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Montemayor (Municipality, Andalusia, Spain)

Last modified: 2016-05-29 by ivan sache
Keywords: montemayor |
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Flag of Montemayor - Image from the Símbolos de Córdoba website, 11 April 2014

See also:

Presentation of Montemayor

The municipality of Montemayor (4,067 inhabitants in 2008; 5,798 ha; municipal website) is located 30 km south of Córdoba; on a height recalled in the town's name and nickname, "Mirador de la Campiña" (The Countryside's Mirador).

Iberian ex-votos and ceramics dated 2000 BC proved that Montemayor is the site of one of the oldest settlements in the Córdoba Province, known as Ulia. Once believed to have been founded by the Romans, Ulia, whose etymology is still obscure, is indeed an Iberian, and even maybe pre-Iberian, foundation. The Gilded Age of Ulia was the second half of the first century BC, following the victory of Caesar over the sons of Pompeius at Munda (45 BC); in his Bellum Hispaniencis Aulu Hircio states that Ulia was the only town in southern Spain to have remained loyal to Caesar all over the civil war. Ulia sent more than 4,000 soldiers and riders to Munda; the legend says that Caesar himself granted the town with the title "Fidentia" ("The Loyal"). Ulia declined in the 3rd century and the site was nearly abandoned during the Visigothic period; the Roman walls and buildings were used as a quarry by the inhabitants of the region.
While superseded by Córdoba, Ulia reemerged in the Moorish period as UIyay Kanabniya (Ulia de la Campiña), one of the 15 iqlin (rural districts) of the cora (province) of Córdoba. While there is no archeological evidence of such a refoundation, Muslim chroniclers mention river Ulya (probably brook Carchena) as crossed by the Roman way linking Córdoba to Málaga and the iqlin as a main source of grain for the provincial capital. In 1233, King Ferdinand III the Saint sent troops to resettle the nearly desert site of Montemayor; his son Alfonso X the Wise described the area as rich in game, as proved by the great number of boar's tusks found there. After the reconquest of Córdoba, Montemayor and the neighbouring castle of Dos Hermanas were transfered to the Fernández de Córdoba family. In the first third of the 14th century, the Nasrid king of Granada, Muhammad, supported by the lord of Aguilar, raided the Christian territories located near the border, sacking the Córdoba Plain; with permission of King Alfonso XI, Martín Alfonso Fernández de Córdoba started in 1340 to resettle the area and to rebuild the castle of Montemayor, mostly with remains of the old town of Ulia and of the castle of Dos Hermanas. In 1349, Alfonso Fernández succeeded his deceased father and took the name of de Montemayor (instead of de Córdoba); his descendant Alfonso VI took part to the final reconquest of Granada in 1492. Martin IV Alfonso Fernández de Montemayor was appointed Vice-Roy of Navarre and Count of Alcaudete as a reward for his support to Charles I in the war against France.

Ivan Sache, 6 July 2009

Symbols of Montemayor

The flag and arms of Montemayor, adopted on 28 October 2007 by the Municipal Council and submitted on 7 November 2007 to the Directorate General of the Local Administration, are prescribed by a Decree adopted on 14 November 2007 by the Directorate General of the Local Administration and published on 26 November 2007 in the official gazette of Andalusia, No. 232, p. 65 (text).
The symbols are described as follows:

Flag: Rectangular flag in proportions 2:3 (hoist to length), with three horizontal stripes, red, white and blue, the first with proportions 6:8, the second and third each with proportions 1:8. In the red stripe a tower with a perron, argent, charged with an escutcheon or with three fesses gules and flanked with two smaller roofed towers argent.
Coat of arms: Shield in Spanish shape. Azure a tower with a perron argent charged with an escutcheon or three fesses gules and flanked with two smaller roofed towers argent. A bordure argent charged with a cross sable in chief and the writing "TU IN EA ET EGO PRO EA" in letters sable. The shield surmounted with a Royal crown open.

The arms represent the castle built by the Duke of Frías. The escutcheon shows the arms of Martín Alfonso de Córdoba, the builder of the first castle. The writing is the motto of the Dukes of Alba, lords of Montemayor. The cross has been used on the arms for centuries.
[Símbolos de las Entidades Locales de Andalucía. Córdoba (PDF file)]

Ivan Sache, 16 July 2009

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