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Arija (Municipality, Castilla y León, Spain)

Last modified: 2016-04-09 by ivan sache
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Flag of Arija - Image by Ivan Sache, 9 March 2014

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Presentation of Arija

The municipality of Arija (156 inhabitants in 2012; 697 ha; municipal website) is located in the north of the Province of Burgos, on the border with Cantabria, 45 km from Saldaña and 100 km from Burgos.

Arija was in the Middle Ages part of Alfoz de Santa Gadea. The village developed in the 19th century during the industrialization of the Campoo district, boosted by the establishment of the Bilbao - La Robla railway line and the building in 1906 of the Cristalería Española glassworks. Just before the Civil War, the village had nearly 4,000 inhabitants; the new borough of Vilga was established close to the factory.
The municipality of Arija was established in 1928. The building of the Ebro Reservoir (6,253 ha; 1921-1945; inaugurated in 1952) dramatically changed the life of the villagers, as did the closure of the glassworks on 31 March 1953. Deemed obsolete, the factory was superseded by a more modern one established in Avilés, where most workers moved.

Ivan Sache, 9 March 2014

Symbols of Arija

The flag and arms of Arija (municipal website; Escudos y Banderas de la Provincia de Burgos website) were adopted by the Municipal Council in 1996.

The flag is vertically divided green-yellow-blue with the municipal coat of arms in the middle.
Green symbolizes the woods, yellow the sand, and blue water, river Ebro and its marshes.

The coat of arms of Arija is "Per fess, 1a. Argent a yew vert, 1b. Gules two bishop's staffs or, 3. Azure a bridge argent over waves argent and azure. The shield surmounted by a Royal Spanish crown".
The Mount Hijedo yew (photo) represents the woods.
The two croziers recall two brothers native of Arija who were appointed Bishop and Archbishop, respectively, on the same day, 22 May 1886. Francisco Gómez de Salazar y Lucio-Villegas (1827-1906; biography), Bishop of León (1886-1904), was also Preacher of King Alfonso XII (1875) and member of the Royal Academy of Moral and Political Sciences (1885-1903). Manuel Gómez de Salazar y Lucio-Villegas (1824-1893; biography), Archbishop of Burgos (1886-1893), was previously Bishop of Sigüenza (1875) and Málaga (1979, following the transfer of the bishopric of Sigüenza).
The bridge represents the bridge over the Ebro marshes (photo).

Previously, the municipality used the coat of arms of Castilla y León, as prescribed by a Decree adopted on 24 November 1994 by the Municipal Council, validated on 9 February 1995 by the Government of Castilla y León, and published on 15 February 1995 in the official gazette of Castilla y León, No. 32 (text).

Ivan Sache, 9 March 2014