Tarascon (Bouches-du-Rhône)

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Blason de Tarascon (Bouches-du-Rhône)/Arms (crest) of Tarascon (Bouches-du-Rhône)
TARASCON (BOUCHES-DU-RHÔNE)

Country : France
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Département : Bouches-du-Rhône
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Official blazon
French Coupé: au 1er de gueules au château donjonné de trois tourelles d'argent, ouvert (du champ), ajouré et maçonné de sable, posé sur la partition , au 2e d'azur à la tarasque d'or avalant un homme d'argent.
English blazon wanted

Origin/meaning

The arms show in the lower half a Tarasque, a fearsome legendary dragon-like mythological hybrid from the Provence, tamed in a story about Saint Martha. The legend of the Tarasque is reported in several sources, but especially in the story of St. Martha in the Golden Legend.[2] The creature inhabited the area of Nerluc in Provence, France, and devastated the landscape far and wide. The Tarasque was a sort of dragon with a lion's head, six short legs like a bear's, an ox-like body covered with a turtle shell, and a scaly tail that ended in a scorpion's sting. He hid in the river where he took the life of all passers-by and submerged vessels.

According to the legend the king of Nerluc had attacked the Tarasque with knights and catapults to no avail. But Saint Martha found the beast and charmed it with hymns and prayers, and led back the tamed Tarasque to the nearby city. The people, terrified by the monster, attacked it, but the monster offered no resistance and died there. Martha then preached to the people and converted many of them to Christianity. Sorry for what they had done to the tamed monster, the newly Christianized townspeople changed the town's name to Tarascon.

Image gallery

Literature: Image from http://www.armorialdefrance.fr; legend and image of statue from Wikipedia


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