Sunday, December 5, 2010


Before visiting my son in Spain last month I had read about the city of Sevilla's cryptic official symbol, which dates to the 13th century.  I was delighted on my first morning there to come across the lovely calligraphic (and I think, letterpress) rendition above.  And as promised in the guidebooks, it was everywhere.  

On Christopher Columbus' tomb in the cathedral:

At the Plaza de España:

On the sidewalks:

On the utility trucks:

And just about everywhere you look, in some delightful rendition.

So what does it mean?  The symbol's history involves Alfonso the Wise (the "Scholar King") and Sevilla's singular loyalty to him in the face of his son Sancho's attempted overthrow. What seems to be an "8" is a representation of a skein of wool, or madeja.  The play on words is a contraction of "No me ha dejado", or "She [Seville] has not abandoned me." When spoken, the "me ha" typically is run together, making "NO-m[eh]adeja-DO".  A little confusing, but charming nonetheless!  For the full story, click here and scroll down to "Motto".


  1. Very interesting Jody and so beautiful! Love the tiles/wreath. I hope you had a wonderful visit!

  2. I bought a terra cotta platter at the Rose-Bowl flea market recently with the motto and had no idea where it was from or what NO8DO meant! Thanks for enlightening me & great blog!

  3. That's great! Guess you have an eye for good European design! Thanks for your comment.

  4. I traveled to Sevilla last summer and had a truely wonderful experience. The program I was in offered such an oportunistic trip and I am returning in the summer. I have always said I wouldn't get a tatoo, but I feel such a strong conection to the city and have been considering a small no8do. The motto is so majestic and means so much to the city at the same time. I am glad you enjoyed seeing all of the different renditions, they really are everythere!

  5. I love the idea of a tattoo that is so beautiful and meaningful! There are so many ways this design could be done. Please let me know if you decide to to it--would love to see! Thanks for being in touch. Sevilla is a place where you can't help but leave a piece of your heart!



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