The Old Heraldry in Ireland

Heraldry is a common tradition that was passed on for centuries in Europe. Places like Germany, Ireland and England featured coats of arms and shields with symbols like animals, weapons, shapes and plants. Each of these has their own representations and stood for a clan or nobleman.

In Ireland, heraldry portrayed new representations, such as the Tree of Life, the snake that meant good health and the fish that represented being wise. There are several other popular images shown on coats of arms and shields. Many of these show animals like wolves, stags and horses. There are also others that feature nature, flowers or the sea.

Old practice usually referred to the oak tree as a source of good health or vitality. There are coats of arms that showcase the back of an oak tree, to stand for long life. The oak tree was inaugurated by ancient elders and priests. There are also certain places throughout Ireland that look back on the practice of inaugurating oak trees.

To inaugurate is to bear deep into the soil. The ancient druids usually did the same. Now, there are even machines called augurs that still perform the same task of burrowing deep into the earth. Some crest flags still feature serpents and trees. Augsburg is a German place that got its name from the same practice of bearing into the soil. Through the centuries, the symbols remained the same on coats of arms and shields and families continued to pass these on to the next generation.

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Understanding Ancient Heraldry

Heraldry used to be very common in Europe. It was introduced in England by the Normans about 1000 years ago. Other parts of Europe also learned the practice, such as Ireland and Germany. The first coats of arms of English or Norman make presented a number of designs such as animals, geometric shapes and weapons.

When heraldry was introduced in Ireland, the shields and coats of arms began showing other images such as the Tree of Life, the Serpent that stood for vitality and the salmon that stood for wisdom. People often associated the characters and terms on the herald with the family or noble.

Ancient civilizations believed that the oak tree was the tree of life, which is why there were emblems that feature a pattern similar to the rear of an oak leaf. The oak tree was also given great meaning by elders and druids in ancient times. There are sites in Ireland that are named after the commemoration of oak trees, such as Derrymore.

The inauguration involves planting deep into the earth. Druids or augurs frequently did the old practice. At present, a machine that plants into the soil is still referred to as an augur. There are still crest flags seen today that feature oak trees and snakes. There is even a town in Germany known as Augsburg, which still stemmed to the same meaning and term. Coats of arms were passed on from one generation to the next and kept the same meaning for centuries.

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About Crest Flags and Troubadours

In times of war, troubadours need to inform commanders about the statistics, qualities and other facts about the enemy army. They would be required to move between the two places where the battle will ensue to learn about battle formations, the size of the opposing army and the types of troops available. Troubadours were also able to point out dead soldiers and the crest flags that have been captured. Many noblemen who have been subdued would try to make it seem as if they are ordinary soldiers to avoid being held for ransom. However, troubadours were able to point them out. These special men were usually given the position of deputy commander-in-chief, because they are important in the battle plan. From troubadours, three new positions came out – the herald, army staff officer and ambassador.

The word “coat of arms” originated from a huge coat that was worn by a knight over his armor. During hot days, the armor can be unbearable and in the winter months, the armor would be stiff because of the ice. The coat would be very effective in maintaining the right temperature of the armor. The colors of the knight were also featured on the coat to identify him easily.

A crest was also shown on the helmet of the warrior. Crest flags may feature animal parts and other items that will make the carrier easy to identify on the battlefield. These also had aesthetic purposes.

The oldest known heraldic shield of Norman origin was discovered on a tombstone in France, dating back 1010.

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Of Troubadours and Crest Flags

In times of war, troubadours need to inform commanders about the statistics, qualities and other facts about the enemy army. They would be required to move between the two places where the battle will ensue to learn about battle formations, the size of the opposing army and the types of troops available. Troubadours were also able to point out dead soldiers and the crest flags that have been captured. Many noblemen who have been subdued would try to make it seem as if they are ordinary soldiers to avoid being held for ransom. However, troubadours were able to point them out. These special men were usually given the position of deputy commander-in-chief, because they are important in the battle plan. From troubadours, three new positions came out – the herald, army staff officer and ambassador.

The word “coat of arms” originated from a huge coat that was worn by a knight over his armor. During hot days, the armor can be unbearable and in the winter months, the armor would be stiff because of the ice. The coat would be very effective in maintaining the right temperature of the armor. The colors of the knight were also featured on the coat to identify him easily.

A crest was also shown on the helmet of the warrior. Crest flags may feature animal parts and other items that will make the carrier easy to identify on the battlefield. These also had aesthetic purposes.

The oldest known heraldic shield of Norman origin was discovered on a tombstone in France, dating back 1010.

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The Purpose of Heraldry

The word “Heraldry” actually stemmed from an ancient German term that means army or host. The word herald also stands for the person who would let it be known that an army is on its way or a lord or knight is about to arrive. The herald’s job was to share information about the special person who is coming, who is generally his master. They will share the statistics of the army, which is important for a leader to know so that he can either pay tribute to the coming party, or prepare to attack.

The heralds in the past were troubadours who went to different countries. They would spread information about their masters creatively and were granted protection as long as they show their crest flags or coat of arms of their masters. They were protected from attacks, because attacking a herald would mean that the person is declaring war against the master.

The old heralds generally knew how to read and write. They were also entertainers and would be welcome at castles because of the stories and songs that they have. Kings loved listening to heralds especially if they come from a great noble or warlord.

The crest flags and shields tell a lot about the knight and his family. The heralds would further explain the symbols on the flags and shields later on. It was an ideal way of identifying an ally and a foe during the ancient times. Heralds were generally given respect and protection because of the information they possess.

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About Heraldry

The term “Heraldry” has ancient German ancestry. The word actually means host or army. It also represents the individual who announces that an army is coming or the person who could point out the main features of the army, such as the knights, their manner of attacking and defense and their statistics on the battlefield. These are also important items to consider especially when you are a commander, so that you can determine whether to take on the ensuing force or to call for reinforcements.

The ancient heralds started out as traveling troubadours. These were men who travel throughout Europe to announce the coming of nobles through stories and songs. They served as messengers or representatives who were generally protected and were also able to travel wherever they wanted. They would be allowed to go to another country to serve their purpose of spreading information. During their trips, they would have a tabard that would feature the coat of arms of their master, as well as the crest flags. These would immediately let other nobles and their men identify the herald and would not harm him. Attacking a herald could be dangerous later on, since it is deemed as an act of war against the master.

The heralds had the ability to write and read. Some were able to speak different languages and could also remember a lot of detail about the knights and nobles that they meet along the way. They were generally allowed to stay in castles, because they possess essential information and were also good performers. Many kings and noblemen would love to hear about their travels and masters.

The crest flags and shields would showcase the details about the knights, nobles and kings that the heralds represent. Sometimes, foreigners can easily recognize whose master the herald was coming from just by looking at the coat of arms.

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Visiting Moraira in Spain

Moraira is known as one of the oldest fishing villages in Spain. It is visited by tourists every year because of the picturesque view, with mountains and the Mediterranean Sea bordering the area. The town is also known for its culture and history. Before, the ancient Phoenicians resided in the area. Then, the Greeks and Romans followed. There are still a number of cave paintings that were preserved and these were found to have been created during the Bronze Period.

Now, several archeological excavations have been done around Moraira, and experts have found many interesting pieces that tell more about the town’s past. Some of the items existed since the Paleolithic Period. There is also evidence that the Moors also stayed in the place centuries before. The Torreon is a castle that was built in 1742 by the main Bourbon family, with their crest still present on the doorway. Some people have been concerned about maintaining these features for people to see someday.

Moraira also boasts of its pine forests, orange groves and villas. Visitors love witnessing the ancient structures that tell much about how the people in the past used to live and work. Many will learn about the beginnings of Spain just by looking at the artifacts and artworks. There is also a beautiful beach that is 8 kilometers long. In the summer, the temperature tends to rise up so high, but in the colder months, people may also find the place very chilly. The beach was given the Blue Flag for its beauty and cleanliness. There are so many beach and water activities to try like sailing, diving, swimming, sunbathing, golf and fishing. There are also hidden sites where you can find natural wonders that are not available in other parts of the globe.

The town is not very well known for its malls and commercial buildings. People can still find several decent places to buy items and eat. Visit the Friday market, which showcases several locally made products. The fishing village is also a great place to enjoy food and local delicacies. In other cities in Spain, you might find their nightlife livelier compared to Moraira.

Traveling to Moraira is very convenient and easy, since Alicante Airport is about one hour away if you travel by car. You can pick the transportation of your choice in advance. It is recommended to reserve early and look for available accommodations especially during the peak season, since the availability of great places to stay, as well as taxi cabs tend to be limited in number. Talk to a reputable travel agency and make early reservations. Also ask about available tours and some of the best spots to visit. There are several great dining places that suit your budget. If you are traveling with family, consider the temperature at the time that you are visiting since the weather can drastically change.

Overall, Moraira is one of the most scenic places that you will find in Spain. Take a lot of photos and learn about Spanish history and culture through its ancient sites and works.

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