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Purchena (Municipality, Andalusia, Spain)

Last modified: 2017-02-11 by ivan sache
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Flag of Purchena - Image by Klaus-Michael Schneider & Ivan Sache, 12 January 2017

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Presentation of Purchena

The municipality of Purchena (1,638 inhabitants in 2016; 5,647 ha; municipal website), self-styled "the Pearl of Almanzora", is located 90 km north of Almería.

Purchena was in the Copper Age the site of a town protected by walls and appended a necropolis, excavated in Los Churuletes in the 1890s by Luis Siret. The excavation of the dolmen yielded bell-shaped vases and 20 stone and marble idols, kept in the National Museum of Archeology. Hand mills, stone axes and vases from the Argar culture (2500-20000 BC) were found in the Alcazaba mountain. Remains of Roman villae were also excavated, for instance in Onegas.

Part of the Kingdom (taifa) of Almería, Purchena was the birth place of the poets Abu Muhammad ibn Abd Allah ibn Jalis, Ibn Aiyas Al-Tujibi, and Abu Berkr Ibn Thofail, the latter being appointed secretary and doctor of the Almohad sultan Abd al-Mumin.
Visited by Queen Isabel the Catholic, Purchena was the capital and seat of the court of the Morisco rebels during the Alpujarra Wars (1569). In the second part of the Granada Civil Wars, Ginés P&ecute;rez de Hita relates the festival conveyed in Purchena by the rebel leader Aben Humeya; sports, music and dance competitions were organized for the Moriscos from Granada, Baza, Guadix, Almería and the Alpujarras, with the participation of soldiers from Fes (Morocco) and Turkey.

Ivan Sache, 12 January 2017

Symbols of Purchena

The flag of Purchena (photo, photo, photo) is blue with the municipal coat of arms in the center. Neither the flag not the arms appear to have been officially registered.

The coat of arms is "Quarterly, 1. and 4. Azure a tower or flanked a key argent in pale, 2. and 3. Or a lion rampant gules. Th shield placed over a wingless double-headed sable and surmounted by an old Royal crown."
The wingless eagle seems to be unique in heraldry. Informed that Purchena had surrendered to Aben Humeya without any resistance, the Marquis de Los Vélez required from King Philip II an exemplary punishment. The King ordered to cut the wings of the eagle.
Once a matter of shame, the wingless eagle is nowadays a proud symbol of the town and of the valiance of its inhabitants during the Morisco revolt.
[Cronica de Olula, 13 January 2016]

Klaus-Michael Schneider & Ivan Sache, 12 January 2017