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Villaquilambre (Municipality, Castilla y León, Spain)

Last modified: 2015-01-17 by ivan sache
Keywords: villaquilambre |
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Flag of Villaquilambre - Image by "JGaray"(Wikimedia Commons website), slightly modified, 5 February 2011

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Presentation of Villaquilambre

The municipality of Villaquilambre (17,013 inhabitants in 2009; 5,269 ha; municipal website) is located in the center of León Province, 5 km of León. The municipality is made of the villages of Canaleja de Torío, Castrillino, Navatejera, Robledo de Torío, Villamoros de las Regueras, Villanueva del Árbol, Villaobispo de las Regueras, Villaquilambre (capital), Villarrodrigo de las Regueras and Villasinta de Torío.

Villaquilambre might have been in the past Villa de Quirán or Villae de Quirame, referring to a lord belonging to the Quiñones House. Another possible etymology refers to the Arabic word kiram, "noble".
Villaquilambre is today the fourth biggest municipality in the province by its population. The dramatic increase in the population of the municipality started in 1980 in the villages located close to the town of León, that is, Villaobispo and Navatejera, and progressively extended to Villaquilambre. Navatejera, Villaobispo and Villaquilmabre account for 46%, 31% and 12% of the total population of the municipality, respectively.

Canaleja de Torío is the site of the ruins of the St. Cosmos and Damian monastery. Founded in 905 by the Mozarab Benedictine monk Cixila (d. 934), who had fled Cordoba, the monastery was increased by King Alfonso III and his successors; several of the books of its library were transferred to the archives of the León Cathedral after the suppression of the monastery around 1120. Abbot Cixila was appointed Bishop of León in 911, as Cixila II.
Castrillino, once Castro Rege, is a settlement of Visigothic origin; the village was granted a chart by Fernando González, Grand Master of the Order of Saint-James.
Navatejera is the site of a Roman villa discovered in the 19th century, yielding mosaics, sculptures, tools, coins and medals.
Robledo de Torío, watered by river Torío, owns one of the biggest oak woods (robledo) in the region.
Villamoros de las Regueras is named for the rock hermitage of St. Martin Cave, mostly known as the Moor's (moro) cave.
Villanueva del Árbol is located on the site of the old Villa Habibi, founded by King Ramiro II in the 10th century.
Villaobispo de las Regueras was most probably founded by a bishop (obispo).
Villarrodrigo de las Regueras was originally known as Villanueva de Rodrigo Abull.
Villasinta de Torío was mentioned in the 10th century as Villa Sintola.

Ivan Sache, 5 February 2011

Symbols of Villaquilambre

The flag of Villaquilambre is prescribed by a Decree adopted on 18 May 2001 by the Municipal Council, signed on 7 June 2001 by the Mayor, and published on 31 January 2002 in the official gazette of Castilla y León, No. 22, p. 1,757 (text).
The flag is described as follows:

Flag: Quadrangular panel, with proportions 1:1, horizontally divided into seven wavy stripes, four blue and three white. In the middle of the flag is placed the municipal coat of arms.

The coat of arms of Villaquilambre, validated by the Royal Academy of History in 1985, is "Azure a dike or with four gates, the central up, over waves argent and azure. The shield surmounted with a Royal crown closed".
The waves and the dike highlight the significance of water for the villages forming the municipality, which are built on alluvial terraces of rivers Bernesga and Torío.

The Royal Academy of History validated the proposed coat of arms (Boletín de la Real Academia de la Historia, 182, 3: 572, 1985).

Ivan Sache, 7 March 2014

Village of Villaquilambre

The village of Villaquilambre appears to have adopted its own coat of arms, unveiled on 30 March 2009 (Diario de León, 1 April 2009). The arms are based on research conducted by the historian Ana I. Arias Fernández in the archives of the León cathedral and diocese.
The arms are "Per fess, 1a. Checky or and gules a chief azure a cow's head argent, 1b. Argent a lion rampant gules armed langued and crowned or, 2. Azure a dike or with four gates the two central up over waves argent and azure. The shield surmounted by a Royal crown closed".

The first quarter represents the Cabeza de Vaca (lit. Cow's Head) lineage; Francisco Vaca, from León, was lord of Villaquilambre. The second quarter represents the Silva lineage. The third quarter is made of the arms of the municipality of Villaquilambre.

Ivan Sache, 7 March 2014