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Solana de los Barros (Municipality, Extremadura, Spain)

Last modified: 2020-10-26 by ivan sache
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Flag of Solana de los Barros - Image by Ivan Sache, 16 March 2020

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Presentation of Solana de los Barros

The municipality of Solana de los Barros (2,623 inhabitants in 2019, 6,500 ha; municipal website) is located 45 km south-east of Badajoz and 15 km north-west of Almendralejo. The municipality is composed of the town of Solana de los Barros and of the villages of Cortegana (208 inh.) and Retamal (475 inh.).

Solana de los Barros was settled by the Romans, as evidenced by the remains of villas found in Los Castillejos, 3 km from the town's center; these estates probably belonged to affluent citizens of Augusta Emerita (Mérida), located only 30 km away. Remains of the late Roman and Visigoth periods have yet to be excavated on the same site. Another Roman site, Panos Perdidos, located 7 km away of the downtown near the road to Badajoz, has yielded artifacts kept in the Provincial Archeological Museum.
Solana, allegedly reconquered from the Moors by the Knights of the Temple, was first mentioned in 1279 in an order issued by Alfonso X the Wise that allocated Solana, Olivenza and Los Santos to the Council and Diocese of Badajoz. A small settlement was established in the middle of the 14th century, soon scoured by epidemics and abandoned during the wars with Portugal. Góme Suárez de Figueroa re-settled and chartered Solana on a new site, located at mid distance of the hamlet of Los Caballeros and the early site of Solana. In the early 16th century, the village counted c. 500 inhabitants.

The fertile area of Solana de los Barros was fiercely disputed between the Council of Badajoz and the County of Feria. The poet and humanist Enrique Cock (c. 1540-1598), a Dutch Catholic exiled to Spain, described Solana as follows:
"Protecting mother rich in fruit, land of Solana,
Named by the sun ["sol"] for its brilliant rays,
Provided spring supplies opportune rain,
No field will ever compete with yours."

Solana de los Barros was granted the status of villa in 1554 by Gome Suárez de Figueroa III, who issued Ordinances prescribing all aspects of the town's administrative organization. The town was visited in 1566 by Philip II who signed the order of separation of the town from Aceuchal, ruled by the Order of Saint James.
In the 17th century, the population of the town, then part of the Duchy of Medinaceli, declined to 200.

Ivan Sache, 16 March 2020

Flag of Solana de los Barros

The flag and arms of Solana de los Barros are supported by a memoir submitted on 16 September 1988 by Alfonso de Ceballos-Escalera Gila, Marquess de La Floresta.
The symbols are described as follows:

Flag: Quadrangular. Diagonally divided per bend yellow and green. Charged in the center with the municipal coat of arms in full colors.
Coat of arms: Quarterly, 1. Gules a castle or masoned sable port and windows azure, 2. Or five fig leaves vert in saltire, 3. Azure a sun or, 4. Vert a stone bridge spanning over a river argent and azure in bend sinister. The shield surmounted by a Royal crown closed.

The symbols were designed from scratch, since no historical version was found in the searched sources.
The 1st quarter features the arms of Castile.
The 2nd quarter features the canting arms of the Figueroa, first lords of the town.
The 3rd quarter features a sun [sol], making the arms canting.
The 4th quarter recalls the old name of the town, Solana del Puente (The Bridge's).
[Municipal website]

Ivan Sache, 16 March 2020