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Alfacar (Municipality, Andalusia, Spain)

Last modified: 2014-03-23 by ivan sache
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Flag of Alfacar - Image by Ivan Sache, 8 July 2009

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Presentation of Alfacar

The municipality of Alfacar (5,401 inhabitants in 2008; 1,673 ha; municipal website) is located in the Granada Plain, 20 km south of Granada. The quality of its waters, known for ages, has made of Alfacar the local capital of bakery.

Alfacar has a clear Moorish origin. The name of the village was often, erroneously reported as Alfaar, Alfanar, Alfakar, Alfajar,; all these variants have the same meaning, "the potters' mount /estate", highlighting the past significance of pottery in the village. Mentioned for the first time at the Zirid period (1010-1090), the village was probably built in the 10th century. In the 11th century, an aqueduct brought the famous water of Alfacar, collected in the Fuente Grande (Big Fountain), to Granada, while the Zirid rulers enjoyed staying in their estates at Alfacar for the festivals, as did the nobles from Granada. There are no remains from the palaces, towers and fortresses described by the chroniclers of the time, but the toponym La Casa del Baño (The Bath's House) recalls the Muslim ritual bath. The village, split into Upper- (Alto) and Lower (Bajo) Alfacar, had then nearly 1,000 inhabitants and 250 houses.
Alfacar, described in the 14th-15th centuries, for instance by Ibn Batuta, as a place of leisure, was indeed the scene of the last events of the reconquest of Granada by the Christian Monarchs. On 22 December 1492, the Nasrid inhabitants of Alfaqar surrendered; the "Alfaquar Surrenders", signed by Mohamad Alfoaty and Yuca Mocatil, Mayors of the "Towers" of Alfaquar, was the end of the last focus of resistance. The next days, the towers and the Christian prisoners were transferred to the King's envoy, Hernando de Zafra. No violent event occurred in the village during the Alpujarra Wars, which did not prevent the local Moriscos from being expelled by Philip II in 1570, the village being subsequently resettled by Christian colonists from all over Spain.
The poet Federico García Lorca was most probably murdered in Alfacar on 18 August 1936. A memorial park was built near the putative place of the event by the municipality in 1986.

Ivan Sache, 9 July 2009

Symbols of Alfacar

The flag and arms (image) of Alfacar, adopted on 29 June 2006 by the Municipal Council and submitted on 4 July 2006 to the Directorate General of the Local Administration, are prescribed by a Decree adopted on 25 July 2006 by the Directorate General of the Local Administration and published on 4 August 2006 in the official gazette of Andalusia, No. 150, pp. 44-45 (text).
The symbols are described as follows:

Flag: Rectangular flag, in proportions 2:3, made of a green panel with a white stripe descending from the upper corner of the hoist to the lower corner of the fly, 1/6 the flag's hoist. All over in the middle the municipal coat of arms.
Coat of arms: Per fess, 1a. Gules a castle or crenellated and masoned sable with three towers port and windows azure surmounted by a feather or, 1b. Vert a bread or, 2. Or an olive tree proper surrounded by four pines of the same, two on each side, in base per fess wavy azure and argent. The shield surmounted by a Royal Spanish crown closed.

The castle represents the towers listed in the "Alfaquar Surrenders". The feather alludes to the death of García Lorca. The bread represents the traditional bakery industry. The olive tree stands for oilve oil, while the pines represent the forest resources. The waves allude to the brooks watering the municipal territory.
[Símbolos de las Entidades Locales de Andalucía. Granada (PDF file)]

Ivan Sache, 9 July 2009