Blazon: Or chapé azure, water in base of the second and argent, issuant therefrom a mount, surmounted by a pine tree proper issuant from a base vert; in dexter chief, three baskets in pile reversed of the third, in sinister chief a pickaxe of the field; overall on a fess gules two dexter arms clasping hands in fess proper, vested of the field and sable
Oh. Oh no. This is definitely twentieth-century; you can tell from the multiplicity of complex charges that are specifically concerned with industry, as well as the fairly literal symbolism. This is kind of the heraldic definition of Doing Too Much. I know it’s been in use for over a hundred years, but this is just … not visually appealing at all. I’m sort of reluctant to explain all of the symbols, just because they’re so obvious, but I might as well. The pine tree stands for the local forests, the mount and the water stand for a nearby lake and mountain, the baskets and hammer refer to the salt mining industry, and the clasped hands represent the solidarity of the local workers, who absolutely deserve to be represented by something a little nicer than this.
Blazon: Per quarterly, I or a holly branch proper fructed gules; II gules issuant from three bars wavy in base argent a castle proper between two serpents’ heads or respectant issuant from the sides of the shield; III vert on a bridge over water barry wavy in base argent and azure, two towers of the second, the dexter flying a flag of the last a saltire gules and the sinister supporting a ladder of the same; IV argent a cross of Santiago gules; overall in the fess point an escutcheon argent seven crowns 2, 2, 2, and 1 proper
The first quarter is evidently canting, acebo meaning “holly” in Spanish. The second and third quarters are apparently connected to the first lord of the town, Gaspar Ramírez de Vargas. I’m not entirely clear on whether they’re his family arms, or connected to him in some other way. (It’s unclear whether the snakes are related to The Mystery of the Snake Cauldrons, but probably not.) The seven crowns in the escutcheon are a reference to a mythical medieval battle that ostensibly took place at the nearby castle of Sicuendes, where seven counts were killed.
Blazon: Per pale or four palets gules and per fess of the first a dolphin azure finned of the second and argent an eagle displayed and crowned of the last upon a triple mount sable surmounted by water in base barry wavy of the third and the fourth*
*Per the official blazon, it looks like the sea in the County of Nice’s arms is supposed to be barry wavy argent and azure, so that’s how I’ve blazoned it, despite this depiction not reflecting that.
The arms used for Provence are those of Aragon, which is understandable; many of the early counts of Provence were from the House of Aragon via Alfonso II, Count of Provence, the second son of Alfonso II of Aragon. (These arms are sometimes called Provence ancien, with Provence moderne being the arms of the dukes of Anjou, who evidently took over as counts of Provence in 1245. “Moderne” is relative.) The dolphin is a canting element from Dauphiné, which used to be an independent principality before Humbert II sold it to the French crown in 1349. Part of the deal was that the eldest son of the French king had to take on the unique title, which is why the heirs of France are called dauphins.
Finally, the eagle is the arms of the County of Nice. Supposedly, the tinctures are derived from the arms of the House of Savoy, and the crowned eagle spreading its wings over the mountains is a representation of the House of Savoy extending its dominance over Nice. (It’s a nice explanation, but I’m somewhat skeptical.)
It looks like both Île-de-France and Pays de la Loire don’t have official arms, so next week, we’ll return to Bourgogne-Franche-Comté to start looking through their departments.
Blazon: Per fess I per pale or the letters Y and F crowned sable and argent a cross of Calatrava gules and II azure a bridge of three arches argent over water in base barry wavy of the last and the field
The Y and F stand for Isabella of Castile and Fernando of Aragon, whom the blazon claims were the “true founders” of the town. (In the fifteenth century, the letters Y and I were often used interchangeably.)
Blazon: Argent on a mount vert a city wall with a gate tower or, masoned and windowed sable, in base water barry wavy of the field and azure
The mount refers to the name of the city (Berg meaning “mountain”). The wall and gate might be an allusion to the second half of the name; Vöstenhof is derived from “festen hof,” an archaic term for “manor house” or “castle.”
Blazon: Per pale argent a cross of Santiago gules and azure a castle triple-towered or on a mount in base proper, surmounted in base by a basin argent of water barry wavy of the field and the last; pointé in base or a galero vert, in the fess point an alms bag, in base a croizer and a patriarchal cross in saltire sable
The archbishop’s regalia in base is presumably a reference to St. Thomas of Villanova, who was born in Fuenllana in 1488, and later canonized in 1658.