Coat of arms of Catalonia

The Coat of arms of Catalonia is based on four red pallets on gold background which have been used since the Middle Ages on several coats of arms. Its origin is strongly related to that of the arms of the Crown of Aragon.

It is considered by heraldists and by the government of Catalonia to be originally the familiar arms of the Counts of Barcelona,[1][2][3] and it was adopted by the descendants of Ramon Berenguer IV, Count of Barcelona as Kings of Aragon.[1][4] Several authors strongly dispute the origin of coat and consider the arms to always have been those of the Kings of Aragon.[5]

It is one of the oldest coats of arms in Europe dating back in a seal of Ramon Berenguer IV, Count of Barcelona from 1150.[1][6][7][8]

Coat of arms of Catalonia
Coat of Arms of Catalonia
Seal of the Generalitat of Catalonia
Arms of the Generalitat of Catalonia
Adopted12th century
CrestRoyal crown of Spain
BlazonOr, four pallets gules.

Heraldic description

Gelre Folio 62r
Gelre Armorial, page 62r

The blazon of the arms is: Or, four pallets of gules, ensigned with a royal crown.[9] In heraldry, the escutcheon is traditionally called as of the King of Aragon, although some medieval armories display the same arms also on the entry for the Count of Barcelona. Modernly called of Aragon [10] or of Barcelona.[11]

It has been described on the Middle Ages armorials as in "Armorial du Hérault Vermandois", 1285-1300,[12] as that of the King of Aragon, naming specifically Peter III as one of the bearers, is described as These are the arms of the Counts of Barcelona who acquired Aragón by marriage (...), the one of Count of Barcelona is the same or three pallets gules,[13] the arms of the King of Majorca are those of Aragon, with the coat of arms of James II, King of Majorca being or four pallets gules a bend azure [14] and the one of the King of Ternacle d Aragon et Ternacle en flanquiet lun dedans lautre (...) Per pale or four pallets gules and argent (...).[14] The coat of arms with the four red pales on a gold background appears on several other coats of arms, named as "of Aragon".[15] Also mentioned in Armorial de Gelre, 1370-1395, the coat of arms of Peter IV Die Coninc v. Arragoen is golden with four pallers of gulets (Barcelona) [16] or the Armorial d'Urfé, 1380, sont les armes de le Conte de Cathalogne, and in armorial de Charolais, 1425, arms conte de Barselongne and armorial Le Blanq (sources from 1420-1450) venant des contes de Barselone,[17] armorial Wijnbergen, King of Aragon or four pallets gules [18]


Segell cera Ramon Berenguer IV
Seal of Ramon Berenguer IV, count of Barcelona

According to those scholars who favor a Catalan origin, the red pallets on gold originally stood as the familiar emblem of the counts of Barcelona.[1][2][3] The descendants of the Counts retained the symbol as Kings of Aragon (the main branch), Counts of Provence, Counts of Foix,[1] Judges of Arborea in Sardinia (party per saltire), Kings of Mallorques, and Kings of Sicily (party per saltire).[4]

As a pre-heraldic symbol, the red and yellow bars appeared on the Romanesque tombs of Barcelona's Count Ramon Berenguer II Cap d’estopes, (†1082), and of his great-grandmother Ermessenda, (†1058), wife of Count Ramon Borrell I,[19] both of whose tombs were at the portico old Romanesque Cathedral of Girona. The dating of the tombs' paintings is controversial. Analysis of the painting showed that it coincided with paintings of the same times[20] and the pre-heraldic forms indicate pre-heraldic times, before the second third of the 12th century.[21]

The oldest seal including the arms dates from 1150: a seal of Raymond Berengar IV, Count of Barcelona and Prince of Aragon. [1][6][7][8][22] The arms where inherited by all the three sons of Raymond Berengar, and they appear on the seals of Ramon Berenguer, count of Provence, from 1178, on the seal of Sanç, from 1180, and on the seal of the oldest brother, Alfons the Chaste, king of Aragon and count of Barcelona (1164-1196) from 1186. Some authors dispute the evidence of the seals; they claim that the first documented evidence dates from the reign of Alfonso II (king of Aragon and count of Barcelona, 1164-1196).[5]

The chronicle of king Peter the Ceremonious, over 1359, says that the king-count Alfons the Chaste "left the arms and signals of Aragon and took pales",[23] and the genealogy of the kings ordered by the future king John I, on 1380, states that Raymond Berengar IV "did not change the comital arms".[24]

The Queen Consort Maria de Luna stated in 1396 in the Catalan Parliament that the arms of the County of Barcelona were "bars reds and yellows" and King Martin I in 1406 stated that the royal flag was the "flag of the old Principality of Catalonia".

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e f " Léon Jéquier. Actes du II Colloque international d'héraldique". Breassone.1981. Académie internationale d'héraldique. Les Origines des armoiries. Paris. ISBN 2-86377-030-6.
  2. ^ a b Ottfried Neubecker, JP Brooke-Little. Le grand livre de l'héraldique.p.233. Elsevier Séquoia.1977. Paris-Brussels. ISBN 2-8003-0140-6
  3. ^ a b The Catalonia Government's Official Web
  4. ^ a b Fluvià I Escorsa, Armand de (1994). Els quatre pals: l'escut dels comtes de Barcelona (in Spanish). Barcelona: Episodis de la Història, 300.
  5. ^ a b "Palos de Aragón" entry on Gran Enciclopedia Aragonesa
  6. ^ a b Paul Adam Even."L'heraldique catalane au moyen age" in Hidalguia, 22, Mayo-Junio 1957. Madrid. p465.
  7. ^ a b Martí de Riquer. "Heràldica catalana: des l'any 1150 al 1550". Quaderns Crema.1982. ISBN 84-85704-34-7
  8. ^ a b Michel Pastoureau. L'origine des armoiries de la Catalogne" in II Simposi numismàtic de Barcelona. 1980.E.Cymys SCEN ISBN 84-85060-16-4
  9. ^ Ampelio Alonso de Cadenas y López; Vicente de Cadenas y Vicent. (1985a). Heráldica de las Comunidades Autónomas y de las capitales de provincia. Ediciciones Hidalguía: Madrid (Spain). ISBN 8400060407
  10. ^ Presidencia del gobierno. "The coat of arms"
  11. ^ "blasón aragonés de cuatro cuarteles llamados de Sobrarbe, Aínsa, Alcoraz y Barcelona" at the Great Aragonese Encyclopedia
  12. ^ Armorial du Hérault Vermandois, Introduction Archived 2015-05-09 at the Wayback Machine
  13. ^ Armorial du Hérault Vermandois, Le Royaume d Arragon, Nos 1047 - 1061 Archived 2016-03-03 at the Wayback Machine see 1047 Le Roy d Arragon and 1051 the entry for the Conte de Barsellonne
  14. ^ a b Armorial du Hérault Vermandois, Rois Archived 2016-03-04 at the Wayback Machine King of Majorca entry
  15. ^ Armorial du Hérault Vermandois, Le Royaume d Arragon, Nos 1047 - 1061 Archived 2016-03-03 at the Wayback Machine see 1054 Le Duc de Monblanc, 1055 Le Conte de Daigne Marquis de Villames, 1056 Le Conte d Ourgel, 1057 Le Conte de Prades, 1058 Le Compte d Ampures,
  16. ^ "Folio 62r 637.Pierre IV, R. d'Aragon" (in French). 637. Pierre IV, R. d'Aragon (...) Description : D'or, à quatre pals de gueules (Barcelone). Cimier: Un buste de dragon d'or, lampassé de gueules, dans un vol de chauve-souris du même, issant d'une couronne sur une capeline d'Aragon ancien. (638)
  17. ^ Michel Poppof. "L'heraldique espagnole et catalane a la fin du Moyen-âge". Editions Leopard d'Or. 1989. ISBN 2-86377-078-0. Paris.
  18. ^ Armorial Wijnbergen, Rois, Nos 1257 - 1312 Archived 2016-03-04 at the Wayback Machine, see 1263 le Roy darragon
  19. ^ original Romanesque tomb of Ermessenda
  20. ^ Frederic Udina Martorell. Problemática acerca de los palos de gules.
  21. ^ Marti de Riquer. "Llegendes històriques catalanes. Quaderns Crema. 2000.pag.16. Barcelona. ISBN 84-7727-296-4
  22. ^ Faustino Menéndez-Pidal. "Palos de oro y gules" in Studia in honorem prof. M. de Riquer (pars quarta). Quaderns Crema.1991.p669. ISBN 84-7727-067-8
  23. ^ Carmen Orcastegui. "Crónica de san Juan de la Peña(versión aragonesa).Edición crítica". Inst.Fernando el Católico.1986.Zaragoza. ISBN 84-00-06144-6
  24. ^ Pedro lópez Elum. "J.Domenech crónica. Textos medievales 42".Anubar ediciones.1975.Valencia ISBN 84-7013-067-6
  • Fatás, Guillermo; Guillermo Redondo (1978). La bandera de Aragón (in Spanish). Zaragoza: Colección Básica Aragonesa, 3.
  • Fatás, Guillermo; Guillermo Redondo (1995). Blasón de Aragón : el escudo y la bandera Zaragoza (in Spanish). Diputación General de Aragón, D.L.
  • Fluvià I Escorsa, Armand de (1994). Els quatre pals: l'escut dels comtes de Barcelona (in Spanish). Barcelona: Episodis de la Història, 300.
  • Menéndez Pidal de Navascués, Faustino (1991). Palos de oro y gules (in Spanish) (vol. IV ed.). Barcelona: Episodis de la Història, 300. pp. 669–704.
  • Montaner Frutos, Alberto (1995). El señal real del rey de Aragón: historia y significado (in Spanish) (vol. IV ed.). Zaragoza: Fernando el Católico. pp. 669–704.

External links

Armorial of Spanish autonomous communities

This gallery of coats of arms of the autonomous communities of Spain shows the distinctive coats of arms of the 17 autonomous communities of Spain (constitutionally they are the nationalities and regions in which Spain is territorially organized), plus the autonomous cities of Ceuta and Melilla.

Coat of arms of Barcelona

The coat of arms of Barcelona is the official emblem of the City Council of Barcelona, the capital of Catalonia, has its origin in the Middle Ages, these arms were first documented in in 1329. The Government of Catalonia conferred the coat of arms and the flag as official symbols of the municipality in 2004. It has an escutcheon in lozenge which is commonly used in municipal coats of arms of cities in Catalonia. Currently the City Council of Barcelona also uses a isotype based on the heraldry of the city.

The blazon of the arms is:

Quarterly, first and fourth Argent, a full cross Gules, second and third Or, with four paletts Gules; for a Crest, a royal crown (with half-arches, monde, and cross).

Coat of arms of the Crown of Aragon

The so-called Bars of Aragon, Royal sign of Aragon, Royal arms of Aragon, Four Bars, Red Bars or Coat of arms of the Crown of Aragon, which bear four red paletts on gold background, depicts the familiar coat of the Kings of Aragon. It differs from the flag because this latter uses fesses. It is one of the oldest coats of arms in Europe dating back to a seal of Raymond Berengar IV, Count of Barcelona and Prince of Aragon, from 1150.Today, this symbol has been adopted and/or included in their arms by several former territories related to the Crown of Aragon, like the arms of Spain, which wears it in its third quarter whereas the kings of Spain are heirs of those of Aragon; the shield of Andorra, which also shows it in its third quarter. It is also the main element of the arms of the present Spanish Autonomous Communities of Catalonia, Valencian Community and the Balearic Islands; the fourth quarter of the Spanish Autonomous Community of Aragon; of the French regions of Languedoc-Roussillon (Department of the Pyrénées-Orientales, whose territory regroups the old province of Roussillon and French Cerdagne); and in the Italian provinces of Reggio de Calabria, Catanzaro in Calabria and Lecce in Apulia. It figures also in numerous located municipal blazons in the territories of the Crown, either by explicit concession of the king, or because they were cities or towns of realengo (that is, directly dependent on the Crown and subject to no kind of manorialism); and others outside it, in which case the symbol is because of the presence of the king or knights of the Crown at some moment of their local history.


Foix (French pronunciation: ​[fwa]; Occitan: Fois [ˈfujs, ˈfujʃ]; Catalan: Foix [ˈfoʃ]) is a commune, the former capital of the County of Foix. Today it is the Préfecture of the Ariège department in southwestern France in the Occitanie region. It is the second least populous administrative centre of a department in all of France, the least-populous being Privas. Foix lies south of Toulouse, close to the border with Spain and Andorra. At the 2009 census, the city had a population of 9,861 people. It is only the second city of the department after Pamiers which is one of the two sub-prefectures. Foix is twinned with the English cathedral city of Ripon.

Güell Pavilions

The so-called Pavellons Güell, or Güell Pavilions, is a complex of buildings in the neighborhood of Pedralbes, Barcelona, by the Catalan Modernist architect Antoni Gaudí, built between 1884 and 1887.

Legend of the Four Blood Bars

The Legend of the Four Blood Bars is a legend about the origins of the Senyera Reial (Royal Banner) that appeared for the first time in 1551 at Segunda parte de la crónica general de España, a chronicle edited by Pere Antoni Beuter in Spanish in Valencia. This legend places the Senyera Reial origins on Wilfred the Hairy. Specifically, it narrates that the sign of the four bars was created after a battle against the Normans, when the King of the Franks doused his hands in the blood of Wilfred the Hairy's injuries. After swiping his fingers over the golden shield of the Earl of Barcelona he said: "These will be your arms, Earl".

The Legend of the Four Blood Bars does not appear in any other historical work before Beuter's work in 1551, even though the affiliation of Senyal Reial to the lineage of the Barcelona's Earl was already established by the kings of Aragon in the fourteenth century. In the fifteenth century, early versions of the legend appeared. This versions explained the creation of this heraldic sign as some blood marks on a golden shield. Finally, in the sixteenth century it was Beuter who noticed that he had found the legend of Wilfred the Hairy and the blood bars in some alleged "manuscripts" he gave no further data from. Although it cannot be imputed with absolute certainty that Beuter was the creator of the legend, it seems rather clear that the alleged "manuscript" source was either remitting to an earlier source, or it was a subterfuge to avoid any subsequent critique.

The Valencian Legend of the Four Blood Bars was an immediate and fulminating success that was copied by all the later historians that made it a true story. It was not until 1812 that the Catalan historian Joan de Sans i de Barutell discredited any truth in the Valencian legend of the four bars. He noted the historical incoherences regarding Wilfred the Hairy (840-897). Meanwhile, heraldic Faustino Menéndez Pidal de Navascués proved that heraldic did not reach Europe until the second quarter of the twelfth century (1125-1150). Although in 1812 Joan de Sans i de Barutell discredited completely the historicity of the legend, it is still a beautiful legend, which is why artists felt the need to graphically reproduce it and glosse it with poems. The Valencian Legend of the Four Blood Bars that appeared in the sixteenth century should not be confused with the Llegenda medieval de Guifré el Pilós(Medieval legend of Wilfred the Hairy), compiled by the monks of Santa Maria de Ripoll Monastery in the twelfth century.

List of coats of arms

Here is a list of articles about coats of arms..

National symbols of Catalonia

The national symbols of Catalonia are flags, icons or cultural expressions that are emblematic, representative or otherwise characteristic of Catalonia or Catalan culture.

The oldest Catalan symbol is the coat of arms of Catalonia, based on the royal arms of the Crown of Aragon, though a number of theories trace its origin to even older times. It is one of the oldest coats of arms in Europe. A legend, considered non-historical, says that the four red bars (Quatre Pals or Quatre Barres) are the result of Charles the Bald, known also as Charles II, king of West Francia, smearing four bloodied fingers over Wilfred the Hairy's golden shield, after the latter had fought bravely against the Normans.

Catalonia's national symbols as defined in the Statute of Autonomy of Catalonia are the flag, Catalonia's day, and the anthem. These symbols have often a political and revindicative significance. Other symbols may not have official status, for different reasons, but are likewise recognised at a national or international level.

One of the highest civil distinctions awarded in Catalonia is the St George's Cross (Creu de Sant Jordi).

Outline of Catalonia

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to Catalonia:

Catalonia – nationality and one of the seventeen autonomous communities of Spain, located on the northeastern part of the Iberian Peninsula.

Palau de la Música Catalana

The Palau de la Música Catalana (Catalan pronunciation: [pəˈlaw ðə lə ˈmuzikə kətəˈlanə], English: Palace of Catalan Music) is a concert hall in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain. Designed in the Catalan modernista style by the architect Lluís Domènech i Montaner, it was built between 1905 and 1908 for the Orfeó Català, a choral society founded in 1891 that was a leading force in the Catalan cultural movement that came to be known as the Renaixença (Catalan Rebirth). It was inaugurated February 9, 1908.

The project was financed primarily by the society, but important financial contributions also were made by Barcelona's wealthy industrialists and bourgeoisie. The Palau won the architect an award from the Barcelona City Council in 1909, given to the best building built during the previous year. Between 1982 and 1989, the building underwent extensive restoration, remodeling, and extension under the direction of architects Oscar Tusquets and Carles Díaz. In 1997, the Palau de la Música Catalana was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site along with Hospital de Sant Pau. Today, more than half a million people a year attend musical performances in the Palau that range from symphonic and chamber music to jazz and Cançó (Catalan song).


The Senyera (Eastern Catalan: [səˈɲeɾə]; meaning "pennon", "standard", "banner", "ensign", or, more generically, "flag" in Catalan) is a vexillological symbol based on the coat of arms of the Crown of Aragon, which consists of four red stripes on a yellow field. This coat of arms, often called bars of Aragon, or simply "the four bars", historically represented the King of the Crown of Aragon.

The senyera pattern is nowadays in the flag of four Spanish autonomous communities (Catalonia, Aragon, the Balearic Islands, Valencia), and is the flag of the historically Catalan-speaking city of Alghero (Catalan: L'Alguer) in Sardinia. It is also used on the coat of arms of Spain, the coat of arms of Pyrénées-Orientales and of Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, the flag of Roussillon, Capcir, Vallespir and Provence in France, one quarter of the coat of arms of Andorra, and on the local flags of many municipalities belonging to these territories. The Senyera (sometimes together with the flag of Andorra) is also used more informally to represent the Catalan language.

It is also a synonym (in Catalan Senyal Reial or Senyera and old Spanish Señal Real or Señera) for Royal Flag, although the word normally refers to the Catalan and Aragonese flags. Also in Aragonese, it is usually referred to as O Sinyal d'Aragón, i.e. "The Sign of Aragón".

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