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Aldeaquemada (Municipality, Andalusia, Spain)

Last modified: 2014-03-23 by ivan sache
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Flag of Aldeaquemada - Image by Ivan Sache, 15 July 2009

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Presentation of Aldeaquemada

The municipality of Aldeaquemada (552 inhabitants in 2008; 12,100 ha; municipal website) is located in the heart of the Sierra Morena, 100 km north-east of Jaén.

Aldeaquemada (lit. "The Burned Village") is locally said to have been founded after the village of Aldehuela had been suppressed by a blaze; however, Carlos Sánchez-Batalla Martínez, the official chronicler of Aldeaquemada, has produced evidence that the name of the village predated the event.
Aldeaquemada was part of the resettlement plan of the Sierra Morena set up by Charles III at the end of the 18th century. In 1767, Gaspar de Th¨rriegel was commissioned to settle 6,000 Catholic (French, German and Flemish) colonists in the Sierra Morena; the colonists were expected to develop agriculture and to take care of the Royal Road linking Madrid to Cádiz via the recently open Pass of Despeñaperros. An utopic, rural society scattered among different villages was expected to live from agriculture. The Dehesa [Pastures] de Aldeaquemada were "purchased" by the King from the Duke of los Benavides to establish one of the colonies.

The cave paintings of Aldeaquemada, the most important in Andalusia, are among the 19 sites listed in 1998 on the UNESCO World Heritage List as Rock Art of the Mediterranean Basin on the Iberian Peninsula (notice). Aldeaquemada has a series of cave paintings, classified as "schematic", in various parts of the region. There are a series of paintings depicting humans, hunting scenes and animals, while others are purely symbolic. One of the area's most representative works is the Tabla de Pochico (Pochico Panel), which lies in Cimbarra waterfall Nature Park. The paintings of the Tabla de Pochico were studied and published by Juan Cabré (Arte rupestre de España, 1915; Las pinturas rupestres d'Aldeaquemada, 1917). Henri Breuil reproduced Cabré's drawings in Les peintures rupestres schématiques de la péninsule ibérique: Sierra Morena, Vol. III (1933). Recently re-analyzed by Manuel Gabriel López Payer and Miguel Soria Lerma (El Arte rupestre en Sierra Morena oriental, 1988), the paintings are made of three different panels with zoomorphic (goats, deers), anthropomorphic and schematic figures.

Ivan Sache, 15 July 2009

Symbols of Aldeaquemada

The flag and arms (image) of Aldeaquemada, adopted on 24 February 2005 by the Municipal Council and submitted on 7 March 2005 to the Directorate General of the Local Administration, are prescribed by a Decree adopted on 28 March 2005 by the Directorate General of the Local Administration and published on 7 April 2005 in the official gazette of Andalusia, No. 67, pp. 43-44 (text).
The symbols are described as follows:

Flag: Rectangular flag, with an arbutus berry green background. A yellow stripe running diagonally all over the flag, from the upper left to the lower right corner. In the middle is placed the municipal coat of arms.
Coat of arms: Argent an arm proper issuant from sinister holding in the hand's palm a fire gules and or. A bordure argent charged with a garland of arbutus vert except in chief. Shield in Spanish shape surmounted by a Royal crown closed [description skipped].

The coat of arms is based on an old shield used centuries ago by the neighbouring town of Santisteban del Puerto, and then by the village of Aldeaquemada established in the Dehesa de Aldeaquemada, which belonged to the Dukes of Santisteban. The arm holding a fire is a direct reference to the town's name, making the coat of arms canting.
[Símbolos de las Entidades Locales de Andalucía. Jaén (PDF file)]

Ivan Sache, 15 July 2009