Wall Plaque of St. Eulalia

Location: Palazzo Bellomo, Syracuse, Sicily

The figure's crown represents Eulalia's martyrdom rather than any royal status; it functions in the absence of a palm branch, the more usual attribute of a martyr. The upper inscription is Latin for "Saint Eulalia, Virgin and Martyr." On the scroll below, the third word appears to be a form of "Barcelona"; the other two are the genitive That is "possessive" forms of the Latin words for "virgin" and "martyr."

The shield on the left bears the coat of arms of Barcelona, the principal city of the Crown of Aragon. The shield on the right may refer to a specific individual. Several websites I consulted say a scallop shell designates a naval commander and a helmet represents rank. Or the scallop may refer to the individual's name: The word for "scallop" in all the Iberian languages is vieira. Vieira is also a family name, although it is more common in Portugal and Galicia than in Aragon or Sicily. Thus, the two shields together probably designate a nobleman active in Sicily during the time when it was part of the Crown of Aragon (roughly the 15th through the 17th centuries).

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Photographed at the Palazzo Bellomo by Claire Stracke, shared under Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license.