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Navas de San Juan (Municipality, Andalusia, Spain)

Last modified: 2014-03-29 by ivan sache
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Presentation of Navas de San Juan

The municipality of Navas de San Juan (5,083 inhabitants in 2005; 17,500 ha; municipal website) is located 100 km north-east of Jaén.

Ivan Sache, 23 March 2008

Symbols of Navas de San Juan

The municipal administration organized in 2008 a contest for an official municipal flag. Six out of the 12 submitted proposals include the municipal coat of arms, quartered and with the writing in black letters "Ad Morum de los Vasos Apolinares", referring to the Roman origin of the village. Two proposals include in the middle of the flag a big star, recalling the patron saint of the village, the Blessed Virgin of the Star (Virgen de la Estrella). Three proposals include the olive, the main component of the local economy, and another one an oak, representing the natural environment of the village.
Some proposals use the olive green colour, other the purple colour of ripe olives, while other use the golden yellow colour of olives. Some proposals also use the red colour as the symbol of the iron-bearing soil, the white colour as the symbol of peace, democracy and of the white-washed houses, and light blue to represent the three rivers that water the village.
[Ideal, 15 March 2008]

The coat of arms of Navas de San Juan is "Quarterly, 1. Gules a tower argent, 2. Argent a lion of the same fimbriated gules, 3. Or a dragon (?) vert, 4. Gules a crescent argent surmounted by a cross and a bezant or."
The "Vasos Apolinares," known in English as the "Vicarello Vases", "Vicarello Traveling Cups" or "Vicarello goblets" are four silver goblets found in 1852 and 1863 when revamping the spa of Vicarello, located on Lake Bracciano, north-west of Roma. There was already a Roman spa there, named Aquae Appolinaris. The goblets, shaped like a cylindric milliary column, were probably given / sold to rich water takers as souvenirs. The Vicarello Vases are engraved with the itinerary of the Via Augusta and the Via Domitia, linking Cádiz to Roma, listing all the posts and the distances between them. The engineer Eduardo Saavedra (1829-1912) has reconstituted the Spanish part of the itinerary and has attempted to match the Roman place names with modern places. Accordingly, "Ad Morum" was located 500 feet north of Navas de San Juan, with a post where 20 horses could be changed. The place is locally known as Camino de Aníbal (Hannibal's Way), but there does not seem to be evidence that Hannibal and his elephants ever crossed it.
[Unofficial website]

Ivan Sache, 23 March 2008