Arms of Villamanrique, Spain

Villamanrique

Granted ?

Blazon: Gules a cross of Santiago voided argent between two cauldrons chequy or and sable, each containing six serpents facing the exterior, in base a point dancetté vert, all within a bordure chequy of the first a castle triple-towered of the third windowed azure and of the second a lion rampant of the field crowned of the third

Whew, okay. Sadly, that blazon is probably going to be longer than anything I can write about it (if I cut out my frustration about the mystery of the snake cauldrons, which I will.) The city was actually named after a Manrique – specifically, Rodrigo Manrique, Grand Master of the Order of Santiago, which probably explains the cross of Santiago. He evidently split the town off from Torre de Juan Abad, and the citizens renamed it in gratitude.

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Arms of Torrenueva, Spain

Torrenueva

Granted 1975

Blazon: Per pale vert a tower or windowed gules and of the last two cauldrons in pale chequy or and sable, each containing eight serpents, four facing the exterior and four facing the interior proper; overall in the fess point an escutcheon argent charged with a cross of Santiago gules

THE SNAKE CAULDRONS STRIKE AGAIN. This is a bafflingly common motif in this region of Spain, and I have no idea why. I’ve been researching this for years – nothing but dead ends. All the sources I’ve found just seem to nonchalantly accept the existence of snake cauldrons as a thing! Seriously, there has to be a story behind these! It’s such specific imagery, and so highly localized! Please, please, if anyone knows ANYTHING about the snake cauldrons, please tell me! What is their DEAL???

Right, yeah, also the cross of Santiago in the arms probably comes from the fact the town belonged to the Order of Santiago from like the Middle Ages to the 19th century and the tower is likely a canting element, whatever, what is UP with the snake cauldrons?

Arms of Villatoya, Spain

Villatoya

Granted 1991

Blazon: Per fess argent two cauldrons or charged with three rows of triangles in gyronny gules, each containing four serpents 2 and 2 facing the exterior proper and argent a bridge gules over water in base barry wavy azure and the field

Snakes in highly decorated cauldrons are a popular motif in arms from Albacete. So far, I have been unable to determine the origin of this unusual charge.

Arms of Riópar, Spain

Riopar

Granted 1988

Blazon: Per fess I per pale two cauldrons in pale chequy or and sable, each containing twelve serpents, eight facing the exterior and four facing the interior proper and chequy of nine argent a lion rampant gules (León) and gules a castle triple-towered or windowed azure (Castile), II gules on water in base barry wavy argent and azure a castle triple-towered or windowed azure, surmounted by a four-spoked cog-wheel sable

Arms of Bienservida, Spain

Bienservida

In use since at least 1991

Blazon: Per fess I per pale gules two cauldrons in pale chequy or and sable, each containing twelve serpents, eight facing the exterior and four facing the interior proper and chequy of nine argent a lion rampant gules (León) and gules a castle triple-towered or windowed azure (Castile)*; II argent a lion rampant bearing in its forepaws a man’s head couped and bearded gules

*The blazon specifies that the second, fourth, sixth, and eighth quarters contain Castile; I believe the blank eighth quarter in this rendition is an artist’s error.