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Jorquera (Municipality, Castilla-La Mancha, Spain)

Last modified: 2019-08-30 by ivan sache
Keywords: jorquera |
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Flag of Jorquera - Image by Ivan Sache, 4 May 2019


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Presentation of Jorquera

The municipality of Jorquera (360 inhabitants in 2018 vs. 2,503 in 1920; 6,797 ha; municipal website) is located 50 km north-west of Albacete. The municipality is made of the village of Jorquera, grouped on a spur surrounded by a meander of river Júcar and other, smaller settlements established along the Júcar: Alcozarejos, Cubas, Maldonado, and Calzada de Vergara. Cubas and Calzada de Vergara are mostly composed of semi-excavated cave dwellings.

Jorquera and the narrow, sinuous valley of the Júcar were already settled in the Neolithic. Population increased after the Roman conquest; several bridges were built to cross the Júcar, such as the Old Bridge, aka Town's Bridge (destroyed in October 1982 by a flood), which was erected on a secondary branch of the Via Herculea. An important late Roman or early medieval necropolis was excavated in Las Carriladas, which could be accessed only from the river by a stair cut in the rock, of which only a few steps have been preserved until now. Above were found remains of funerary steles, kept at the Provincial Archeological Museum in Albacete.

Jorquera was fortified by the Almohads, who erected a fortress and set up irrigated crops on both sides of the river. The aqueduct known as El Caño (The Pipe) was cut in the rock through the narrower section of the meander to supply water extracted from the river by a noria to a system of norias established along the road. According to Aurelio Pretel Marín, the castle of Jorquera could have been the administrative center of the Al-Axarach district.
The first General Chronicle of Spain relates that the Moorish king Yusuf withdrew to Jorquera after a battle fought against Rodrigo Díaz de Vivar, El Cid Campeador. Jorquera and the valley of the Júcar were eventually reconquered in the early 13th century by Alfonso VIII, as reported in the aforementioned chronicle. After the fall of Murcia, the former Moorish lands were shared among the conquerors; Jorquera and another three castles were transferred to Pedro Núñez de Guzmán.

Jorquera and the other towns of the Montaragón Mancha were granted by Infante Sancho to his uncle Manuel as an anticipated reward for his expected support against the claims of his cousins, the sons of the Infantes de la Cerda, to the succession of Alfonso X. Incorporated to the domain of Villena, Jorquera was re-settled and thrived. After the death of Manuel and his descendants, Jorquera followed the complicated destiny of the Marquessate of Villena, being successively reincorporated to the Royal domain, granted to the Castilian Infantes as their dowry, and eventually transferred to Alfonso of Aragón in the second half of the 14th century, and, then, to the Pacheco lineage in the middle of the 15th century.

After a violent revolt against the feudal lords, Jorquera was transferred in 1450 to the Marquess of Villena, who organized the State of Jorquera, including the municipalities of Abengibre, Alatoz, Alborea, Casas-Ibáñez, Cenizate, Fuentealbilla, Golosalvo, Mahora, Motilleja, Navas de Jorquera, Pozo-Lorente, Valdeganga, Villamalea, Casas de Juan Núñez, Casas de Ves, Villavaliente, Alcalá del Júcar, La Recueja, Campoalbillo, Bormate, Cubas, Calzada de Vergara, Alcozarejos, and Maldonado. Jorquera was superseded in 1874 by Casas-Ibáñez as the district capital.

Ivan Sache, 4 May 2019


Symbols of Jorquera

The flag of Jorquera is prescribed by an Order issued on 18 July 1994 by the Government of Castilla-La Mancha and published on 29 July 1994 in the official gazette of Castilla-La Mancha, No. 37, p. 2,814 (text).
The flag is described as follows:

Flag: Rectangular, crimson, with the crowned coat of arms of the municipality in the center.

The coat of arms of Jorquera is prescribed by an Order issued on 18 July 1994 by the Government of Castilla-La Mancha and published on 29 July 1994 in the official gazette of Castilla-La Mancha, No. 37, p. 2,814 (text).
The coat of arms is described as follows:

Coat of arms: Per pale, 1. Vert a tower or, 2. Or an eagle sable. The shield surmounted by a Spanish Royal crown.

The former coat of arms of Jorquera, similar but with swapped quarters, was prescribed by Decree No. 3,084 issued on 7 November 1975 by the Spanish Government and published on 27 November 1975 in the Spanish official gazette, No. 285, p. 24,794 (text).
The coat of arms is described as follows:

Coat of arms: Per pale, 1. Or an eagle sable, 2. Vert a tower or. The shield surmounted by a Royal crown closed.

The Royal Academy of History validated the proposed coat of arms, which was supported by "significant scholar references". Philip II's Relaciones report the arms of Jorquera as "an eagle and a tower". A different coat of arms, of dubious and arbitrary organization, used in the modern era, was rejected.
[Boletín de la Real Academia de la Historia 183:3, 616. 1976]

Ivan Sache, 4 May 2019


 
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