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Alburquerque (Municipality, Extremadura, Spain)

Last modified: 2020-10-06 by ivan sache
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Flag of Alburquerque - Image by Ivan Sache, 14 March 2020


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Presentation of Alburquerque

The municipality of Alburquerque (5,343 inhabitants in 2019 vs. 10,852 in 1950; 72,320 ha; municipal website) is located 50 km north of Badajoz.

Alburquerque was, according to the Piscator Salmanticense (1782), founded in 690 BC by the Vettones; nothing has been found yet to support this statement.
Ferdinand II seized the town from the Almohads in 1166 after a long siege and granted it to the Order of Saint James in 1171. Conquered by the Arabs in 1184, Alburquerque was eventually seized back by Alfonso IX. The town changed hands for half a century, until eventually incorporated to the crown of Castile by Ferdinand III, who commissioned his relative Alonso Téllez de Meneses to re-settle the area in 1217.
Alburquerque subsequently experienced abuses committed by the Infantes of Aragón, Henry and Peter. To re-establish order and law, John II shared his domains among the members of his Council; the Town and County of Alburquerque, as well as the title of Master of the Order of Saint James, were offered on 16 November 1432 to his favorite, Álvaro de Luna.

In November 1464, Henry IV erected Beltrán de la Cueva as Duke of Alburquerque, causing the wrath of Juan de Torres, commander of the fortress. The quarrel ended in 1472 with the siege and surrender of the town. The 19th Duke of Alburquerque, Grandee of Spain, is Juan Miguel Osorio y Bertrán de Lis (b. 1958), also 8th Duke of Algete, Grandee of Spain, 20th Marquess of Alcañices, Grandee of Spain, 12th Count of la Crozana, Grandee of Spain, etc.
During the reign of Philip II, Alburquerque played a key role during the Peninsular Wars. In the aftermath of the proclamation of the independence of Portugal, the fortress was seized in 1705 by he Anglo-Portuguese forces; the treaty validated by the Cortes of Madrid and Lisbon in 1715 restored Spanish sovereignty over Alburquerque, which was achieved the next year.

The castle of Alburquerque, originally built in the 13th century and completely revamped in the 15th century by Álvaro de Luna and Beltrán de la Cueva, was registered as a national monument in 1924.

Ivan Sache, 14 March 2020


Flag of Alburquerque

The flag of Alburquerque (photo), adopted on 31 October 1996 and 23 October 1997 by the Municipal Council and validated on 23 September 1997, 6 February and 5 October 1998 by the Assessing Council of Honors and Distinctions of the Government of Extremadura, are prescribed by an Order issued on 6 November 1998 by the Government of Extremadura and published on 5 December 1998 in the official gazette of Extremadura, No. 140, pp. 9,041-9,042 (text).
The flag is described as follows:

Flag: Tierced at hoist [vertically divided 1:2], the first third white with the municipal coat of arms, the other two thirds red with a reversed crescent argent.

The crescent comes from the canting arms of &Acute;lvaro de Luna (luna, "a moon"), "Gules a crescent reversed chequy sable and or a base of the same".

The coat of arms of Alburquerque, adopted on 31 October 1996 by the Municipal Council and validated on 16 July 1997 by the Assessing Council of Honors and Distinctions of the Government of Extremadura, are prescribed by an Order issued on 26 September 1997 by the Government of Extremadura and published on 6 November 1997 in the official gazette of Extremadura, No. 129, p. 7,672-7,673 (text).
The coat of arms is described as follows:

Coat of arms: Gules a holly oak argent fructed proper the trunk surrounded by two eight-pointed stars. The shield surmounted by a Royal crown closed.

The oak makes the arms canting, referring to the alleged etymology of the town's name, Latin Alba Quercus (White Oak).

Ivan Sache, 14 March 2020