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Ciudad Real (Municipality, Castilla-La Mancha, Spain)

Last modified: 2019-09-16 by ivan sache
Keywords: ciudad real |
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Flag of Ciudad Real - Image by Ivan Sache, 14 September 2019

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Presentation of Ciudad Real

The municipality of Ciudad Real (74,743 inhabitants in 2018, therefore the 5th most populous town in the region; 28,498 ha; municipal website) is the historical capital of La Mancha.

Ciudad Real originates in the efforts, first unsuccessful, of resettlement of Alarcos in the 12th-13th centuries. In 1255, King Alfonso X the wise founded a town in a brand new place, 9 km from Alarcos, in the Pozuela Seco de Don Gil estate. The settlement charter granted privileges to the colonists, defined the map of the town, and prescribed the building of a wall protected by 130 towers and seven gates. The new town was called Villa Real.
Alfonso X established it as a royal enclave within the domain owned by the Order of Calatrava, as a means of weakening the disproportionate power of the Order. The new settlers were Christians, Muslims and Jew. Vila Real counted one of the biggest Jewish boroughs in Castile.

In 1420, John II granted the town the title of ciudad and the new name of Ciudad Real, as a reward for its support against the military orders. Ciudad Real experienced a demographic and economical (wool, wine, leather industries) boom until the 15th century. The Court of the Saint-Office was established in the town in 1483, as was the Royal Chancellery in 1494. Ciudad Real experienced a bust during the next century, the steady decline of the town being aggravated by the expelling of the Jews and Muslims.
Ciudad Real Almagro the capital of the province of La Mancha in 1691, a position snatched in 1750 by Almagro, the capital for centuries of the Order of Calatrava. The Province of Ciudad Real was eventually established in 1833.

Ivan Sache, 14 September 2019

Symbols of Ciudad Real

The flag of Ciudad Real (photo, photo, photo, photo) is crimson red with the municipal coat of arms in the center. The symbols do not appear to have been officially registered.

The coat of arms of Ciudad Real is in Spanish style, "Azure, Alfonso X the Wise with a medieval five-floret crown open holding sword and scepter and sitting on a throne surmounted by a stone arch and surrounded by an hexagonal wall enclosing a dwelling and with Toledo Gate in base all proper. A bordure gules eight castles or port and windows azure masoned sable. The shield surmounted by a Royal crown closed [lengthy description skipped]. Beneath the shield a scroll inscribed 'MUY NOBLE CIUDAD REAl MUY LEAL', a title granted by John II".
The arms in actual use were designed by Federico Pérez Castilla, based on a study published by the historian and heraldist Ramón José Maldonado y Cocat (1916-1990) in the Bulletin of Municipal Information, No. 38.

The coat of arms of Ciudad Real has been portraying Alfonso X since the foundation of the town in 1250. The king is represented sat on a throne, holding a scepter and a sword, surrounded and surmounted by a stone arch and a all that inscribes the whole, between the arch and the wall the houses and churches of the town. These arms are featured on a stone from the 16th century kept from the old Town Hall.
This emblem has been placed since the 15th century on a shield azure with a bordure gules charged with the Castilian castles, the shield surmounted by a royal crown. A royal crown closed has been used since Phillip the Handsome and Joanna the Mad.
In the 19th century, the charges of the bordure were increased to 12 towers, no longer castles. The arch was substituted by a royal pavilion, the medieval king sat on a throne from the time of the Catholic Monarchs and was clad with a wealthy costume. The royal crown was substituted by a marquis' coronet, and the Crosses of the Orders of Saint James, Calatrava, Alcántara and Montesa on the flanks.
[Municipal website; Ramón José Maldonado y Cocat. 1973. Heráldica municipal de la provincia de Ciudad Real. Cuadernos de Estudios Manchegos 4, 84-109]

Ivan Sache, 14 September 2019

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