-yellow) | lozenges: 24 (red) |
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The municipality of Gandía (in Spanish, Gandía; 81,950 inhabitants in 2009; 6080 ha) is located 70 km south of Valencia. A significant cultural (university) and commercial center in the 15th-16th centuries and the capital of a Duchy, Gandía is a today big coastal town mostly living from tourism.
The Duchy of Gandía was created by King Martin I of Aragon, Valencia, Mallorca, Sardinia and Sicily for Alfonso of Aragon and Foix in 1399. Transfered to the Spanish crown in 1461, the Duchy of Gandía was purchased in 1485 by Roderic de Borja (aka Rodrigo Borgia, and Pope Alexander VI) for his son Pere Lluís; the title of Duke of Gandía was recognized by Pope Sixtus IV in 1481. In 1520, King Charles I included the Duke of Gandía among the 25 Grandees of Spain. The Borgia house of Gandía went extinct in 1748 with the 12th Duchess, Maria Anna Antònia Lluisa de Borja Aragó i Centelles, and the title was transfered to the Count-Duke of Benavente.
Gandía is the birth town of the writer Joanot Martorell (1413-1468), whose book "Tirant lo Blanch" is sometimes considered as the first modern novel in Europe. Cervantes is said to have considered the book as the best chivalric novel in the world, or the best book in the world (depending on the sources).
Ivan Sache, 08 Mar 2009
The municipal website of Gandía, 5 March 2009, reports that the Heraldry Technical Council of the Valencian Government ("Consell Tècnic d'Heràldica de la Generalitat Valenciana") has validated the addition of the coat of arms to the flag of Gandía. A purple flag has been used, traditionally, in Gandía since 1520, according to documents kept in the municipal archives.
Ivan Sache, 08 Mar 2009In "Las Provincias," Abelardo Herrero adds a few details on the flag. The coat of arms, placed in the middle of the flag, was adopted in 1997. According to the chronicles, the flag of Gandía was blessed on Saturday 14 September 1596. Sketches of the lost "Recorts" (Records) of the collegiate church have allowed Antonio Martí to revive this forgotten event. The text, however, does not contain any detail on the flag (dimensions, colours, material, quality).
Source: Las Provincias, 13 Sep 2009
Ivan Sache, 14 Sep 2009"Las Provincias" reports that the Municipal Council of Gandía amended the flag on 31 May 2010; the Duke's coronet surmounting the coat of arms was suppressed, since Gandía was granted the status of Town before the creation of the Duchy. The modification was approved by the Government of the Valencian Community and the Heraldry and Vexillology Council.
The purple colour of the flag shall be Pantone 241, the new official colour of the town; this colour is closer to magenta than to blue, differentiating it from the colour of the Holy Week, lilac blue.
Source: Las Provincias, 01 Jun 2010
Ivan Sache, 05 Jun 2010
image by Ivan Sache, 08 Mar 2009
The coat of arms of Gandía, surmounted by the crown of the old duchy, shows the castle of Bayren argent, standing on two waves of the same representing the Mediterranean Sea and a six-pointed star argent placed between the towers of the castle, with the lowest point longer than the other. This particular star represents the patron saint of the town, St. Francesc de Borja (aka St. Francis Borgia, 1510-1572, canonized in 1670), Duke of Gandía and third Superior General of the Society of Jesus (1565-1572). The star might recall that the saint was said to be surrounded by light rays when he preached and prayed. The colour specifications are given as:
Source: Municipal website of Gandía, 05 Mar 2009, including:
image by Eduardo Panizo Gómez (from Vexilla Hispanica), 08 Mar 2009
Eduardo Panizo Gómez' "Vexilla Hispanica" website shows a flag of Gandía with a similar design, but the coat of arms is there surrounded by two scrolls bearing the town's title and motto (Sic luceant opera tua" in Latin, "So shine your achievements.")
Source: Vexilla Hispanica