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Tíjola (Municipality, Andalusia, Spain)

Last modified: 2014-03-23 by ivan sache
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Flag of Tíjola - Image by "Nethunter" (Wikimedia Commons), 25 July 2009

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Presentation of Tíjola

The municipality of Tíjola (3,961 inhabitants in 2008; 6,724 ha; municipal website) is located in the upper valley of river Almanzora, 100 km north of Almería.

A Neolithic idol, found in Tíjola by the parish priest Miguel Bolea y Sintas, is exhibited at the National Archeological Museum of Madrid. The French paleontologist Henri Breuil described the idol in his record of the "schematic" rock paintings of the Iberic Peninsula (Las pinturas rupestres esquemáticas de la Península Ibérica, 1934) as follows: "Tíjola dolmen (Almería), soapstone plane statuette, 15 cm in height, the rectangular head supported by a wide neck placed on angulous shoulders, from which hang two wide arms parallel to the body, a relatively small bust with a cloth progressively increasing down to the missing feet".
The Carthaginians founded here a significant settlement to exploit copper and iron, which was subesquently superseded by a Roman town, of which three villae from the imperial period have been excavated; in 1977, a marble stone with writing confirmed the name of the Roman town as Tagili (republica tagilitana). After the Moorish conquest, Abderram&´n I built the fortress of Tachola (8th century); in the 10th century, Abderram&´n III built a fortified town known as Tájela and represented on the maps of the Kingdom of Granada as Texora. During the reconquest by the Catholic Monarchs (1489-1492), the town was known as Tixola.

Tíjola is the birth town of the sopranist Fidela Campiña Ontiveros (1894-1983; biography). She started her career in 1913 in the Royal Theater of Madrid as Margarita in Boito's Mefistofeles and became one of the most famous Spanish opera singer of the 20th century. She was acclaimed at the New York Metropolitan (Verdi's Otello, 1926) and at the Milan Scala (Wagner's Tristan and Isolde and Mascagni's Nero, 1934). She performed for the last time on stage at Trieste in 1946 in Wagner's Götterdämmerung. The local tradition says that Fidela Campiña, when singing at the entrance of the Chapel of the Blessed Virgin, could be heard up to the opposed side of the village.

Ivan Sache, 25 July 2009

Symbols of Tíjola

The flag of Tíjola, approved on 26 October 2004 by the Municipal Council and submitted the same day to the Directorate General of Local Administration, is prescribed by a Decree adopted on 2 February 2005 by the Directorate General of Local Administration and published on 17 February 2005 in the official gazette of Andalusia, No. 34, pp. 30-31 (text).
The flag is described as follows:

Flag: Rectangular panel in proportions 11:18, divided in three equal parallel stripes perpendicular to the hoist, the first blue, the second golden yellow, and the third green. The first and the third stripes have a height of 2/7 the hoist, the third of 3/7. Centered and all over, the municipal coat of arms.

The coat of arms of Tíjola (Boletín Informativo y Cultural de Tíjola, No 14, April 1986), adopted on 22 February 1986 by the Municipal Council and validated by the Royal Academy of History, is prescribed by a Decree adopted on 15 July 1986 by the Government of Andalusia and published on 30 July 1986 in the official gazette of Andalusia, No. 74, p. 2,614 (text). This was confirmed by a Decree adopted on 30 November 2004 by the Government of Andalusia and published on 20 December 2004 in the official gazette of Andalusia, No. 246, pp. 28,986-29,002 (text).
The arms, designed by the heraldist and genealogist José Antonio Delgado Orellana, are described as follows:

Coat of arms: Rectangular shield in proportions 5:6, rounded-off in base by a semi-circle. Vert a castle or masoned sable port and windows gules cantonned by two cauldrons chequy or and sable, in base waves argent and azure. The shield surmounted by a Royal crown closed.

Nothing about an ancient coat of arms of on 22 February 1986 was found in the National Archives, therefore it was decided to design a brand new coat of arms, based on the following elements:
- the town is located in the upper valley of Almanzora, a river that is the main resource for agriculture and the main element of the local landscape;
- there are in Tíjola scattered remains of a Prehistoric settlement in the place called Cerrá where a castle was subsequently built in the Moorish period; the castle, another characteristic element of the town, was used by the villagers and their neighbours as a shelter during the Alpujarras Wars;
- Tíjola was among the "places of river Almenzora and Sierra de los Filabres" that surrendered to the Catholic Monarchs in 1489, who granted them, by a charter dated 20 June 1492, to Diego López Pacheco, Marquis of Villena and Duke of Escalona;
- the town and its castle were included in the Marquisate erected on 13 May 1498 by the Catholic Monarchs for Diego López Pacheco and kept by his descendants until the abolition of the feudal system by the Courts of Cádiz in 1812.

Green recalls the agricultural resources of Tíjola while the waves are the heraldic representation of river Almanzora. The castle represents the Arabic fortress that was characteristic of the local landscape. The cauldrons formed the emblem of the Pacheco family, owner of Tíjola for more than three centuries.
[Símbolos de las Entidades Locales de Andalucía. Almería (PDF file)]

Ivan Sache, 16 July 2009