Formerly, before irrigation filled our countryside with summer crops, the so-called Mediterranean trilogy -vineyard, cereal and olive grove- was the one that prevailed in the countryside.

Puente Genil stood out from the end of the 19th century for the quality of its oils, thanks to the work, among others, of Emilio Reina Montilla. This special dedication to the olive tree was logical, since the farmland of our small municipality could not compete with the fertile fields of Córdoba and its surroundings, large producers of cereal.

As for wines, although there have always been good wines in Puente, the preponderance of Montilla y Zapateros -which was called Moriles until 1912- was overwhelming. For this reason, with the innovations and the change of mentality that D. Emilio had brought to the area, a network of oil mills was created that made these payments famous. Proof of this are the innumerable awards that our oils obtained in Spain and abroad. As a sample button, we will say that in July 1909 Morales and company obtained the grand prize, honor sheet and gold medal at the Milan Exposition.

The very long list of awards led the National Association of Olive Growers to grant Puente Genil the title of OPTIMI OLEI EMPORIUM -The best oil emporium-. This title, unique in Spain, was approved at the meeting of the Association on October 15, 1935. On January 3, 1936 it was communicated to the City Council. The formal act took place on January 10, 1936. That day the members of the commission of the National Association of Olive Growers traveled to our town. After visiting several mills – those of D. Manuel Reina Noguez, D. Agustín Espuny Fonollosa y Morales and company – they went to the plenary hall of the town hall to make the official delivery of the title. The photograph that we show, of great historical value, immortalizes that moment. In it we can see, among others, Mr. Manuel Reina Noguez, Mr. Antonio Rodríguez Carrascosa -president of the Association-, Mr. Pedro Solís -secretary of the same-, Mr. José Flor Carvajal -secretary of the Town Hall-, and D. Antonio Romero Jiménez –mayor of Puente Genil, in the center of the photo-.

Puente Genil had this motto in its heraldic symbol until 1985. In that year, due to pressure from nearby towns that were beginning to develop their olive industries, it was decided to remove the inscription from the coat of arms. A deservedly earned title was forgotten because of some local politicians who failed to see that with a stroke of the pen a history full of effort, industrial efforts and prestige for our people was being erased.

In 2008, the new regional legislation forced local entities to register their shields and logos officially to avoid duplication and errors. Thus, the government team at that time, with Manolo Baena at the head, decided that when inscribing the Puente Genil coat of arms it was fair that the old motto should appear. That’s how it was done and that’s how it stands. According to the Resolution of December 12, 2008 of the General Directorate of Local Administration, the registration in the Andalusian Registry of Local Entities of the coat of arms and logo of the municipality of Puente Genil (Córdoba) is admitted, according to file number 025/2008/SIM .

By Carlos Delgado Álvarez de Sotomayor
Extracted from his blog «Files for the History of Puente Genil»

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