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Arija (Municipality, Castilla y León, Spain)

Last modified: 2018-03-18 by ivan sache
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Flag of Arija - Image by Ivan Sache, 9 March 2014


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Presentation of Arija

The municipality of Arija (156 inhabitants in 2012; 697 ha; municipal website) is located in the north of the Province of Burgos, on the border with Cantabria, 45 km from Saldaña and 100 km from Burgos.

Arija was in the Middle Ages part of Alfoz de Santa Gadea. The village developed in the 19th century during the industrialization of the Campoo district, boosted by the establishment of the Bilbao - La Robla railway line and the building in 1906 of the Cristalería Española glassworks. Just before the Civil War, the village had nearly 4,000 inhabitants; the new borough of Vilga was established close to the factory.
The municipality of Arija was established in 1928. The building of the Ebro Reservoir (6,253 ha; 1921-1945; inaugurated in 1952) dramatically changed the life of the villagers, as did the closure of the glassworks on 31 March 1953. Deemed obsolete, the factory was superseded by a more modern one established in Avilés, where most workers moved.

Ivan Sache, 9 March 2014


Symbols of Arija

The flag and arms of Arija, supported by a memoir presented on 23 January 2007 by the Spanish Vexillological Society and validated on 19 November 2007 by the Chronicler of Arms of Castilla y León, are prescribed by an Agreement adopted on 27 May 2017 [more than 10 years after the original submission], signed on 28 July 2017 by the Mayor, and published on 14 August 2017 in the official gazette of Castilla y León, No. 155, pp. 33,826-33,827 (text).
The symbols are described as follows.

Flag: Rectangular, in proportions 2:3, made of three vertical, equal stripes, green, yellow and blue. The yellow stripe charged with the municipal oat of arms, in height 60% of the flag's hoist.
Coat of arms: The yew is a symbol of the natural resources provided by the woods, the bishop's croziers are an historical symbol, and the marshes of river Ebro crossed by a bridge are geographical symbols.

The symbols were validated, "without any inconvenience", on 16 November 2007 by the Royal Academy of History. Designed from scratch since no historical record of the use of emblem was found, the coat of arms is described as: "Per fess, 1a. Argent a yew vert, 1b. Gules two bishop's croziers or [crossed in saltire}, 2. Azure a bridge over waves. The shield surmounted by a Spanish Royal crown."
[Boletín de la Real Academia de la Historia. 104, 3:465, 2007]

The Mount Hijedo yew (photos) represents the woods.
The two croziers recall two brothers native of Arija who were appointed Bishop and Archbishop, respectively, on the same day, 22 May 1886. Francisco Gómez de Salazar y Lucio-Villegas (1827-1906; biography), Bishop of León (1886-1904), was also Preacher of King Alfonso XII (1875) and member of the Royal Academy of Moral and Political Sciences (1885-1903). Manuel Gómez de Salazar y Lucio-Villegas (1824-1893; biography), Archbishop of Burgos (1886-1893), was previously Bishop of Sigüenza (1875) and Málaga (1979, following the transfer of the bishopric of Sigüenza).
The bridge represents the bridge over the Ebro marshes (photo).

Previously, the municipality used the coat of arms of Castilla y León, as prescribed by a Decree adopted on 24 November 1994 by the Municipal Council, validated on 9 February 1995 by the Government of Castilla y León, and published on 15 February 1995 in the official gazette of Castilla y León, No. 32 (text).

Ivan Sache, 5 March 2018