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Librilla (Municipality, Region of Murcia, Spain)

Last modified: 2016-04-25 by ivan sache
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Flag of Librilla - Image by "Sapoproductions" (Wikimedia Commons), 5 May 2015

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Presentation of Librilla

The municipality of Librilla (4,900 inhabitants in 2014; 5,600 ha; municipal website) is located in the center of the Region of Murcia, 25 km of Murcia.

Librilla was first documented in 1154 by the Arab geographer Al-Idrisi, as Hissan or Lymbraya. The name of the town means "the Spectre's Ravine", referring to the deep ravine of river Oron that splits the town into two parts. After the revolt of Infante Juan Manuel against Alfonso XI, the town was transferred for a while to the Council of Murcia; eventually pardoned in 1337, the Infante recovered all his domains, Librilla included.

Ivan Sache, 5 May 2015

Symbols of Librilla

The flag of Librilla (municipal website; photo, photo, photo) is golden-yellow with the municipal coat of arms in the middle.
Golden yellow is the colour of lemon, the main source of income of the municipality.

The coat of arms of Librilla is prescribed by Decree No. 649, adopted on 5 March 1976 by the Spanish Government and published on 31 March 1976 in the Spanish official gazette, No. 78, p. 8,508 (text).
The arms are described as follows:

Coat of arms: Quarterly 1. Gules a lion rampant or, 2. Vert a ravine argent, 3. Argent three fleurs-de-lis gules, 4. Gules two castles or. The shield surmounted by a Royal crown closed.

The lion is a symbol of nobleness and great-mindedness, recalling that the inhabitants of the town remained loyal to King Alfonso XI during the rebellion of Juan Manuel.
The ravine alludes to the etymology of Librilla, related to the Arabic word "Limbraya", meaning "the spectre's ravine" or "the ghost's ravine". It also represents the deep ravine that splits the town into two parts.
The fleurs-de-lis represent the religious faith of the inhabitants.
The two castles recall that Librilla was a fortified town watching the border with the Nasrid Kingdom of Granada.
The ravine was substituted to the hare featured in the older representations of the arms, which was derived from an erroneous etymology, based on the Latin word luporellam ("a small hare").

The Royal Academy of History validated the proposed coat of arms. These arms are based on a design used in the town at least for two centuries, which justifies their approval as municipal arms, although they do not represent the Chacón and Fajardo lineages, founders of the domain in 1491. The 2nd quarter of the original arms, quite dubious, was substituted by a more significant representation of the natural environment of Librilla. The Academy expressed doubts on the literal interpretation of the charges given in the supporting memoir.
[Boletín de la Real Academia de la Historia, 1977, 184: 3, 654-655]

Ivan Sache, 5 May 2015