Blazon: Per quarterly I azure a cross of Calatrava gules; II gules a castle triple-towered or windowed azure; III argent issuant from a base a tree proper; IV on a mount in base charged with a lake, a tower, all proper
The name of the town is derived from the Arabic “al-mudawwar,” meaning “round water” or “round place,” probably a reference to the same lake that is depicted on the arms.
Blazon: Argent a cross of Calatrava gules surmounted by a castle triple-towered or windowed azure; in base two shacklebolts pilewise transposed sable
Supposedly, Don Gonzalo Yáñez of the Order of Calatrava granted the town its original charter in 1213, and the Order maintained control of the area until it was incorporated into the crown’s lands in 1487.
Blazon: Per quarterly I gules a castle triple-towered or windowed azure (Castile); II argent a lion rampant gules, armed, langued, and crowned or (Léon); III argent a cross of Calatrava gules; IV gules two hammers in saltire or; overall in an escutcheon azure three fleurs-de-lis or within a bordure gules(Anjou moderne)
The hammers are likely a reference to the importance of mining in the town’s history. Almadén was a major source of mercury and cinnabar since Roman times. Carlos III established an Academy of Mining in the region in 1777. The name of the town is derived from the Arabic “hisn al-ma’din”, or “fort of the mine.” The cross probably reflects Alfonso VII’s grant of the region to the Order of Calatrava in 1168.
Blazon: Per pale argent on a mount in base gules a castle triple-towered or and of the first a cross of Santiago of the second; pointé vert a crescent pendent of the first
The castle on the mount is likely a reference to the nearby Castle of Alhambra, which was built on a nearby hill for defensive purposes. It dates back to around the 12th century, and was granted to the Order of Santiago in 1214. According to local legend, tunnels that connect the castle to the town.
These are fairly average arms – nice to see they’re not pulling the “mount proper” dodge, but the castle or on argent is on pretty thin ice – with pretty common charges for the area. The really old stories of secret tunnels are just a great bonus.
Blazon: Per pale argent a cross of Santiago gules and of the last a castle triple-towered or, a crescent pendent of the first
Both the crescent and the cross of Santiago are likely due to the numerous times the town changed hands during the Reconquista. The first historical reference to the town, in 747, occurs on an Arabic map. Pope Lucius III subsequently granted the town to the Order of Santiago in 1181, but it was retaken by the Almohad Caliphate in 1191. It returned to the Order’s ownership in 1213. The castle may refer to a fortress that no longer exists.
There’s a part of me that really wants to read too much into the iconography of the castle being placed under the Islamic crescent rather than the Christian cross, and say that it’s a result of the town originally being under Islamic control, but a much larger part of me knows that’s probably bullshit. (But I want it to be true!)