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Torrelaguna (Municipality, Community of Madrid, Spain)

Last modified: 2016-05-22 by ivan sache
Keywords: torrelaguna |
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Flag of Torrelaguna - Image by Ivan Sache, 29 July 2015

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Presentation of Torrelaguna

The municipality of Torrelaguna (4,428 inhabitants in 2014; 4,340 ha; municipal website) is located in the north-east of the Community of Madrid, on the border with Castilla-La Mancha (Province of Guadalajara), 60 km of Madrid. The municipality is made of the seven granjerías (boroughs) of Magdalena, San Vicente, San Quílez (Santo Domingo), La Floresta, San Sebastián, San Andrés and Las Huertas.

Torrelaguna remained a dependency of Uceda until 1390, when granted the status of villa by King John I. Separation from Uceda had already been required by Pedro Tenorio, Bishop of Toledo, as a reward for the villagers who had built a wall and acquired arms to defend the town. Torrelaguna was sold in 1629 by Philip IV to the Archbishop of Toledo; during the War of the Spanish Succession (1700-1714), the town welcomed the troops of Philip of Anjou, who cancelled in 1712 the debts of the town, as a reward. Granted the status of municipality in 1749 by Charles III, Torrelaguna was severely damaged during the War of Independence; the French troops partially destroyed the town wall and the Franciscan convent.

Torrelaguna is the birth town of Cardinal Cisneros (1436-1517), considered as the benefactor of Torrelaguna. Born Gonzalo Jiménez de Cisneros, he took the coat in 1484, in the Franciscan Order, as Friar Francisco. From 1492 onwards, Cisneros became one of the most influent men at the Court, being appointed Royal Confessor, Archbishop of Toledo (1495-1517), Inquisitor General of Castile (1507-1517), President of the Council of Regency of Castile (1506-1507) and Governor of Castile (1516-1517). Cisneros was elevated to Cardinal-Priest of Santa Balbina on 17 May 1507. His parent, Melchor de Liñán y Cisneros (1629-1708), also borne in Torrelaguna, was appointed Bishop of Santa Marta (1664-1667) and of Popayán (1667-1671), Archbishop of La Plata (1675-1678) and of Lima (1678-1708) and Vice Roy of Peru (1678-1681).

Torrelaguna is the birth town of two professional cyclists, Antonio Martín Velasco (1970-1994), winner of the youth classification in the Tour de France 1993 [12th], once considered as the successor of Miguel Indurain, unfortunately killed in a traffic accident, and Luis Pérez Rodríguez (b. 1974), winner of two stages in the Vuelta a España (2003, 2007).

Ivan Sache, 29 July 2015

Symbols of Torrelaguna

The flag (photos, photo, photo) and arms of Torrelaguna are prescribed by a Decree adopted on 27 September 1990 by the Government of the Community of Madrid and published on 7 November 1990 in the official gazette of the Community of Madrid, No. 265, pp. 12-13 (text), and on 18 December 1990 in the Spanish official gazette, No. 302, p. 37,782 (text).
The symbols are described as follows:

Flag: In proportions 2:3, red, charged in the center with the municipal coat of arms.
Coat of arms: Gules (red) a tower argent masoned sable (black) supported by waves azure and argent. The shield surmounted by a Royal crown closed.

The Royal Academy of History validated the propose symbols. As well explained and illustrated in the supporting memoir, the town has been using those arms for centuries, and there is no reason to change them. Some minor corrections are suggested in the old description (the "French profile") and drawing: the Royal crown closed shall be substituted to the proposed Marquis' coronet, which has no connection with the history of the town and was added to the arms quite recently.
[Boletín de la Real Academia de la Historia, 1990, 187:1, 168-169]

Ivan Sache, 29 July 2015

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