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Almagro (Municipality, Castilla-La Mancha, Spain)

Last modified: 2019-09-16 by ivan sache
Keywords: almagro |
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Flag of Almagro - Image by Ivan Sache, 8 May 2019


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Presentation of Almagro

The municipality of Almagro (8,922 inhabitants in 2018; 24,973 ha; municipal website) is located 30 km south-east of Ciudad Real.

Almagro was the capital of the Military Order of Calatrava and of its feudal domain, known as Campo de Calatrava.
The town was, according to the tradition, chartered in 1213 by Gonzalo Yáñez, Master of the Order of Calatrava, the charter being confirmed in 1222 by King Ferdinand III the Saint. Historical sources report that Alfonso X the Wise conveyed the Cortes in Almagro in 2373 and that the "contract of convenience" between Master Ruy Pérez Ponce and the inhabitants of the town was established in 1285. In the 14th century, the town, protected by walls, became the meeting place of the border troops. In 1355, Peter I jailed Master Juan Núñez de Prado in the town. The Order's General Chapters were conveyed either in the St. Benedict chapel, part of the Master's palace, or in the St. Mary church.
Almagro was incorporated to the Royal domain in 1467.

In the 16th-17th century, Almagro was hit by "building fever". The San Pedro, Santiago, San Ildefonso, San Juan, San Sebastián and San Lázaro boroughs were founded out of the walls. The Key Warden Fernando Fernández de Córdoba established the monastery and university el Nuestra Señora del Rosario; Commander Guti&ecute;rrez de Padilla founded the Mercy hospital and the monastery of the Ascension of Calatrava. The parish church, the Incarnation convent, the Fugger offices and several private houses were built, while the Town Hall and the Plaza Mayor were completely revamped.
Accordingly, Almagro was proclaimed an Historical and Artistic Monument by Decree No. 2,104, issued on 13 July 1972 by the Spanish Government and published on 1 August 1972 in the Spanish official gazette, No. 183, p. 13,869 (text).

Diego de Almagro (1475-1438), born in the town, joined in 1514 Pedro Arias Dávila in his expedition to Panamá. He subsequently set up a failed expedition with Francisco Pizarro. The conquest of the Inca empire by Pizzaro prompted him to require from the king the permission to set up his own expeditions to South America, first to no avail. However, he could come to Peru in 1533 with the same rank as Pizarro. The two rivals reconciled, shared Atahualpa's treasure and seized Cusco. They were able to get rid of their main competitor, Pedro de Alvarado, by paying him a big annuity.
Almagro explored the southern part of the former Inca empire, today located in Chile. He was granted in 1535 by Charles V the government of New Toledo, a region located in southern Peru. Back to Peru in 1537, Almagro occupied Cusco, which he claimed to be under his jurisdiction. This triggered a strong reaction by the Pizarro brothers, who defeated him in April 1538 in the battle of Las Salinas and had him executed in July 1538.
[Biografías y Vidas]

Ivan Sache, 8 May 2019


Symbols of Almagro

The flag and arms of Almagro are prescribed by an Order issued on 3 September 1991 by the Government of Castilla-La Mancha and published on 11 September 1991 in the official gazette of Castilla-La Mancha, No. 69, p. 3,179 text.
The symbols are described as follows:

Flag: Of new creation, rectangular, in proportions 25:12, white, charged with the same elements as the coat of arms, that is: the Cross of Calatrava and the two chains, in the aforementioned colors.
Coat of arms: Argent a Cross of Calatrava gules charged with a castle or port and windows azure two chains sable in the lower cantons. The shield surmounted by a Spanish Royal crown.

The flag in common, official use (photo, photo, photo, photo, photo, photo) is indeed white with the municipal coat of arms, as officially used by the municipality, that is, with the crown placed above the shield instead of being part of it.
Another version of the flag (photo, photo), more compliant with the official description, appears to be sometimes used on the Town Hall.

The original flag was designed in 1989 by the historian and heraldist Ramón José Maldonado y Cocat (1916-1990), Official Chronicler of the town of Almagro. Author of the flag of Castilla-La Mancha, he also designed the arms of 34 municipalities in the Province of Ciudad Real and wrote a monograph dedicated to Almagro, Almagro, cabeza de la Orden y Campo de Calatrava (1978).
White is the color of the uniform of the Order of Calatrava.
[Francisco Asensio Rubio. Hombres ilustres de Almagro. 2014]

The arms, of "immemorial use" before their official registration, then surmounted by a "medieval Royal crown" (Royal crown open), were those of the Commandery of Almagro.
[Ramón José Maldonado y Cocat. 1973. Heráldica municipal de la provincia de Ciudad Real. Cuadernos de Estudios Manchegos 4, 84-109]

Ivan Sache, 8 May 2019


 
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