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Municipality of Capileira (Granada Province, Andalusia, Spain)

Last modified: 2010-03-20 by eugene ipavec
Keywords: capileira | leaves: 3 (oak) | chimneys: 2 (white) | snow star | flower: snow star (white) | mountain (white) | crown: royal (closed) |
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The municipality of Capileira (559 inhabitants in 2008; 5,700 ha) is located in the moutain region of Alpujarra. Located 1,436 m asl, Capileira is the second highest village in Andalusia; the highest point of continental Spain, Mulhacén (3,482 m) is located on its municipal territory.

The early settlers of Capileira are not known. The village was named after the Latin name "capilaris," "the highest place." Built on the edge of the Poqueira Ravine, Capileira, once a mountain stronghold with a very difficult access, resisted for long to the Muslim conquest and, subsequently, to the Christian reconquest. During the Muslim period, the village was fiercely disputed between Boabdil, the last Moor ruler of Granada and his uncle El Zagal. After the fall of Granada, the Muslims remained in Capileira and in several villages of the Alpujarra, whre they were known as "Moriscos." They revolted in 1568 and were eventually expelled from Spain by King Philip II, being replaced by Christian colonists from all over Spain. The village of Capileira has preserved its three traditional boroughs and its ancient, flat-roofed white houses built along steep and torturous narrow streets.

Source: Tourism Granada website

Ivan Sache, 27 Jun 2009


The flag and arms of Capileira were approved by the Municipal Council on 15 April 2009 and submitted on 22 April 2009 to the General Directorate of Local Administration, which confirmed them by Decree on 4 May 2009, published in the Andalusian official gazette (Boletín Oficial de la Junta de Andalucía, BOJA) No. 104 on 2 June 2009.

The relevant parts of the Decree are the following:

Coat of arms: – Spanish shield, divided per fess. First Or a branch with three leaves of oak (Quercus pyrenaica*) vert. Second vert two coupled chimneys** argent with opening sable grafted in base azure a mountain argent with a peak issuant surmounted by a snow star (Plantago nivalis***) argent seeded or. The shield surmounted by a Royal Spanish crown closed. Flag: In proportions 3:2 (length to hoist); horizontally divided into three stripes of equal size, from top to bottom, blue, yellow and green. In the middle, the municipal coat of arms.

Source: BOJA, No. 104, p. 42, 02 Jun 2009

* Quercus pyrenaica Willd., an oak species endemic of South-West Europe (France, Spain and Portugal) and North Africa (Morocco), is protected by the law in Andalusia. Known in English as Pyrenean oak, the tree has several local names.

** In the original text, "chimeneas," most probably the high chimneys found by groups of two on the houses of the village (see for instance this photo).

*** Plantago nivalis Boiss. (incorrectly spelled Plantago Nivalis in the original) is a flower endemic to the Sierra Nevada (that is, found nowhere else in the wild) and, therefore, the symbol of the Sierra Nevada. (estrella de las nieves)

Ivan Sache, 27 Jun 2009