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Benamaurel (Municipality, Andalusia, Spain)

Last modified: 2018-10-06 by ivan sache
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Flag of Benamaurel - Image from the Símbolos de Granada website, 31 August 2018

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Presentation of Benamaurel

The municipality of Benamaurel (2,337 inhabitants in 2917, 12,740 ha; municipal website) is located 15 km north-east of Baza. The municipality is composed of the village of Benamaurel (1,656 inh.) and of the hamlets of Cuevas de la Blanca (64 inh.), Cuevas de la Luna (78 inh.), Cuevas del Negro (36 inh.), Huerta Real (104 inh.), Puente Arriba (199 inh.), and San Marcos (223 inh.).
As evident from the toponymy, 80% of the inhabitants of Benamaurel live in cave dwellings (cuevas), this being the highest ratio in the Province of Granada.
The 1531 earthquake destroyed the castle and most of the villages, which was transferred to the jurisdiction of Baza; separated in 1628, Benamaurel was sold five years later to he Duke of Alba.

Benamaurel was mentioned in the 12th century by the Almohad writer Abi Mohamed ben Rozac. In the 13th century, a castle was erected to defend the village against the Christian raids ordered by King Ferdinand III the Saint. Benamaurel, together with Benzalema, was seized by the Christians in 1434. The Nazrid ruler Muhammad X reconquered Benamaurel, Huéscar and Benzalema in 1446 after a violent campaign. Definitively incorporated to Castile in 1488, the village revolted next year against the Count of Tendilla. It was nearly depopulated after the expelling of the Moriscos.

Ivan Sache, 31 August 2018

Symbols of Benamaurel

The flag of Benamaurel, adopted on 7 June 2018 by the Municipal Council and submitted on 10 June to the Directorate General of the Local Administration, is prescribed by a Resolution adopted on 26 June 2018 by the Directorate General of the Local Administration and published on 2 July 2018 in the Andalusian official gazette, No. 126, pp. 156-159 (text).
The flag is described as follows:

Flag: Rectangular, in proportions 2:3, composed of two equal vertical stripes, at hoist, red, at fly chequy with eight pieces azure and another seven argent. The coat of arms of the municipality of Benamaurel, surmounted by a Royal crown, is placed in the flag's center. Beneath the shield are seven five-pointed stars or for the seven hamlets that belong to Benamaurel (Cuevas de la Blanca, Cuevas de Luna, Cuevas del Negro, Cuevas de San Marcos, Las Lavaderas, Puente Arriba, Huerta Real).

The coat of arms of Benamaurel, adopted on 30 December 1998 and validated on 25 February 1999 by the Royal Academy of Córdoba, which had rejected on 29 July 1997 and 4 June 1998 the design originally adopted on 27 October 1995 by the Municipal Council, is prescribed by Decree No. 125, adopted on 18 May 1999 by the Governmenet of Andalusia and published on 10 June 1000 in the official gazette of Andalusia, No. 66 (text). This was confirmed by a Resolution adopted on 30 November 2004 by the Directorate General of the Local Administration 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. Chequy eight pieces azure seven pieces argent, 2. Gules a castle argent in base two liner's pickaxes or in saltire interlaced with a letter "S" of the same. The shield surmounted by a Royal crown closed.

The first quarter features the arms of the Dukes of Alba, once lords of Benamaurel.The castle represents the Almohad fortress of Benamaurel. The miner's tools and letter "S" represent the sulfur mine, which was closed in 1955.
[ Símbolos de las Entidades Locales de Andalucía. Granada]

Ivan Sache, 31 August 2018