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Luz Commune (Portugal)

Freguesia da Luz, Concelho de Mourão, Distrito de Évora

Last modified: 2014-07-31 by klaus-michael schneider
Keywords: luz(mourao) | castle(red) | crown(marian) | base(wavy) |
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[Luz (Mourão) commune] 2:3 image by António Martins-Tuválkin, 4 Jan 2006
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Introduction of Luz

Since 8 May 2005, the villages of Luz (Alentejo, Portugal) and Les Salles-sur-Verdon (Upper-Provence, France) are twinned. In 1974, the village of Les Salles-sur-Verdon was suppressed in order to built the artificial lake of Sainte-Croix and rebuilt on the lakeshore; Aldeia da Luz was suppressed in 2002 in order to build the lake of Alqueva. Similarly, the new Aldeia da Luz was rebuilt some meters above the highest level of the Alqueva reservoir.
During the official twinning ceremony, which took place in Les Salles, the Mayors (this, by the way, raises some doubts in my mind that the proper word to refer to the president of the communal government is "mayor". I'm under the impression that a mayor is a municipal president and only that. And since in Portugal a commune (or "freguesi"") is a subdivision of a municipality) of the two municipalities, Francisco Oliveira (Luz) and André Coldeboeuf (Les Salles) exchanged the municipal coat of arms. Coldeboeuf said: "Henceforth, Luz will be the light shining on the blazon of Les Salles", alluding to the meaning of "luz" in Portuguese, "he light" Oliveira was also offered a picture of the ancient village of Les Salles.
Following a tradition dating back to the Gauls (see Astérix), the day ended with a big dinner, with musicians (which was not always the case in Astérix' time), but I hope none of those musicians finished the night hanging from a nearby tree with his mouth tied up with a napkin. A road sign saying "Aldeia da Luz, 1,287 km"" was also inaugurated in the village.
Ivan Sache and Jorge Candeias, 4 Jan 2006

About the Flag

The flag of Luz is blue with coat of arms of the village in the middle, as can be seen on a picture on the webpage dedicated to the ceremony : (found by Pascal Vagnat) Click on the red link "Une image pour la postérité ! " (A picture for history) to get a bigger image.
Ivan Sache, 4 Jan 2006

Coat of arms

[Luz (Mourão) commune CoA] image by Sérgio Horta, 10 Mar 2008

The coat of arms of Luz is yellow with a castle made of three red towers masoned silver with port and windows also silver (not the coincidental similarity with the three-towered castle of Les Salles), standing over three waves blue-white-blue, and surmonted by a blue crown topped with a six-pointed star, the shield is surmonted by a silver mural crown and lies on a scroll with the name of the village "LUZ - MOURÃO", for the commune is part of the Mourão municipality and there are other communes with that name in other portuguese municipalities. Tavira is an example. In Portuguese subnational heraldry the arms are always complete with the crown (almost always mural) and the scroll, even if there are very, very rare occasions where they are not used and only the shield (or, more frequently, the shield and the crown) show up.
Ivan Sache, António Martins-Tuválkin and Jorge Candeias, 4 Jan 2006 / 10 Mar 2008

Greater and minor arms in subnational heraldry are neither mentioned nor depicted and the law may be interpreted this way, but according to own observation the same law roots itself in the best heraldic tradition (or so says the preamble), and therefore things like minor arms (shield only) are implicitly acceptable, even if not used in practice nor expressly prescribed. But in portuguese national heraldry the term minor arms refers to the arms as it appears in the national flag, i.e., with supporters (the armilliary sphere), not to the shield-only version. The full arms include laurel leaves and a scroll with the national motto and pops up in documentation and in military flags.
António Martins-Tuválkin and Jorge Candeias, 5 Jan 2006

"Luz" means "light" (i.e., the opposite of darkness) and comes from the patron saint, the marian appelation Our Lady of the Light. This is somehow depicted in the arms, for the crown is blazoned as a marian crown (topped with a 6-point star).

Flag and arms adopted and published in the official journal Diário da República: III Série in 2004.02.13.
António Martins-Tuválkin, 10 Mar 2008

Presentation of Luz

Luz Commune is one of the three communes of the Mourão Municipality (q.v.), it was submerged in 2002 due to a large dam lake (Alqueva Reservoir) and the population was relocated in a purpose-built new village. This commune had 373 inhabitants in 2001 (and just 200 inhabitants in 2011) and covers 50,90 km².
António Martins-Tuválkin,, 10 Mar 2008

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