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Shield of Amsterdam

Amsterdam has, like all the cities of Europe, its own heraldic iconography. The symbol that incarnates the original and cultural origin of the city is the Cross of San Andres. As much in its flag as in its shield we found three crossings of San Andres like main reason.

The history of San Andres is amazing, like almost all that narrate the lives of the saints. Andres was the first apostle called by Jesus to preach with him. He was brother of Pedro, firstly and the Baptist was disciple of Juan. He preached in Greece, the region of the Black Sea and the Caucasus. He got to be bishop of Byzantium, position that ended up happening in the Patriarcado de Constantinople. By this the father of the Greek Orthodox Church is considered.

According to the tradition, San Andres was stopped by Rome and crucified in a cross in the form of X, denominated by the Romans crux decussata. He was not nailed in her, but tied with cords, to bring about his death by asphyxia. In this cross he was, while he died, preaching the word of God to which he happened to his side. The martyrdom lasted two days.

In the shield of Amsterdam they are drawn, aligned, three crossings of San Andres. Some historians maintain that besides his religious symbolism, also they allude to the three plagues that historically more harmed the city, and which more they were feared for his inhabitants: The floods, the fires and the plague. In century XVI to the shield, that only counted on the three crossings, two from Leon rampantes were added to them, one to each side.

The official motto of the city, that also can be seen in the complete shield, is: `Heldhaftig, Vastberaden, Brave, Decided, Merciful Barmhartig', that is to say, `'. These attributes were granted by queen Guillermina in 1947, homenajeando to the resistance that Holland offered to the Nazi invader in World War II. Guillermina, of the house of Orange-Nassau, was queen from 1898 to 1948.

On the shield Corona of Austria is placed Imperial, that was granted to Amsterdam in 1489 by the emperor of the Sacrum Germanic Roman Empire, Maximiliano I of Hapsburg, in its additional condition of Archduke of Austria. In this way it was thankful for to the city the services offered to Corona in past and present times.

To hold the imperial crown was of great importance for the Holland of the future. The incipient commerce of the Low Dutch Average Age benefitted from the passport, and sometimes safe-conduct, that supposed to take to the imperial crown in its trips and commercial explorations. The germ of the commercial Holland that the Modern Age would see began thus. The Holland of the sailors, the adventurers, the travellers. Cosmopolitan Holland.

Photo Via: Flickr

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