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Gilena (Municipality, Andalusia, Spain)

Last modified: 2015-11-20 by ivan sache
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Flag of Gilena - Image after the Símbolos de Sevilla website, 24 May 2014

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Presentation of Gilena

The municipality of Gilena (3,897 inhabitants in 2013; 5,097 ha; municipal website) is located 100 km south-east of Seville.

Gilena might have been named for silex, "a stone", or silena, "a stony place". During the Muslim period, the town was known as Yilyana. As a district capital, it was mentioned in the Book of Nations, written in the 12th-13th century by the geographer Yaqut Al-Hamawi. Gilena was then famous for its apples and grain mills established along the river.
After the Christian reconquest, the town was renamed Lugar de Gilena, Puebla de Gilena, and, eventually, Villa de Gilena. It was part of the Commandery of Estepa, ruled by the Order of St. James, and, subsequently, of the Marquisate of Estepa, erected by King Philip II for the Centurión lineage.

Ivan Sache, 24 May 2014

Symbols of Gilena

The flag of Gilena (photos) is horizontally divided blue-white-blue with the municipal coat of arms in the middle.
The coat of arms of Gilena is "Per pale, 1. Or a branch of olive proper surrounded by five chess pieces gules in base waves azure and argent, 2. Or a bend checky gules and argent of three orders. The shield surmounted by a mural crown gules and placed over a Cross of the Order of St. James of the same."

The chess pieces symbolize the five stone mounts that surround the town. The waves represent the numerous sources present on the municipal territory. The second quarter is made of the arms of the Marquis of Estepa. The mural crown is a symbol of the Roman rule.
[Municipal website]

The Centurión lineage was among the 28 houses that constituted the highest nobility in Genoa. Adán Centurión and his elder son, Marcos, served Kings Charles V and Philip II. Adán was rewarded for the conquest of Tunis with the domain of Estepa, which was erected a Marquisate for Marcos.
[Francisco Piferrer. Nobiliario de los Reinos y Señoríos de España III, 104: 1275 (1857)]

Ivan Sache & Klaus-Michael Schneider, 24 May 2014