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Bentarique (Municipality, Andalusia, Spain)

Last modified: 2020-03-28 by ivan sache
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Flag of Bentarique - Image from the Símbolos de Almería website, 9 May 2014

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Presentation of Bentarique

The municipality of Bentarique (277 inhabitants; 1,100 ha; municipal website) is located in the Valley of Andarax, part of the Alpujarra mountains, 30 km north-west of Almería.

Bentarique is locally said to mean venta rica, "a rich house", this popular etymology being "proved" by the Moorish treasure found in 1896 in the village. Indeed of Moorish origin, the name of the village rather recalls that it was settled by the sons (ben, the Andalusian form of ibn, "the son") of Tariq. However, the region was settled much earlier; the geographer and chronicler Al-Idrisi (12th century) mentions Roman thermae and a healing source, probably the fountain of Poznilla.
In the 9th century, Bentarique was one of the 20 fortresses of the Urs al-Yaman administrative division. Four centuries later, Al-Andalus was reduced to the Kingdom of Granada and Bentarique was part of the taha (administrative division set up by the Nasrid rulers in the Alpujarra) of Marchena; Bentarique was a secondary fortress, the main fortress being at Marchena, ruled by a governor from the al-Nayar family. The aforementioned treasure dates back to the 16th century; made of a golden necklace, a silver bracelet and a chain bracelet, it is kept in the National Archeological Museum of Madrid. After the surrender of Baeza and the so-called "Almería Surrenders" (1489), Bentarique remained Muslim but was progressively christianized; in 1494, the former taha of Marchena was transferred to Gutiérre de Cárdenas y Chacón, as a reward for his contribution to the reconquest. Resettled in 1574 after the expelling of the Moriscos in 1570, Bentarique did not re-emerge until the 18th century. In the middle of the 19th century, the cultivation of the local grape variety known as uva de Johanes, mostly grown in the Valley of Andarax, boosted the development of the village.

Ivan Sache, 12 July 2009

Symbols of Bentarique

The flag of Bentarique, approved on 6 October 2006 by the Municipal Council and submitted on 17 October 2006 to the Directorate General of Local Administration, is prescribed by a Decree adopted on 7 November 2006 by the Directorate General of Local Administration and published on 29 November 2006 in the official gazette of Andalusia, No. 231, p. 27 (text).
The flag is described as follows:

Flag: Rectangular panel, in proportions 2:3, horizontally divided in three equal parts, the upper red, the central yellow and the lower azure. All over in the center of the panel is placed the coat of arms in full colours.

The coat of arms of Bentarique, adopted on 27 July 1989 by the Municipal Council and validated on 14 june 1991 by the Royal Academy of History, is prescribed by Decree No. 163, adopted on 27 August 1991 by the Government of Andalusia and published on 11 October 1991 in the official gazette of Andalusia, No. 90, p. 8,801 (text). This was confirmed by a Decree adopted on 30 November 2004 by the Government of Andalusia and published on 20 December 2004 in the official gazette of Andalusia, No. 246, pp. 28,986-29,002 (text).
The coat of arms is described as follows:

Coat of arms: Per pale, 1. Or an angel clad azure armed with a sword and riding a dragon purpure over waves azure and argent, 2. Gules two letters "S" and a scallop inbetween per pale all argent. The shield surmounted by a Royal Spanish crown.

The first quarter represents the elements, of unknown origin, used in the 19th century on the municipality's headed note-paper. The second quarter alludes to the Dukes of Maqueda, lords of the taha of Marchena.
[Símbolos de las Entidades Locales de Andalucía. Almería (PDF file)]

Ivan Sache, 14 July 2009

Ivan Sache, 12 July 2009