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Municipality of Sobrescobio (Asturias, Spain)

Last modified: 2015-07-28 by ivan sache
Keywords: sobrescobio | asturias | cross: fimbriated (white) | cross: st. jacob's | st. jacob's cross | order of santiago | tower (golden) | castle (golden) |
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[Sobrescobio (Asturias, Spain)]
image by Eduardo Panizo, exported to GIF by Santiago Dotor, 12 Sep 2005

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The municipality of Sobrescobio (in Asturian, Sobrescobiu; 876 inhabitants in 2006; 6,943 ha) is located in the south-eastern mountains of Asturias. The whole municipal territory is part of the Natural Park of Redes, registered by UNESCO as a Biosphere Reserve. In 1929, the municipal seat was transfered to La Polina (today with only 3 inhabitants) to Rioseco (Riosecu; 352 inh.)

The name of Sobrescobio comes from Latin "super scopulum," in Spanish "sobre el escobio," which means "over the gorge," here the narrow gorge of river Nalón commanding the entrance of the municipal territory. The Romans built there a fortress, several times revamped by their successors and known as Castle Aceales or Castle Villamorey (Villamorei, dominating a small village – 94 inh. – whose name recalls the Moorish period). Probably rebuilt by King Alfonso I in the 8th century, the castle has completely disappeared except a tower, locally known as "el torreón / torrexón."

The parish of Oviñana was mentioned, as Aubiniana, in a donation made by Dame Ildoncia to the monastery of Sahagún in 980, but the name of Sobrescobio did not appear until 1185, when King Ferdinand II transferred the castle of Sobrescobio, with all its dependencies, to the Order of Santiago. The chart granted by King Alfonso XI in 1344 prescribed the creation of a settlement in the "Coto"(group of villages) of Oviñana.

Sobrescobio was granted the municipal status in 1504, its complete autonomy being confirmed in 1568. In 1598, Sobrescobio was registered as member #45 of the General Government of the Principality (Junta General del Principado).

Source: Municipal website

Ivan Sache, 13 Dec 2008


The municipal flag of Sobrescobio has the charges of the municipality´s CoA, on a dark green (V +) field. These charges are a golden tower, representing the Villamorey fortified tower, and the Cross of the Order of Santiago (St. James).

Jose C. Alegria, 12 Sep 2005

On 10 September 2009, "La Nueva España" reported the adoption of the flag of Sobrescobio, which was hoisted on the balcon of the town hall. The flag, approved by the Council of the Public Administrations of the Principality, is emerald green with the yellow tower of Villamorey and the red Cross of the Order of Santiago. The proposal made by the Asturian Academy of Heraldry and Genealogy was approved by the Municipal Council in 2001. According to Mayor Marcelino Martínez, the long delay between the adoption of the flag and its hoisting is due to "bureaucratic problems within the Municipal Council."

Source: La Nueva España, 10 Sep 2009, with colour photo

Ivan Sache, 13 Dec 2008

In "La Voz de Asturias," Carlos Mier states that the flag has been indeed used "illegally" since its adoption, with the hope of an institutional regularization of its status, which was achieved on 9 September 2009. The official description of the flag is:

Rectangular in emerald green colour with, as shown on the municipal coat of arms, in the middle a yellow tower representing the castle of Villamorey, masoned black; behind the tower the Cross of Santiago fimbriated white; the length of the flag shall be 3/2 its hoist and the emblem shall cover 3/4 of the flag hoist.

Source: La Voz de Asturias, 10 Sep 2009, with black and white photo

On the real flag shown by the aforementioned sources, the port and windows of the castle are yellow and not black as on the image shown above.

Ivan Sache, 14 Dec 2008

Coat of Arms

The coat of arms of Sobrescobio, as shown on the municipal website, is:

Per pale 1. Vert a tower or on waves azure and argent, 2. Or a Cross of Santiago gules. The shield surmounted by a crown.

Source: Municipal website

Ivan Sache, 14 Dec 2008