|Spanish||En el centro la figura de Hércules revestido con la piel de un león, flanqueado por otros dos que el héroe agarra por las melenas, con una columna a cada lado portando la inscripción: «Non plus ultra», y en la bordura, esta otra inscripción: «Hercules Fundator Gadium Dominatorque». Se remata en su parte superior con una corona de tipo ducal.|
The arms were officially granted on January 23, 2009.
The coat of arms of the city of Cádiz is formed by the figure of a Hercules, dressed in the skin of a lion, trying to separate two other lions that he has at his sides. Behind him are the 'Pillars of Hercules', the legendary pillars on each side of the Mediterranean during Ancient Greek times. They indicate in Spanish history the power over both sides and the shipping on the Strait of Gibraltar. Cádiz has always been a city protecting the Spanish interests on the Strait. The Pillars of Hercules probably are the mountains on both sides of the Strait. In Roman times there was an important temple of Hercules in what is now Cádiz.
The legend of the combat with the lion is found in an ancient book by Theocritus, which states that Eurystheus ordered Hercules to bring him the skin of the lion that had terrified the valley of Nemea. So Hercules went to the valley in search of it, and shot the lion with all the arrows of his quiver without hurting the lion, because they all bounced on his skin. Then Hercules took his mace and went to the lair of the beast, had a terrible body-to-body fight, and at the end caught the lion with his powerful arms and finally drowned it. He then removed the skin and put it on because it had to make him invincible.
It was thus logical that the city of Cádiz started to use a scene from the legends of Hercules in its arms. Why the legend with the lions was chosen is not clear. The scene appears for the first time in the 15th century seal of the city and later on 17th century coins.
The arms basically never changed in composition since, although not always the colums were used (1969 version). The colours are (still) not formally described in the grant from 2009 and thus during the centuries many different variations of the arms exist.
The arms in the Abadie albums
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Literature: Delgado Orellana, 1969