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Gines (Municipality, Andalusia, Spain)

Last modified: 2015-11-20 by ivan sache
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Flag of Gines - Image after the Símbolos de Sevilla website, 29 October 2015

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Presentation of Gines

The municipality of Gines (13,299 inhabitants in 2013; 2,800 ha; municipal website), is located 10 km south-west of Seville. The traditional economy of Gines is based on agriculture: 10% of the wine of Aljarafe is produced in Gines; there is also a significant production of olive for oil and of figs. The ancient olive mills have disappeared and have been replaced by the modern factory La Española.

In Historia General de España (1850-1867), Lafuente claims that Gines was known as Vergelium Julii Genitores in the Roman times. Serrano Ortega (Guía de los monumentos históricos y artísticos de los pueblos de la provincia de Sevilla, 1911) says that Gines was known as Abgena during the Roman rule, Genis Levit during the Muslim rule, and was renamed Camero by Alfonso X the Wise. Gines is mentioned as Genis Cevid in the Repartimiento de Sevilla (1253), with an area of c. 2.81 sq. km, 30,000 olive trees and 50,000 fig trees. The name of Gines can be read in a document dated 1412, kept in the municipal archives in Seville. The name is confirmed by Diego Ortíz de Zúñiga (Annales ecclesiasticos y seculares de la ciudad de Sevilla..., 1677).

King Henry II granted in 1370 the domain of Gines to Fernán Sánchez de Tovar, Admiral of Castile. The domain was transfered in 1370 to Diego Ló:pez de Zúñiga, who transfered it in 1412 to his daughter, Leonor de Zúñiga, when she married Alfonso Pérez de Guzmán, lord of Ayamonte. During the 16th century, the Guzmán fought against the Council of Seville for the jurisdiction on Gines. The town was granted a civil and criminal jurisdiction on 20 May 1532. From 1699 to 1734, the lord of Gines was Alejo Manrique de Guzmán Pacheco y Zúñiga, Count of Fontanal. He often stayed in Gines and is remembered for his good administration and his active contribution to the life and festivals in the town. One of the last lords of Gines was portrayed by Francisco de Goya (1746-1828); the painting, captioned "El Sr. Don Manuel Osorio Manrique de Zúñiga, Sr. de Gines. Nació en Abril a 2 de 1784" (Lord ..., Lord of Gines, born on 2 April 1784), can be seen in the Metropolitan Museum of New York.

The main monument of Gines is the church of the Virgin of Bethlehem, originally built in mudéjar style, characterized by the use of Muslim techniques and decorative elements. The church was revamped in the Spanish Renaissance style at the end of the 18th century. The church is famous for a rococo altarpiece, made by Francisco Díaz in 1764, and for the holy image of the Virgin of Bethlehem. A painting depicting St. Catherine's funeral, made by members of the workshop of Francisco de Zurbarán (1598-1664).
Other remains of the late 18th century in Gines are the haciendas (farms), which were originally mixed with manors in the historical downtown. Those farms were used for the transformation of the traditional products of agriculture (olives and figs). The six main farms in Gines were the Hacienda de la Concepción, Hacienda del Marqués de Torrenueva, Hacienda de Santa Rosalía, Hacienda de la Merced, Hacienda del Santo Ángel and Hacienda de Torregines.

Ivan Sache, 30 July 2009

Symbols of Gines

The flag of Gines (photo, photo, photo, , photo), adopted on 23 June 2004 by the Municipal Council and submitted on 24 June 2004 to the Directorate General of the Local Administration, is prescribed by a Decree adopted on 23 July 2004 by the Directorate General of the Local Administration and published on 9 August 2004 in the official gazette of Andalusia, No. 155, p. 17,703 (text).
The flag is described as follows:

Flag: Rectangular flag, made of three equal horizontal stripes with proportions 1/4, 1/2 and 1/4, flag blue the upper, golden yellow the middle, and flag blue the lower. In the horizontal stripe at left the coat of arms of the place in full colours.

The flag was officially hoisted for the first time on 4 July 2004. It is considered as the "daughter" of the Spanish flag. Blue represents the sky over the town while yellow represents its fertile soil and old grain fields.
[Municipal website]

The coat of arms of Gines, validated by the Royal Academy of History, is prescribed by Royal Decree No. 3,213, adopted on 12 November 1982 and published on 26 November 1982 in the Spanish official gazette, No. 284, p. 32,593 (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 coat of arms is described as follows:

Coat of arms: Per pale, 1. Azure two cauldrons or with snake's heads vert, a bordure argent charged with four cauldrons sable, 2. Vert a mill tower argent. The shield surmounted by a Royal crown closed.

The Royal Academy of History validated the proposed coat of arms, requiring the replacement of the Marquis' coronet, representing the Marquis of Ayamonte, by a Royal crown closed, of easier graphical design and the common denominator of all local coat of arms in the Kingdom of Spain. The proposed arms are supported by a documented study. They feature the arms of the former lords, from the Guzmán lineage (Ayamonte). The mill tower, although modern, is quite representative of the local skyline.
[Boletín de la Real Academia de la Historia 1983, 180, 2: 413]

Ivan Sache, 29 October 2015