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Municipality of Santa Oliva (Tarragona Province, Catalonia, Spain)

Last modified: 2015-07-29 by ivan sache
Keywords: santa oliva | quartered | castle (black) | branch: olive (green) | olive branch. |
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The municipality of Santa Oliva (2,988 inhabitants; 954 ha) is located in the plain of Baix Penedès, north of the town of El Vendrell, Province of Tarragona.

In 938, Louis IV Transmarinus, King of the Franks, confirmed the rights of St. Mary church of Santa Oliva to the abbey of Sant Cugat del Vallès, once the biggest monastery in the County of Barcelona. In 1012, the village was transferred to Baron Isnabert, who built a tower, later increased to form the castle of Santa Oliva. In 1142, lord Pere of Santa Oliva acknowledged the suzereignty of Guillem de San Martí, lord of Penedès [1].

Ivan Sache, 03 Feb 2009


On 9 January 2006, José M. Baselga reported in "Diari de Tarragona" the results of the flag competition held in Santa Oliva. Elected by the villagers among 10 proposals, the flag shows "the castle and the branch of olive on green and yellow shades." The flag was designed by the local artist Joan López. The adopted flag was submitted to the Government of Catalonia for approval.

During the "Festa Major" of Santa Oliva, giants representing lord Pere, his wife Dolça and their mule walk through the streets in the event called "Cercavila." Photos of the event taken in August 2007 [2] show a flag hanging from a balcony and from a window, apparently square and quartered green-yellow with a black castle in the second quarter and a green branch of olive with black fruits in the third quarter. This particular flag matches the elusive description given above.

Ivan Sache, 03 Feb 2009

Coat of Arms

The colours and charges of the flags are derived from the municipal coat of arms, which is [3]:

"A right-angled lozengy shield, or a castle vert surmounted by a branch of olive vert fructed sable. The shield surmounted by a mural crown." On the flag, the castle is black and its design is different from the arms (less heraldic and closer to the real landscape of Santa Oliva, including the castle and the church [4]).

The olive branch is, of course, canting, for the name of the village.

Ivan Sache, 03 Feb 2009


  1. History of the castle of Santa Oliva, by Ramon Orpinell
  2. Photos of Aug 2007 Festa Major
  3. Wikipedia
  4. Photoof the castle of Santo Oliva