Our Family Coat of Arms


Our Family Coat of Arms comes from Cacabelos, a town in Spain. This description of the Coat of Arms was provided by Antonio J. Garay Carballo, Cacabelos, Leon, Espana - 26 August, 1998.

En el escudo de la villa de Cacabelos (Leon), esta representados la pertenencia, situacion y origen.

La pertenencia, viene significada por el cuartel izquierdo, en el que se ve un leon rampante coronado. Cacabelos pertenece al antiguo reino de Leon y hoy, a la provincia del mismo nombre.

El cuartel derecho indica su situacion en el Camino de Santiago, (Galaxy, or Milky Way), representados por la Cruz de la Orden de Caballeria de Santiago Apostol y la clasica venera del peregrino.

La referencia a su origen, viene plasmada en el monte de su parte inferior, coronado por una fortaleza que representa al viejo Castro de la Ventosa, antigua ciudad de "Berg-Dum" celta, que se defendido bravamente ante los ataques de las legiones romanas, en el ano 29 a.d., del emperador Augusto y mandadas por los generales Antistio y Carisio, y que dio nombre a la region del Bierzo, donde esta ubicada.


"En el escudo de la villa de Cacabelos (Leon), esta representados la pertenencia, situacion y origen. La pertenencia, viene significada por el cuartel izquierdo, en el que se ve un leon rampante coronado. Cacabelos pertenece al antiguo reino de Leon y hoy, a la provincia del mismo nombre."

"The location, history and origin of the village of Cacabelos, Leon are represented in its coat of arms. The symbol on the right means that Cacabelos belonged to the old Kingdom of LEON (Lion) and today belongs to the province of the same name. This is represented by the rampant Lion with the crown."

Probably before the time of Trajan, the Romans founded in the Asturias, in the neighborhood of the ancient Lancia, a military colony to which they gave the name of Legio Septima Gemina. From Legio (acc. legionem) was formed, in accordance with the nature of the Romance-Castilian language, the name León, and the identity of this name with that of the king of beasts (león, from leo, acc. leonem) perhaps explains how, by what in German is called a Volksetimologie, the lion came to be considered the heraldic cognizance of the city and province of this name, and even of the whole Spanish people.



"El cuartel derecho indica su situacion en el Camino de Santiago, (Galaxy, or Milky Way), representados por la Cruz de la Orden de Caballeria de Santiago Apostol y la clasica venera del peregrino."

"The symbol on the left means that Cacabelos is on the famous pilgrim's "Way of Santiago," also known as the "Galaxy" or the "Milky Way." This is represented by the Cross of the Order of the Knights of St. James of Compostela and the classic pilgrim's scallop shell."

The story of Santiago de Compostela begins with the apostle James who undertook missionary activity in the Iberian peninsula, now northwest Spain. After his martyrdom in Jerusalem his body was believed to have been transported back to Spain in a stone boat for burial, but the site of his grave became lost in the following centuries. In the 9th century, his remains were reputedly rediscovered in a field in by a monk who had been guided by a star. A church was built to secure the sacred bones and the town that grew up around it was called Santiago de Compostela (St James of the Field of Stars). The name Compostela is thought to be a corruption of the Latin campus stellae, making it 'field of stars.' A hermit by the name of Pelayo found the tomb of Santiago in a field following a vision of lights or falling stars in the sky. The other association with stars for the Camino is that the Way to Santiago is also the way west following the stars of the Milky Way to Finisterre or the end of the world.

The symbol of the pilgrim became the scallop shell. Some believe that it arose from the story of how a horse and rider plunged into the sea when the body of the apostle first arrived in Spain; miraculous intervention saved the rider's life and as he emerged from the sea he was seen to be covered in scallop shells which fell away as he rode off into the distance. Found in abundance along northern Spanish beaches, the symbol of the scallop shell has become closely intertwined with the Camino de Santiago. The emblem par excellence of this Pilgrimage is the shell of vieira or scallop. It is well known that the vieira (scallop) is a bivalve mollusk characteristic to the Galician coast, opposite which was the "end of the world" (Finisterre) to the medieval psyche. Some historians believe that the scallop shell was proof that the early pilgrims had made it all the way to Finisterre. They picked one off the beach and presented it as proof of completion. The scallop design symbolizes the many European starting points from which medieval pilgrims began their journey, all drawn to a single point at the base of the shell, Santiago de Compostela. The scallop shell also symbolizes the pilgrim: the shell — like the pilgrim — washes up on whatever shore God chooses. Being light and small in size, the scallop shell was ideal for gathering water from a spring or improvising tableware at the side of the path. The pilgrims returning to their homes, which were often far inland, carried the small object back with them as a memento of their long journey to Santiago de Compostela, home of the remains of St. James the apostle. Practical observers argue that the shell was adopted merely as a device for sipping water from streams along the way. If this is so, it quickly took on greater meaning even to the earliest pilgrims. Today cement scallop shell markers along the Camino reassure participants that they have not taken a wrong turn (which is easy to do if you are not paying attention at each crossroad), and local residents decorate their gardens and houses with shells in solidarity with the pilgrims.



"La referencia a su origen, viene plasmada en el monte de su parte inferior, coronado por una fortaleza que representa al viejo Castro de la Ventosa, antiuga ciudad de "Berg-Dum" celta, que se defendido bravamente ante los ataques de las legiones romanas, en el ano 29 a.d., del emperador Augusto y mandadas por los generales Antistio y Carisio, y que dio nombre a la region del Bierzo, donde esta ubicada."

"The origin of the village is pictured in the mountain of the lower part, crowned with the fort of the "Castro de la Ventosa," which bravely defended the old celtic city called "Berg-Dum" from attacks of the Roman Legions of the Emperor Augustus and ordered by the Generals "Antistio" and "Carisio" in the year 29 before Christ. This mountain gives the name to the region of "El Bierzo" where Cacabelos is located."

In the slope of a hill, a kilometer from Cacabelos, is Pieros, a traditional village that has a Roman church. It is still possible to see in the southern wall, a tablet that records its consecration by Bishop Osmundo in 1086. This ancient village it is the believed to be the location of the "I Castrate Cupping Glass" (Castro de la Ventosa), the place of establishment of the old city Bergidum Flavium. The region “Bierzo” derives its name from this pre-Roman city . The Castro de la Ventosa is a high plateau surrounded by a wall, from which all the Low Bierzo can be viewed.

This preRoman city, of which derives the own name from the Bierzo, was conquered by the Roman army in year 26 BC., after a hard fight. Later, Rome granted citizenship rights and it was the residence of the administrators of the operations of the Marrows. Castro de la Ventosa, was the place of residence during almost ten years of Pliny the Old one, and constituted an important point of the newly established route - of Panties to Astorga - that crossed the river, it crossed by the South and one went to Ponferrada, as well as of the Route Lugo - Astorga , settling down on the Cúa River not only a step bridge, but also a network of sewage systems to avoid the possible flooding of the river.

The importance of this period in the birth of the locality of Cacabelos is easily proven, as well as is the strategic importance of its location does already more than 2,000 years later. In fact, archaeological research gave rise to the creation of a Municipal Museum and students and professors have even raised the construction of a temple sanctuary of raised classic cut with the extracted materials of the subsoil.

Castro de la Ventosa, in addition to being a center of great importance at Roman times, also was a population center at one time. Although later it became depopulated, the people returned to inhabit it during the reign of Alfonso IX, since, in 1210, the Leonine monarch tried to repopulate the land by granting privileges to those who wanted to live there. This core of inhabitants wanted to compete in importance with Cacabelos, a rivalry that started because both towns were protected by different religious organizations. Cacabelos belonged to the Archbishop of Santiago, whereas Castro de la Ventosa was under the auspices of the Archbishop of Asturias. Fearing a decline in the importance of Cacabelos, the church of Santiago began a lawsuit which resulted in compensating the archbishop with half of all the taxes collected. The raised money yielded three parochial churches built in the villa, and the pledge not to change the public pathway that passed through Cacabelos, that is to say, the Way of Santiago. Nevertheless, the king did not agree with the church of Santiago and prohibited travellers to spend the night in Cacabelos, the only such rule in all the history of the Way. The ecclesiastical and popular pressure, by which hospitals were created and other facilities created for the pilgrims in Cacabelos ruined the pretensions of the monarch. This protection to Cacabelos prevented the growth of Castro de la Ventosa, which continued losing privileges and population until it completely disappeared.


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