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Las Berlanas (Municipality, Castilla y León, Spain)

Last modified: 2017-01-08 by ivan sache
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Flag of Las Berlanas - Image by Ivan Sache, 7 September 2013

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Presentation of Las Berlanas

The municipality of Las Berlanas (366 inhabitants in 2012; 1,600 ha; municipal website) is located in central north Ávila Province, 20 km of Ávila. The municipality is made of the villages of La Aldehuela, Rivilla, El Burgo and Barrio Nuevo.

Las Berlanas was established in 1091 during the resettlement campaign organized by Raymond of Burgundy. The village, known as Verlana or Berlana, was subsequently ran by the Ávila Council. In 1591, the Population Census of the Crown of Castile listed 780 inhabitants in Las Berlanas, which already formed a single administrative unit. Quite wealthy, the village counted 13 hidalgos (local-rank nobles). During a meeting held in Ávila on 21 March 1480, 114 local hidalgos co-opted 30 knights to serve the king: three of them were from Las Berlanas.
On 29 August 1959, river La Berlana flooded El Burgo, destroying 59 houses and claiming the life of two visitors coming from the neighbouring village of Pradosegar. The relocation of the inhabitants to Barrio Nuevo (New Borough) was completed in 1963. A monument commemorating the flood, designed by the sculptor José Ángel Merino, was inaugurated on 29 August 2009 (presentation).

Ivan Sache, 7 September 2013

Symbols of Las Berlanas

The flag and arms of Las Berlanas (description) are prescribed by an Agreement adopted on 28 September 2009 by the Municipal Council, signed on 18 April 2016 by the Mayor and published on 5 May 2016 in the official gazette of Castilla y León, No. 85, pp. 20,187-2,188 (text).
The symbols are not described in the Agreement.

The symbols, designed by Institución "Gran Duque de Alba" - an outfit of the provincial government - and Félix Martínez Llorente, were unveiled on 29 August 2009 during the inauguration of the monument commemorating the flood.
The flag (photo) is rectangular, red with a white cross and a yellow tower with blue port and windows in each quarter.
The arms are "Gules four towers or port and windows azure 2 + 2 a bordure vert eight crosses argent 3 + 2 + 2 + 1. The shield surmounted by a Royal Spanish crown".

Red is the proper colour of Castile, recalling the field of the arms of the Kingdom of Castile.
The four towers represent the four villages forming the modern municipality.
The white cross recalls the eight crosses in the bordure of the coat of arms, which represent the eight villages that once formed Las Berlanas.
The green bordure of the shield chromatically represents the region of Moraña, especially in spring, when grain crops emerge. Moraña is traditionally considered as the grain barn of Ávila and of the whole Castile. Green also recalls the local pastures once grazed by sheep that produced wool (lana).

Ivan Sache, 12 December 2016