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Albufeira Municipality (Portugal)

Last modified: 2006-02-05 by antonio martins
Keywords: albufeira | coat of arms (castle: red) | castle (red) | eagle (black) | head: moor | head: king | waves: 2 (green) | lagoon |
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Albufeira municipality
image by André Serranho, 19 Jul 1999
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About the flag

It is a quite typical portuguese municipal flag, with the coat of arms centered on a background gyronny (meaning city rank) of yellow and red. The coat of arms is argent, a castle gules, with door and windows or, by a sea of three wavy fesses vert and argent, and under an eagle sable between a christian king’s head, dexter, and a moorish king’s head, sinister, both proper (from the traditional Algarve arms). Mural crown argent with five visible towers (city rank) and white scroll reading in black upper case letters "CIDADE DE ALBUFEIRA".
António Martins, 19 Jul 1999

Presentation of Albufeira

Albufeira municipality had 21 730 inhabitants in 1990, and it is divided in 3 communes, covering 140 km2. It belongs to the Faro District and to the old province of Algarve. The name "Albufeira" is of arabic origin and means in portuguese reservoir (or sometimes lagoon). No trace of this at the coat of arms though, which bear the usual algarvian symbols (the heads). Ths castle stands for the local castle, the sea fo the sea and the eagle for something that I don’t know.
António Martins, 19 Jul 1999

In Spanish, "albufera" means a seaby lagoon which fills and empties with the tides through a narrow sea outlet (and that is the original Arabic meaning, as far as I know).
Santiago Dotor, 20 Jul 1999

That’s one meaning of the word in portuguese too. Is there such an arabic word as "buhera" or something similar?
Jorge Candeias, 21 Jul 1999

"Bukheira" = "small sea" = "lake"; could be also "lagoon" — from "Bakh’r" = "Sea". (Or it could be something connected with trained falcons…)
Dov Gutterman, 21 Jul 1999

When Algarve was part of the arabic empire, in that place existed a very small swampy lagoon/estuary. Even if today the city spreads along the cliffs by the sea (and having parts of it in danger of meeting the sea from a shorter distance than desirable, if you know what I mean), it’s original settlement followed the valley of a small creek. So, the coat of arms of Albufeira remains enigmatic…
Jorge Candeias, 24 Jul 1999