Arms of Buciegas, Spain


Granted 2018

Blazon: Per pale, I per fess vert three fleurs-de-lis or and purpre a holm oak cooped of the first; II argent an owl close voided sable

Unfortunately, there’s not much available information on the town itself, never mind on the arms themselves. It does look like holm oaks are native to the area, and form a significant part of the local forest.

Arms of Boniches, Spain


Granted 2004

Blazon: Gules between two stone pines eradicated proper a ruined tower or on a mount argent issuant from water in base barry of the last and azure

I have to say something about this artist’s decision to put white borders around the trees. This is a terrible and needlessly complex way to circumvent the law of tincture (which is much less important in a digital format; there are other ways to create contrast!), and it’s not in the original blazon at all.

Arms of Beteta, Spain


Granted 2003

Blazon: Gules a castle triple-towered argent between two keys palewise affronté argent

Presumably, the castle represents the local castle, Rochafrida Castle, dating back to the 13th century. I’m afraid I’m not sure about the keys, though. (I don’t quite know how I feel about describing keys as “affronté”, or “facing” each other, but it is the opposite of “addorsed”, and “wards to the center” seemed unnecessarily wordy. To be fair, the Spanish equivalent “afrontadas” is used in the original grant.)

Arms of Belmonte, Spain


Granted 1964

Blazon: Per pale or a castle triple-towered proper between an oak tree eradicated and a stone pine couped vert and argent two cauldrons in pale or charged with three rows of triangles in gyronny gules, each containing two serpents facing the exterior proper

Yes, it’s the snake cauldrons again, although this time they evidently appear due to the influence of the house of Pacheco. Both the lines of Pacheco and  Guzmán trace back to the house of Girón, but it doesn’t seem that Girón had a consistent heraldic identity, let alone something as specific as the snake cauldrons. I’m not sure if this is a case of two different lines both using a much older family motif, potential intermarriage, or another mixup somewhere through the centuries. (Worth mentioning – there is a contemporary record of at least one snake cauldron in the arms of Diego López Pacheco around the early sixteenth century.) Regardless, it’s another potential line of inquiry in the perennial Mystery of the Snake Cauldrons.

Anyway. The dexter half of the arms are described in the grant as the “former arms” of Belmonte, implying that they were in use before the current grant. The castle in these arms is almost certainly a reference to the fifteenth-century Belmonte Castle, which has been an official cultural monument since 1931.

Arms of Belinchón, Spain


Granted 1996

Blazon: Per pale argent an archiepiscopal cross or ensigned by a galero of ten tassels vert and gules a pile of salt; all within a bordure of the first charged with the motto “FUERO DE LA VILLA DE BELINCHÓN. 1171” of the second

Setting aside the violations of the law of tincture, which no one was paying much attention to in the 1990s, I’m delighted that the original grant of these arms does give quite a bit of background on the reasons behind the choices.

The dexter half of the shield displays the regalia of the archbishops of Toledo, who ruled the city for “several centuries.” The galero is more typical of cardinals, but you’ll notice the archbishop’s galero is not red and has one fewer row of tassels – ten on each side, rather than fifteen. (I just want to point out that this depiction of the cross is almost certainly incorrect; the blazon refers specifically to a double cross, which is the archiepiscopal form; the three bars, as depicted here, are the papal cross, which, as the name implies, is only used by the Roman Catholic pope.)

The salt on the sinister side of the shield is a reference to the local salt flats – an extremely valuable resource dating back to Roman times – and the motto on the bordure cites the date the town was incorporated by Cerebruno de Poitiers, archbishop of Toledo from 1166 through 1180.

Arms of Beamud, Spain


Granted 2002

Blazon: Per fess I per pale gules five leaves 2, 2, and 1 argent and or a wolf passant sable; II azure three poplar trees eradicated proper, in base a fess wavy argent

The term used in the blazon for the charges in the first quarter is panelas, with no further elaboration. This is apparently a term exclusive to Spanish heraldry. It’s pretty obviously some kind of leaf, but I can’t find any further specifics. Poplar is a possibility, especially given the base half of the shield,  but the kind with heart-shaped leaves isn’t native to Spain, so I think that’s ultimately unlikely. The wolf may be taken from the arms of Ayala, but I unfortunately don’t have any more information.

Arms of Barchín del Hoyo, Spain

Barchin del Hoyo

Granted 1998

Blazon: Per pale gules a reel argent and of the last, a clay pot of the first

The exact word in the blazon for the dexter charge is rollo; I think it’s probably intended to be a spool, or the axle of a reel. My first assumption upon seeing the figure was a column, but that’s not borne out by the blazon. The clay pot may be intended to represent artifacts found in some of the local archaeological sites (dating to both the Iron Age and the Roman era), but sadly, I don’t have any further information.

Arms of Barajas de Melo, Spain

BArajas de Melo

Granted 1988

Blazon: Gules in the dexter, a crescent decrescent argent and a lion rampant or and in the sinister, a cross patriarchal throughout of the second between six plates; all within a bordure of the last

The dexter half of the arms feature the arms of the city of Huete, which had jurisdiction over Barajas de Melo until 1553. The sinister half show the former arms of the house of Melo de Portugal; Francisco Melo de Portugal held dominion over the town sometime in the mid-1600s. It’s possible the plates are an adaptation of the plates in the royal arms of Portugal, but I might be reaching on that. It does look like the Melos changed over to using a combination of Portugal and Sicily in the late 1700s, the better to emphasize their connection to royalty.

Arms of Atalaya del Cañavate, Spain

Atalaya del Canavate

Granted 1997

Blazon: Argent on a mount in base vert a tower azure between two cauldrons gules seven lozenges conjoined in fess or, counterchanged per fess, each containing six serpents facing the exterior of the second

A lovely set of canting arms (“atalaya” meaning “watchtower” in Spanish) featuring the infamous (to me) snake cauldrons of the Guzmans! Yes, that is an absurdly long way to describe the cauldrons’ patterns, but Spanish blazon has the much more convenient term “triangulares”, and English blazon does not. I could not figure out a way to translate it that sounded good to my ears, so I went with what I knew.

Arms of Arguisuelas, Spain


Granted 1992

Blazon: Argent issuant from a base three stone pine trees vert, in chief a molet of eight points gules

Evidently, the first coat of arms proposed for the province in 1990 had precisely the same charges, but the field was azure. The heraldic authority of Spain, the Real Academia de la Historia, rejected this design due to the violation of the law of tincture, but approved it when the field was changed (as here) to argent. The stone pines are a reference to a common plant in the local mountains (and kind of a theme in this region).