No8Do

Nearly every city in Spain has a symbol that they use as an official stamp on everything from bike racks to sewer lids to water towers and public buildings. Of course it would not be a proper Spanish symbol if it didn’t include a legend. Everywhere you go in Sevilla you can see the symbol NO8DO. In Madrid they have the bear and the tree, and in Granada it is the pomegranate.

In the case of Sevilla the motto is a rebus, combining the Spanish syllables (NO and DO) and a drawing in between–the figure “8.” According to various sources the figure represents a skein of yarn, or in Spanish, a “madeja.” When read aloud, “No madeja do” sounds like “No me ha dejado,” which means “It [Seville] has not abandoned me.”

Here’s the story according to wikipedia:
“The story as to how NO8DO arrived at being the motto of the city has undoubtedly been embroidered throughout the centuries, but legend has it that after the “Reconquest” of Seville from the Muslims in 1248, King Fernando III, El Santo, King of Castilla and León moved his court to the former Muslim palace, the Alcázar of Seville.

After San Fernando’s death in the Real Alcázar, his son, Alfonso X, “The Wise,” assumed the throne. Alfonso X was a scholar king, hence his title. He was a poet, astronomer, astrologer, musician and linguist. Alfonso’s son, Sancho IV of Castile, tried to usurp the throne from his father, but the people of Seville remained loyal to their scholar king and this is where NO8DO was believed to have originated when, according to legend, Alfonso X rewarded the fidelity of the “Sevillanos” with the words that now appear on the official emblem of the city of Seville.”

Yet another legend in a long line of tales about the people of Sevilla…

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