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Las Navas de la Concepción (Municipality, Andalusia, Spain)

Last modified: 2015-11-21 by ivan sache
Keywords: las navas de la concepción |
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Flag of Las Navas de la Concepción - Image from the Símbolos de Sevilla website, 28 May 2014

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Presentation of Las Navas de la Concepción

The municipality of Las Navas de la Concepción (1,704 inhabitants in 2013; 6,335 ha; municipal website) is located 100 km north-west of Seville, on the border with the Province of Córdoba.

Las Navas developed around four monasteries established in 1557 by monks from the Order of St. Basil, at the time at least 25 km apart from any other settlement: San Antonio del Valle de Galleguillos, San Miguel de las Breñas, San Basilio de Hornachuelos, and Nuestra Señora del Buen Suceso de Retamar. The ruins of the monasteries are located on the municipal territories of Las Navas, Alanís, Hornachuelos and La Puebla de los Infantes, respectively. They formed the ecclesiastic province of El Tardón. San Antonio del Valle de Galleguillos was the biggest of the monasteries, owning the pastures of El Convento, La Carlina, Galleguillos, La Arana, El Lagar, El Buho, La Venta and Juncalón. To exploit its domain, the monastery hired farmers, who established small settlements on the small hills (navas) located in the south-western part of the territory. The village of Las Navas de las Puercas was eventually founded, including 42 streets oriented southwards and eastwards. The village was named for an estate located in the neighbouring municipality of Constantina, where the monks gathered huge quantities of acorns used to feed pigs (puercas).

The municipality of Las Navas de la Concepción was established on 11 February 1854, separating from Constantina; in 1870, the Municipal Council required reincorporation to Constantina, to no avail.
The building known as El Lagar (The Press), the oldest in the municipality, was erected in the 16th century by the monks. This was an old grain, wine and oil mill. with underground cellars and a big wooden beam (16 m x 1.5 m) used for triturating.

Ivan Sache, 28 May 2014

Symbols of Las Navas de la Concepción

The flag and arms of Las Navas de la Concepción (municipal website), submitted on 16 October 2014 by the Municipal council to the Directorate General of the Local Administration, are prescribed by a Decree adopted on 21 October 2014 by the Directorate General of the Local Administration and published on 4 November 2014 in the official gazette of Andalusia, No. 215, p. 24 (text).
The symbols are described as follows:

Flag: Rectangular, of 1.80 m in length on 1.30 m in width. Diagonally divided in two triangular parts of equal size, the left part, celestial blue with the local coat of arms, the right stripe, made of 10 white and celestial blue stripes of the same width, five and five in turn.
Coat of arms: Spanish shield. Per pale, 1. Azure the anagram of the Blessed Virgin argent ensigned with a crown of 12 five-pointed stars of the same, 2. Azure a column with a capital argent ensigned with two five-pointed stars of the same. A bordure gules with the writing in letters or "AÑO 1557 - 11 FEBRERO 1854" on top, "SINE LABE CONCEPTA" dexter and "TALIS EST MAGNUS BASILIUS" sinister. The shield surmounted by a Royal Spanish crown closed.

The flag was originally elected in 1998 by the inhabitants of the village [municipal website].
The colours of the flag are those of the Immaculate Conception, which is also recalled in the first quarter of the coat of arms and by the writing on the bordure ("Sin pecado concebida", "Conceived without sin"). The second quarter features the emblem of the Order of St. Basil, also recalled by the writing on the bordure ("Talis est magnus Basilius" , "So great is Basil"). The dates recall the foundation of the first monastery (1557) and of the municipality of Las Navas de la Concepción (11 February 1854).
[Símbolos de Sevilla website]

The Spanish Basilian monks, with no connection with the eastern monks who adopted the rule released in 356 in Cappadocia by St. Basil the Great, followed a Latin liturgy; the Italian and Spanish branches are known as Latin Basilians.
Father Bernardo de la Cruz and the hermits of Santa María de Oviedo (Diocese of Jaén) formed the core of the congregation. Subsequently, several monasteries where St. Basil's rule was followed in a milder manner were established in Castile and Andalusia, with a college in Salamanca and Seville, respectively. Ruled by a Vicar General, each monastery was placed under the nominal authority of the Superior General of the Order. The monks did not abstain from drinking wine and wore a cloth similar to the Benedictine cloak, which was allowed by the Holy See in spite of the protest by the Order of St. Benedict. Superseded in 1833 by other orders, the Order of St. Basil was never reestablished in Spain.
[La Orden de San Basilio by J.M. Besse]

Ivan Sache & Klaus-Michael Schneider, 28 May 2014