Last modified: 2019-01-13 by ivan sache
Keywords: castrocontrigo | nogarejas | torneros de la valdería |
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Flag of Castrocontrigo - Image by Antonio Gutiérrez (VexiLeon website), 15 February 2015
The municipality of Castrocontrigo (847 inhabitants in 2014; 19,449 ha; municipal website) is located in the south of the Province of León, 30 km of La Bañeza and 80 km of León. The municipality is made of the villages of Castrocontrigo, Morla de la Valdería (15 inh.), Nogarejas (264 inh.), Pinilla de la Valdería, Pobladura de Yuso (33 inh.); and Torneros de la Valdería (15 inh.).
Castrocontrigo originates in the old town of Aria, which was located
on the top of the Castle's hill. Aria was the namesake of the river
that waters the valley, therefore the name of "Valle de Aria",
subsequently apocoped to "Valdaría" and eventually bastardized to
"Valdería". The original inhabitants of the valley grew flax in
estates named linares, a name that as survived in Castrocontrigo.
The Romans re-used the original town, building a fortified camp on the
model of the Castrillejo in Numancia. The camp served as a base for
the conquest of La Cabrera and subsequently watched the road used to
transport gold, silver, and flax to Rome; in Aria, the road crossed
the camp and the river, heading to Astorga. Excavations on the Castle's hill have yielded coins and a bust of Emperor Trajan (98-117).
Aria was destroyed and burned down by Gunteric, the chief of the Hasdigian Vandals. A new town was built, called Castrum Gunterici (Gunteric's Camp), subsequently renamed Castro de Gunterico and eventually Castrocontrigo. The Vandals were succeeded by the Suevi and the Visigoths. In 714, the Moors conquerred Astorga; while their leader, Muza, was called back to Damascus by the Caliph, his son Abdelaziz entered the Valdería and seized Castrocontrigo.
Deserted because of the border war and bad harvests (751-753), the
region of Astorga was re-conquerred by King of Asturias Alfonso I
(739-757) and re-settled by knights of the Núñez family, from Quiroga (Galicia). The tradition says that the Moors who remained in the
village lived in a cave located on the slope of the Castle's hill.
Gaspar Núñez, riding nearby on St. John's day, spotted a beautiful Moorish woman taking the sun at the entrance of the cave. He ran after her, but arrived too late, picking up the golden comb she had lost
when running into the cave. Núñez finally sold the comb to fund his court case against the Count of Gramedo, after which he lost the
villages of Velilla and Perilla. The Núñez and the allied lineages significantly contributed to the Reconquest. The Núñez el Viejo family, leading troops from the Valdería and Muelas de los Caballeros, took part to the seizure of
Queen Urraca (1109-1126) and her son Alfonso Raim&uzcuate;ndez defeated in Castrocontrigo the Portuguese troops allied to the Aragonese usurper
Alfonso the Battler (1104-1134). Alfonso, subsequently proclaimed King
as Alfonso VII the Emperor (1126-1157), established the County of the
Valdería and La Cabrera, granted to his vassal Giraldo Ponce. Of
Catalan origin, Ponce erected a replica of the Stitches cross - a big
cross charged with a smaller cross - on the top of the Castle's hill to
commemorate Urraca's victory. The cross is still preserved, with a
white flag attached to the smaller cross, changed every year on St.
Castrocontrigo was subsequently transferred to the Counts of Benavente and to the Counts of Alba y Aliste, who erected a manor, today ruined, in the pinewood. The last feudal owners of Castrocontrigo were the Dukes of Uceda. The ownership of the pinewoods was shared between the Dukes and the villagers, although the Dukes kept the property of the land. When a descendant of the Dukes attempted to sell the pinewoods to Unión Resinera Española, the villagers went to court and gained full ownership of half of the pinewoods. The private remaining part was eventually purchased by the villages of Nogareja, Castrocontrigo, Tabuyo del Monte and Torneros de Jamuz. The Castrocontrigo pines produced high-quality resin used to make renowned oil of turpentine and colophon.
Ivan Sache, 15 February 2015
The flag of Castrocontrigo (photo, photo, Town Hall) is white with the municipal arms in the middle.
The coat of arms of Castrocontrigo, adopted on 17 May 1985 by the
Municipal Council, is prescribed by a Decree adopted on 26 March 1986
by the Government of Castilla y León and published on 9 April 1986 in the official gazette of Castilla y León, No. 37 (text).
The coat of arms, which was validated by the Royal Academy of History, is not described in the Decree.
The coat of arms is "Or a castle gules surmounted with a cross sable
supporting a smaller cross of the same on the dexter arm to which
hangs a cloth argent torn out. A bordure argent five pine cones or.
The shield surmounted with a Royal crown closed."
The castle recalls the fortified camp at the origin of the village. The cross is modelled on the cross erected by Giraldo Ponce to commemorate Urraca's victory. The pine cones allude to the pinewoods, the main source of income for the village.
Ivan Sache, 15 February 2015
Flag of Nogarejas - Image by Antonio Gutiérrez (VexiLeón website), 27 February 2011
The flag and arms of Nogarejas are prescribed by a Decree adopted on 7
September 2002 by the Village Council, signed on 26 November 2002 by
the Mayor, and published on 19 December 2002 in the official gazette
of Castilla y León, No. 244, p. 17,054 (text).
The symbols are described as follows:
Flag: Quadrangular, 1:1, diagonally tierced in base with angle at hoist, the triangle at fly green, the central stripe white, and the triangle at hoist red, charged in the center with the coat of arms in full colours.
Coat of arms: Argent a pinewood vert in base gules a grill sable. The shield surmounted with a Royal crown closed.
Ivan Sache, 27 February 2015
Torneros de la Valdería
Flag of Torneros de la Valdería - Image by Ivan Sache, 9 March 2015
The flag and arms of Torneros de la Valdería are prescribed by a
Decree adopted on 30 March 2012 by the Village Council, signed on 9
April 2012 by the Mayor, and published on 27 April 2012 in the
official gazette of the Province of León, No. 80, p. 33 (text).
The symbols are described as follows:
Flag: Quadrangular, in proportions 2:3, oblong, made of the blue, green and yellow colours arranged in equal horizontal stripes, from top to bottom.
Coat of arms: Per fess, 1. Azure a valley vert a three-arched bridge argent masoned sable surrounded by two lions over waves argent and azure, 2a. Argent a chestnut vert in base by two wheat spikes or per saltire, 2b. Azure two trouts argent in orle. The shield surmounted with a Royal Spanish crown.
Ivan Sache, 9 March 2015