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The mysterious symbol of Sevilla

On paving stones...

On buildings...

On police cars...

Once you spot this mysterious symbol, you will see it everywhere in Seville.

NO8DO is on the Town Hall and even appears on the flag of Seville, but what does it mean?

For starters the 8 in the middle of the symbol is in fact, not an eight at all. The 8 is a skein of wool or a 'madeja' in Spanish. The symbol reads as NoMadejaDo or to break it down when spoken: 'No me ha dejado'. This translates to 'She has not deserted me' meaning the city of Seville. The history of NO8DO is an interesting one involving kings, family and war.

In 1252 Alfonso X became the King of Castilla, León and Galicia after his father King Ferdinand had passed away. A few years before Ferdinand's death, Seville (amongst other southern Spanish cities) had been liberated from years of Moorish rule. Once King Alfonso took to the throne, culture and science began to thrive in the city. He founded a university in the city and managed to unite the citizens of Seville regardless of religion and creed. This included creating a high court of dignitaries made up of those of the Christian, Islamic and Judaic faiths. Sevillian's loved their king, so when Alfonso's son Sancho decided he wanted the throne for himself; Seville did not give in so easily.

Seville was one of the few cities that disagreed with Sancho's claim to the throne. It appeared to be a losing battle for Alfonso, as many big names in medieval Spain backed Sancho for king. Sancho did eventually end up becoming king but Seville never forgot Alfonso. As other cities fell to Sancho's rule, Seville stayed strong until the bitter end. Alfonso thanked this loyal supporters in Seville and gave them the words they use today on their emblem: She has not deserted me.

Smarchant Abroad

Berkshire, UK

©2017 by Smarchant Abroad.