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Heraldica Española - Spanish Civic Heraldry


The arms are identical to the national arms of Portugal. Around 1400 the House of Avis has secured the Portuguese crown by gaining popular support and uniting all the country against the threat of Castillian rule. The new king, John I was crowned at the Courts of Lisbon around 1384. The Castillian King angered and put a siege around Lisbon with a vast army. All in vain as the army and the fleet were destroyed. John I subsequently wants to enlarge his territory and he choose Ceuta. Ceuta remained Portuguese from 1412-1580, when Spain and Portugal were joined. After 70 years Portugal regained its independence, but Ceuta remained Spanish. Ceuta, nowadays a Spanish enclave in Morocco, was a wealthy Arab city. John I and his army defeat the Arabs and conquer Ceuta, which subsequently is granted the Portuguese arms. In a later era Ceuta is reconquered by the Arabs and later by the Spanish. Still, the original banner with the Portuguese arms that were granted to the city, has always been the banner of the city and, nowadays, is an important historical relic. The Spanish never changed the Portuguese arms of the city.

Literature : de Cadenas, A. A. and de Cadenas, V. : Heraldica de las comunidades autonomas y de las capitales de provincia. Hidalguia, Madrid, 1985

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