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Cheles (Municipality, Extremadura, Spain)

Last modified: 2020-10-18 by ivan sache
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Presentation of Cheles

The municipality of Cheles (1,176 inhabitants in 2019; 4,790 ha; municipal website) is located on the border with Portugal, 50 km south-west of Badajoz and 30 km south-west of Olivenza

Cheles was already settled in the Lower and Median Paleolithic (300,000-80,000 BC), as evidenced by cut stone artifacts found on the terraces of river Guadiana and now exhibited in the Badajoz Archeological Museum.
Before the building of the Alqueva dam, excavations performed 4 km from Cheles downtown in the median valley of Guadiana revealed a big settlement dated to 3,000 BC; inside the heavily fortified site, a circular are was itself surrounded by a wall and a deep ditch. The settlement was surrounded by tumuli of tholos type.

Cheles was reconquered from the Moors in 1231. The village was ruled by the Knight Templars from 1277 to the suppression of the Order in 1312.
In the 16th century, Juan Manuel de Villena y Silva, 3rd lord of Cheles, ordered to relocate the old village southwards, close to the Guadiana. The old fortress was abandoned while a brand new one was erected in 1508.
Destroyed in 1843 during the war with Portugal, Cheles remained uninhabited until 1663; only a few of the original inhabitants came back, the other being replaced by Portuguese colonists.

Ivan Sache, 14 March 2020

Flag of Cheles

The flag (video) and arms of Cheles, adopted on 13 February 2003 by the Municipal Council and validated on 8 May 2003 by the Assessing Council of Honors and Distinctions of the Government of Extremadura, are prescribed by an Order issued on 12 May 2003 by the Government of Extremadura and published on 24 May 2003 in the official gazette of Extremadura, No. 60, pp. 7,518-7,519 (text).
The symbols are described as follows:

Flag: Rectangular, in proportions 2:3. Divided by a white and blue bend wavy. Red at fly, white at hoist. Charged in the center with the municipal coat of arms.
Coat of arms: Per bend sinister wavy azure and argent, 1. Gules a winged arm holding a sword argent hilted or, 2. Argent a cross patty gules. The shield surmounted by a Royal crown closed.

Ivan Sache, 14 March 2020