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La Carolina (Municipality, Andalusia, Spain)

Last modified: 2017-02-04 by ivan sache
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Flag of La Carolina - Image from the Símbolos de Jaén website, 1 December 2015

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Presentation of La Carolina

The municipality of La Carolina (15,808 inhabitants in 2014; 20,100 ha; municipal website) is located 70 km north of Jaén. The municipality is made of the town of La Carolina and of the villages of Las Navas de Tolosa (468 inh.), La Fernandina (21 inh.), La Isabela and El Guindo.

La Carolina was the capital of the New Settlements of Sierra Morena and Andalusia, established by Royal Letters (text) signed on 5 July 1767 in Madrid by King Charles III. The document contains "instructions and the settlement charter to be applied in those [settlements] newly established in the Sierra Morena with natives and Roman Catholic foreigners". The Preamble of the Letters states that Pablo de Olavide, Knight of the Order of St. James, "Assistant" of the king in Seville and Intendent of the Army of Andalusia, is appointed Superintendant General in charge of the direction of the new settlements to be established in Sierra Morena. The king "proposes" that Juan Gaspar de Thurriégel, of Bavarian citizenship and Roman Catholic religion, introduces 6,000 Roman Catholic, German and Flemish colonists in the kingdom.
La Carolina is the best example of the urbanism of the Age of Enlightenment, being nicknamed Joya Urbanística del Santo Reino (The Urbanistic Jewel of the Saint Kingdom). The town was planned by Simon Desnaux on the model of the Roman colonies, around two main axes: the cardo (north-south) and the decumanus (east-west).
Linares mining district the first producer of argentiferous lead in the world. The mining borough of El Guindo was soon founded. The crisis of mining industry and the need to extract lead at even deeper depth caused the closure of the mines in the late 1970s; several jobless workers emigrated to other provinces or foreign countries.

The Peñuela convent was established in 1565 by Alonso Sánchez, from Baeza. The convent was transferred to the Discalced Carmelites in 1573. St. John of the Cross stepped at the Peñuela convent when heading to the Calvario convent, located in Beas de Segura.

The battle of Las Navas de Tolosa (detailed account), fought on 16 July 1212, initiated the decline of the Muslims in Andalusia, being the first step to the final reconquest of the region by the Christians.
A Christian coalition, counting 70,000 soldiers led by Alfonso VIII, King of Castile, Sancho VII, King of Navarra, Peter II, King of Aragón, Diego López II de Haro, standard-bearer of Castile, and Rodrigo Jiménez de Rada, Archbishop of Toledo, defeated the Almohad army, which counted 120,000 men led by Muhammad Al-Nasir "El Miramamolin". The Christians lost 2,000 men while the death toll in the Muslim camp reached 90,000.
The battle has remained famous for the decisive "Charge of the Three Kings", which broke down the Muslim second and third lines of defence. Sancho VII ordered his soldiers to seize the commanding red tent of Al-Nasir, who had just escaped to Baeza; the soldiers killed the last guards and broke the chains that surrounded the tent; the event is recalled by the chains featured on the arms of Navarra. Al-Nasir lost most of his treasure, including the banner of Las Navas, kept in the monastery of Las Huelgas in Burgos.
The flag used during the battle by the Archbishop of Toledo, known as the flag of the battle of Las Navas de Tolosa, is kept in Vilches.

Ivan Sache, 1 December 2015

Flag of La Carolina

The flag of La Carolina is Carmelite brown with the municipal coat of arms in the center. This is an unofficial simplification of the official banner of the municipality.
[Municipal website]

Ivan Sache, 1 December 2015

Banner of La Carolina


Banner of La Carolina - Image from the Símbolos de Jaén website, 1 December 2015

The banner (pendón) of La Carolina is prescribed by Decree No. 64, adopted on 9 April 1986 by the Government of Andalusia and published on 9 May 1986 in the official gazette of Andalusia, No. 40, pp. 1,451-1,452 (text). This was confirmed by a Resolution 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 banner, "of traditional shape", is described as follows:

Banner: Shaped like a flag, in length 3/2 of the width, Carmelite brown. In the middle the coat of arms of the town, which is made of the Royal arms of Spain as ordered by King Charles III (with the arms of Aragón, Sicily, Austria and Burgundy modern, Duchies of Parma and Tuscany, Burgundy ancient, Brabant, Flanders, Tirol, Castile, León, and Granada and Anjou). Collars of the Golden Fleece or and of Charles III. The shield surmounted by a Royal crown closed. The shield surrounded by the writing in letters or, from top: "Real Carolina, Capital de los nuevas poblaciones de Sierra Morena". Beneath the shield, placed horizontally in or the years "1212", "1573" and "1767". The flag orled by chains or tied in base by a Holy Cross of the same.

The three years are those of the battle of Las Navas de Tolosa, of the foundation of the Peñuelas convent - also recalled by the colour of the flag -, and of the foundation of the municipality by Charles III. The chains of Navarre recall the historical event at the battle of Las Navas de Tolosa at the origin of the arms of Navarre.

Ivan Sache, 1 December 2015

Coat of arms of La Carolina

The coat of arms of La Carlota, submitted on 22 April 2013 by the Municipal Council to the Directorate General of the Local Administration, is prescribed by a Resolution adopted on 26 April 2013 by the Directorate General of the Local Administration and published on 13 May 2013 in the official gazette of Andalusia, No. 91, p. 31-32 (text).
The coat of arms, "of custom use", is described as follows:

Coat of arms: Rectangular, oblong and slightly rounded-off in base with a point, following the Spanish traditional model, quartered in 10 parts.
I. Or four pallets gules (Aragón).
II. Quarterly per saltire, a. and d. Or four pallets gules, b. and c. Argent an eagle sable crowned or (Sicily).
III. Gules a fess argent (Austria).
IV. Azure semy de fleurs-de-lis or a bordure compony argent and gules (Burgundy modern).
V. Or six fleurs-de-lis azure 1, 2, 2 and 1 (Duchy of Parma).
VI. Or five roundels gules in chief a tortil azure charged with three fleurs-de-lis azure (Duchy of Tuscany).
VII. Bendy or and azure a bordure gules (Burgundy ancient).
VIII. Sable a lion or crowned or langued and armed gules (Brabant).
IX. Grafted in base, or a lion sable armed and langued gules (Flanders).
X. Grafted in base, argent an eagle gules crowned and armed or charged with a crescent of the same (Tirol).
All over inescutcheon quartered.
I. and IV. Gules a castle or masoned sable port and windows azure (Castile).
II. and III. Argent a lion gules crowned or langued and arms or (León).
V. Grafted in base argent a pomegranate proper faceted gules leaved of two vert (Granada).
All over inescutcheon oval Azure three fleurs-de-lis or a bordure gules (arms of the Royal House of Bourbon-Anjou).
The shield surmounted by a Royal crown closed furred gules [detailed description skipped].
A collar of the Golden Fleece hanging from the base of the shield.
A collar of the Order of Charles III hanging from the upper part of the shield and surrounding it, ending with the Great Cross of the Order.

These are the arms of Charles III, the founder and namesake of La Carolina.

Ivan Sache, 1 December 2015