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?

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Arms of Torre de Juan Abad, Spain

Torre de Juan Abad

Granted 1273

Blazon: Argent a tower and lion rampant gules, in chief a molet of five points azure, all within a bordure of the first charged with eight saltires couped or

Unfortunately, I have no idea who Juan Abad might have been, and it seems like nobody else does, either. It seems reasonable to speculate that the tower is a canting element (“torre,” or “tower” in Spanish). The lion is possibly taken from the arms of Alfonso X of Castile, who granted the town’s arms, but I don’t have anything on the saltires or the molet. One last fun fact – Francisco de Quevedo, a prominent satirical Baroque poet, ruled the town for a while after his mother purchased the title for him. While the town apparently didn’t take too kindly to him at the time (read: they sued him, and he won, but only after he died), they now host an “International Graphic Humor Center” in honor of his snarky legacy.

Arms of Torralba de Calatrava, Spain

Torralba de Calatrava

Granted 1975

Blazon: Per fess argent a cross of Calatrava gules and azure a tower of the first

Whatever kind of shade some ancient writers throw on canting arms, I love them. It’s like all the best parts of puns and linguistics put together! It’s especially satisfying when every element of the arms matches a component of the name in question. The “de Calatrava” clearly corresponds to the cross of Calatrava, from the military order that occupied much of the south of Spain during Reconquista. The first part of the name is covered in the base half of the arms – “torre alba” being a rather poetic way of saying “white tower” in Spanish. It’s possible the white tower in question is a direct reference to the town’s old fortress (which had a church built on it more than 500 years ago), but that’s pure speculation.

Arms of Terrinches, Spain

Terrinches
Granted 1988

Blazon: Per pale argent a cross of Santiago gules and azure a tower of the first

These may partly be canting arms, as “Terrinches” may be derived from “Torreblanca,” or “white tower.” Alternatively, the sinister half of the arms may be a reference to the town’s defensive importance during the Reconquista. The dexter half reflects the town’s previous ownership by the Order of Santiago.

Arms of Socuéllamos, Spain

Socuellamos
Granted 1955

Blazon: Per pale vert a tower or windowed azure and of the last a cross of Santiago gules fimbriated argent, pointé in base of the fourth a bunch of grapes of the second slipped of the first

The tower is a reference to Torre de Vejezate, a local abandoned town. The cross of Santiago reflects the fact that the land previously belonged to the Order of Santiago, and the grapes refer to the traditional industry of winemaking.