Granada, Andalusia:Santa Fe de la Vega::Granada, Catalonia:Santa Fe del Panadés

But was the Andalusian Santa Fe a copy of the Catalan one, or did they really arise without reference to one another?

Some knightly gent must surely have recalled this configuration on arriving in Granada, Andalusia.

Some knightly gent must surely have recalled this configuration on arriving in Granada, Andalusia.

Yesterday I walked from Piera to Vilafranca with a couple of other refugees (OK, expulsees) from the great fest of chimpanzee bonding known as Three Kings. It’s a lovely stroll – 20 easy miles, following the sun all the way, and with rich almond and olive scrumping opportunities – and we spent the first bit bitching about what future there is for fundamentalist libertarianism now that we can conclude from evolutionary biology that, but for the state, there would be no individualism, and chimp bonding would be our permanent and eternal lot.

Towards the end, however, we got kind of lost next to a muckheap, and it was only the tower of the church of the small but historically important town of Granada on the horizon that persuaded us to follow the sun down an overgrown gully instead of wandering off across some vineyards. Like its Andalusian namesake, the Catalan Granada is built on a rock towering over fertile lowland, which you might want to call a vega, and at its foot there is a smaller, less well-established settlement called Santa Fe. So we stopped chewing over Rousseau and fell to wondering what the relationship is between the Andalusian and the Catalan pair (or trio, if you count the vega).

Guesscensus was that the Catalan Granada took its name from the rock on which it is built (WP: La etimología del topónimo es discutida y podría provenir tanto del árabe (Gar-anat, «Colina de peregrinos») como del latín (granatum, «granado»).) but that the Catalan Santa Fe must have been so called in a nod to the celebrations in Barcelona in 1492 following the taking of the Andalusian Granada.

Nope, says the Diputación’s Mapa Patrimoni Cultural de Santa Fe del Penedès:

Les primeres notícies documentals sobre el lloc de Santa Fe es remunten a l’any 1142, al testament d’Arbert, amb el nom de Sancta Fidem, al Penedès, com a alou de la catedral de Barcelona. Al 1189 apareix documentada la parròquia de Santa Fe i pocs anys més tard, el 1195, consta Santa Fe com a quadra ubicada a l’oest del castell del Mal Consell, pertanyent al terme de la Granada. Se sap que l’any 1235 n’era el seu castlà Guillem de Malgrat. Cal recordar que durant els segles XII i XIII, el progressiu allunyament de la frontera amb el món musulmà vers el sud afavoreix la repoblació de la plana penedesenca (fundació de Vilafranca del Penedès), així com la proliferació de mercats urbans.

Encara al segle XIV apareixen referències documentals sobre el castell de Santa Fe. Així, el fogatjament de 1365-70 permet saber que la fortalesa era propietat de l’arquebisbe de Tarragona, i que en el seu terme es comptabilitzaven 22 focs. Juntament amb el castell s’esmenta també la capella de Santa Maria, a partir del 1189 i fins el 1759. Al segle XVIII, doncs, desapareixen de la documentació tant el castell com la capella, desconeixent-se actualment el seu emplaçament.

Miquel-Angel Álvarez Galera thinks it’s just the kind of coincidental shit that happens when you’ve got Moors finding Christians:

Que poden tenir de comú dos poblaments tan llunyans en la distancia i el temps de la seva fundació? Senzillament, que no és d’estranyar que a dos llocs on es lluita contra els moros, encara que en epoques diferents, en fundar-se un nou nucli se li donés el nom de la Santa Fe Cristiana, ja sigui o no personificada en la santa cristiana del s. IV del mateix nom, en contraposició a la Fe Musulmana dels enemics.

I wonder if that’s not a rather optimistic view of life’s lottery. As part of my mission to demonstrate that everything important that has ever happened (yep, Adolf Hitler as well as the sale of old bread as new) was dreamt up by the Chosen People, I commend to you this scenario:

  1. There was a big St Faith cult among the Spanish March-ians. I think this is true, and the oldest poem in both Occitan and Catalan just happens to be about the lady.
  2. Some psychopathic Franks lay siege to some psychopathic Berbers at the important settlement of La Granada, which dominated the north-south road (on which time-travellers would also find elephants). Unfortunately afaik there is no evidence for this. Esteban Barellas mentions fighting at Granada and Santa Fe in his 1600 historical romance, Centuria o historia de los famosos hechos del gran Conde de Barcelona don Bernardo Barcino y de don Zinofre su hijo y otros caualleros dela provincia de Cataluña, but he’s deranged and deceitful.
  3. An Aragonese toponimical clique at Granada, Andalusia recalls this since-forgotten siege and proposes Santa Fe for Ferdinand and Isabella’s encampment. Screw the evidence.

Ach ja.

At the end we knocked on Mr Pipa‘s door for some horticultural advice, but he was out, presumed chimpnapped.

La Granada’s old north gate on the way to Santa Fe, with some foundational rock right. More pics.


My two-day stroll from Granada Airport via Santa Fe to Granada, Andalusia is here.

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  1. Comments copy-pasted from old location.

    1. A Nun
      January 8th 2013 15:32

      What about Llinars / Linares?

    2. Trebots
      January 9th 2013 12:49

      The first mention of Llinars is as Linares (just as the first mention of Sant Cugat is as S Cucufate, etc etc), and the conventional Catalan explanation is that it means flax fields. In Andalusia similar convention has Linares < Latin ad aras, an indication of some shrine or tomb used as a way marker, which appears quite frequently on Roman itineraries, but I’m not terribly convinced. Did people grow flax further south?

    3. A Nun
      February 7th 2013 13:10

      DCVB says “llinar = Camp de lli; cast. linar. Orti cum ortalibus… et linars et cannamars et abeller, doc. a. 1139 (BABL, vi, 392)” and says its from the Latin līnāre, which doesn’t however show in Latin dictionaries. “līnārĭa” linen factory and “līnārĭus” for weaver/dealer do. Curious.

      When did the Catalan “ll” develop?

    4. Trebots
      February 7th 2013 13:17

      There’s loads of even quite late medieval etymologising in DCVB that strikes me as nothing more than bog-standard shite Latin. Calling anything pre-C14 Catalan is just wishful thinking – Jaume I’s Llibre de feyts is just medieval Occitan. Dunno about the ll.

    5. kalebeul » More splendid photos of Granada, Penedès
      May 23rd 2013 17:37

      […] still no solution to my question as to which travelling geo-entrepreneur copied the name of Santa Fe from the County of B…. I am not sure Santa Fe agrees with me or with having Reconquista romances recited from its church […]

    6. Palabras que pierden el camino « El Organillero-Cantante de Barcelona
      June 5th 2013 13:54

      […] que la relación entre Santa Fe y Granada en el condado de Barcelona es más antigua que la entre Santa … (ojo, ¡esto no es invención de nuestro gran amigo Jordi Bilbeny!), varios de nosotros hemos […]

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