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La Calahorra (Municipality, Andalusia, Spain)

Last modified: 2015-10-18 by ivan sache
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Flag of La Calahorra - Image by Klaus-Michael Schneider, 14 May 2014

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Presentation of La Calahorra

The municipality of La Calahorra (748 inhabitants in 2014; 3,945 ha) is located 75 km east of Granada.

La Calahorra is dominated by the castle (presentation) built in the 16th century by Rodrigo de Mendoza (1466?-1523), the elder son of the famous Pedro González de Mendoza, Grand Cardinal of Spain and private councillor of Queen Isabel the Catholic. Rodrigo de Mendoza was made the 1st Marquis of Zenete by the Queen in 1491. Looking like a fortress, the castle is defended by walls of 3 m in width and four cylindrical angle towers. This contrasts with the inner parts of the castle, which were designed in 1509 by the Lombard architect Michel Carlone in Italian Renaissance style. The castle is organized around a central patio surrounded by a double gallery built in Carrara marble.

Ivan Sache, 14 May 2014

Symbols of La Calahorra

The flag and arms of La Calahorra, adopted on 17 October 1991 by the Municipal Council, validated on 22 March 1992 by the Royal Academy of History and eventually ratified on 28 May 1992 by the Municipal Council, are prescribed by Decree No. 144, adopted on 4 August 1992 by the Government of Andalusia and published on 29 October 1992 in the official gazette of Andalusia, No. 110, pp. 9,033-9,034 (text). This was confirmed by a Decree adopted on 30 November 2004 by the Directorate General of the Local Administration and published on 20 December 2004 in the official gazette of Andalusia, No. 246, pp. 28,986-29,002 (text).
The symbols are prescribed as follows:

Flag: Rectangular panel, in proportions 2:3, green with a red stripe running from the hoist's upper angle to the fly's lower angle.
Coat of arms: Per pale, 1. Gules a castle or on a mount of the same, 2. Quartered per satlire, 1. and 4. Vert a bend gules fimbriated or, 2. and 3. Or the writing "Ave Mar’a". Grafted in base, Argent eight roundels gules. The shield surmounted by a Royal Spanish crown.

The first quarter of the shield represents the castle of La Calahorra. The second quarter features the arms of the Mendoza. The lower quarter represents the eight municipalities forming the Marquesado de Zenete district.
[Símbolos de las Entitades Locales de Andalucia. Granada (PDF file)]

Diego Hurtado de Mendoza y Figueroa (1415/1417-1479), the elder son of Íñigo López de Mendoza, First Marquis of Santillana, was made Duke of the Infantado (full title, "Duque de las Cinco Villas del Estado del Infantado") in 1475; subsequently, the Dukes of the Infantado were made first-rank Grandees of Spain, and were therefore allowed to keep their hat in the presence of the king. Íñigo de Arteaga y Martín (b. 1941) is the 19th Duke of the Infantado.
"Vert a bend gules fimbriated or" are the oldest known arms of Mendoza; these arms were modified several times, but always included a red bend on a green field. The arms quartered per saltire were introduced by the first Marquis of Santillana and appear on a seal dated 1440; the marquis quartered his father's arms (Mendoza) with his mother arms (de la Vega). His descendants were known as Mendoza de Guadalajara or Mendoza de l'Ave María. In the representations of these arms, the first quarter is inscribed with "AVE MARÍA" while the third quarter is inscribed with "PLENA GRATIA" (or, at least "GRATIA").
[After Los poderosos Mendoza, by José Luis García de Paz, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid]

Ivan Sache & Klaus-Michael Schneider, 14 May 2014