Friday, October 12, 2018

Matanzas’s City turns 325

For the town of San Carlos de Matanzas, the month of October if full of celebration. It was on that month, in 1693, that the city was officially founded. This year, however, it was more special than ever thanks to the herculean efforts of the Conservator’s Office and its many workers, who have restored the historical part of the city to its colonial splendor and glamour.

Front cover of Revista Matanzas, where our article is featured

In celebration of this historical moment, albeit local and personal, we contributed with a small publication on the local magazine Matanzas. In it, we published a small piece on Matanzas's first coat of arms. Unknown until now was the revelation that the governor Severino de Manzaneda, who founded de city in October 1693, had provided the city with an official coat of arms since 1694, which was approved by the crown in 1698, but unfortunately forgotten by local and crown officials until 1828, when the colonial shield was redesigned.

Colonial Coat of Arms given by the Spanish Crown to the city of Matanzas, 1828,
Courtesy of the Archivo General de Indias.

Although this may seem trivial, the coat of arms of Matanzas has been seen as a unifying symbol, first of its relationship to the Spanish crown and then to the Republic. More interestingly, it was previously unreported or unknown by local and national historians. Thus, this little note added a little piece of history, which was lost amongst the old archive papers in Seville, providing a different hue to our local history's color. Moreover, it adds to the poorly studied Cuban and Novohispanic heraldry.

That article can be accessed for free here. Other posts on Matanzas history can be accessed here.

Stay tuned for more updates on fossils and old documents!

Article can be sited as:

Orihuela León, J., R. A. Viera Muñoz & L. Pérez Orozco (2018). El blasón desconocido: Primer escudo de San Carlos de Matanzas. Revista Matanzas XIX (1/2): 7-11.

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