Arms of Villarta de San Juan, Spain

Villarta de San Juan

Granted 1969

Blazon: Gules a city or, church and houses windowed of the field, in chief a Maltese cross argent

These aren’t the most elaborate or exciting arms I’ve seen, but there’s something very satisfying about them. They are, as you might have guessed, canting arms – a city, or villa, and a Maltese cross, the symbol of the order of St. John, or San Juan. The town’s name also encapsulates both its history and structure: the land where the town currently lies was granted to the Order in 1173, and a church was later built on the ruins of one of their fortifications. The fortification apparently enclosed enough of the town for it to become known as villa harta, or a tightly walled city. There’s no need to be fancy about it – you can just call the town what it is, and then represent that on its arms.

Arms of Villar del Pozo, Spain

Villar del Pozo

Granted 1998

Blazon: Per pale gules a Maltese cross argent and per fess or nine houses 3, 3, and 3 of the first and of the second, a well of the first

These are pretty straightforward canting arms in the sinister half – in chief, three rows of houses that, according to the blazon, are specifically intended to represent a town (villa) and a well (pozo). Given that the first written reference to Villar del Pozo, in 1226, is a deed granting the town to the Knights Hospitaller, I’m pretty confident in saying that they’re the source of the Maltese cross.

 

Arms of Eckenweiler, Germany

Eckenweiler

In use since at least 2007

Blazon: Azure a house with stepped roof argent, windowed sable on a base vert, on a chief or an antler fesswise sable

I don’t have a ton of information on these arms, probably at least partly due to the fact that Eckenweiler seems to be more of a suburb than a city in its own right. I’m guessing the oddly-shaped house is a reference to a specific local building, which is incredibly common in municipal arms. It could well be the village church; it’s apparently been around since 1789, and, as the only Protestant-majority district in the city, that seems remarkable enough to feature. (This particular bit of land belonged to the Duchy of Württemberg when Duke Ulrich converted his lands to Protestantism, rather than to the Catholic Austria.)

Arms of Villavaliente, Spain

Villavaliente

In use since at least 2009

Blazon: Per fess I per pale vert a tower or windowed azure and or an eagle displayed sable, II argent three rows of houses gules surmounted by a sword palewise or

Villavaliente was a part of the municipality of Jorquera until 1927. The chief part of the arms are those of Jorquera. The houses in the base are likely a reference to the former name of the town – Casas de Valiente.