This page is part of © FOTW Flags Of The World website

Aguilafuente (Municipality, Castilla y León, Spain)

Last modified: 2019-10-18 by ivan sache
Keywords: aguilafuente |
Links: FOTW homepage | search | disclaimer and copyright | write us | mirrors


Flag of Aguilafuente - Image by Ivan Sache, 5 August 2019

See also:

Presentation of Aguilafuente

The municipality of Aguilafuente (587 inhabitants in 2018; 6,057 ha; municipal website) is located 40 km north of Segovia and 30 km south-east of Cuéllar.

Aguilafuente was already settled in the Neolithic, as evidenced by the axe found in the 1940s by Ricardo García and kept in the Segovia Museum. In the 1980s, pieces of black pottery without any ornamentation were found in Cuesta de la Rebilla; they were dated to the late Bronze Age (Cogotas I) / early Iron Age (Soto I), c. 800-700 BC.
The Santa Lucia villa (4th century) yielded mosaics, frescoes and pieces of pottery in late sigillated Hispanic style; the site was subsequently settled by the Visigoths, who established in the 6th century a necropolis with 200 tombs; stone, anthropomorphic sarcophagi were excavated from another necropolis also located in Aguilafuente.

After the Christian reconquest, Aguilafuente was transferred to the Cathedral of Segovia, as evidenced by a document signed on 18 March 1154, and would remained so until the 16th century.
Bishop Arias Dávila organized from 1 to 10 June 1472 a synod in the St. Mary church of Aguilafuente. The acts of the synod were compiled in the book printed by Juan Parix and subsequently famous as Sinodal de Aguilafuente; now kept in the Museum of the Segovia Cathedral, this is the first book ever printed in Spain and the first book ever printed in Spanish.
In the last decades of the 15th century, the General Councils of the Mesta, the powerful sheep-breeders syndicate, gathered four times in Aguilafuente, which reflects the significance of the town at the time.

In the early 16th century, the Cathedral of Segovia sold the town, as a retaliation for its support to the revolted Comuneros. The Count of Miranda was most interested in Aguilafuente as a dowry for his daughter, Teresa Enríquez, whom he expected to marry with the elder illegitimate son of the Duke of Béjar, Pedro de Zúñiga; the sale, however, was not completed. In 1528, Charles I legitimized the duke's sons; as the elder, Pedro should have been granted a domain composed from possessions of his father and his spouse, María de Zúñiga; after a long lawsuit, Pedro had its rights recognized in 1532 and could eventually marry Teresa Enríquez. The couple acquired the town of Aguilafuente in 1536 for 12 millions maravedis (32,000 ducats), with the approval of Pope Paul III. The next year, Pedro de Zúñiga was created Marquess, without specific title; his son, also named Pedro de Zúñiga, would adopt in 1572 the title of Marquess of Aguilafuente; this was confirmed in 1575 by Philip II.

Ivan Sache, 5 August 2019

Symbols of Aguilafuente

The flag (photo) and arms of Aguilafuente are prescribed by an Agreement adopted on 31 August 2016 by the Municipal Council, signed on 24 July 2019 by the Mayor, and published on 1 August 2019 in the official gazette of Castilla y León, No. 147, p. 36,882 (text).
The symbols, which were validated on 7 October 2016 by the Chronicler of Arms of Castilla y León, are described as follows:

Flag: Diagonally divided from the hoist's lower angle to the fly's upper angle. The upper part, blue, and the lower party, white; charged in the center with the crowned coat of arms of the municipality.
Coat of arms: Per pale, 1. argent an eagle sable over waves azure and argent, 2&. Azure a closed book or with its title on three fesses "SI/NO/DAL" in letters sable, 2b. Argent a bend sable orled by a chain or. The shield surmounted by a Royal Spanish crown.
The flag was indeed inaugurated soon after its approval by the Municipal Council, on 1 January 2017.
[El Norte de Castilla, 3 January 2017; Es Cuéllar, 4 January 2017]

The proposed symbols are supported by a memoir submitted on 12 September 2016 by José María de Olmos.
The name of the place appears to be of Visigothic origin (Boagilafuente < Vagilafuente < Aguilafuente); the eagle (aguila) has been its proper symbol since the Middle Ages. A letter dated 1878, kept in the National Historical Archives, states that a seal featuring an eagle was in used since 1849, when municipalities were ordered to adopt a proper seal; this seal has been kept in use until now.
The proposed coat of arms is divided into three parts.
1. A black eagle, with different meanings. First, it symbolizes the town's name and was used on municipal seals. Second, the connection with the Cathedral of Segovia cannot be represented by its arms, a vase of lilies, because this charge is already used all over Spain in municipal heraldry and lack specificity; rather, the "Spanish" black eagle featured on the arms of Bishop Juan Arias Dávila is used. Finally, the eagle is placed over water waves to make the arms canting, featuring an eagle (aguila) over water (fuente, lit., "a fountain").
2. The book inscribed with "SINODAL" is a straightforward reference to the most salient event that occurred in medieval Aguilafuente, the Aguilafuente Synod.
3. The coat of arms of the Zúñiga lineage, represent the rulers of the town since the 16th century; they are locally well-known and featured on several significant buildings in the town.
The flag uses the most important colors of the coat of arms.

Juan Arias Dávila conveyed the Aguilafuente synod with a very ambitious agenda. Now that the Muslim threat had been repelled to the south, the bishop pushed a reform of the Castilian society, both clerical and civil. Accordingly, he conveyed three synods, in Aguilafuente (1472), Segovia (1478), and Turégano (1483), respectively.
With a keen, humanist interest in arts and literature, Dávila was commissioned by the kings of Castile to advise different religious orders and the universities of Salamanca and Valladolid. He eventually exiled to Rome after having been sued for the alleged Jewish origins of his family.

The Aguilafuente Synod involved all components of the society of the time, either clerical (representatives of the towns) or secular (representative of the cathedral, archdeacons, archpriests, abbots, priors and parish priests).
A main issue tabled by the bishop was the alphabetization of the clerics. They were committed to study at least four years an array of topics selected by the bishop. They were also required to adjust their attitude, by no longer carrying weapons and wearing ostentatious symbols such as silk clothes and golden rings. Dávila also sought a compromise between civil and religious laws: official regulation of marriage, mandatory presence of at least one member of each household at the mass, and no divorce without clerical consent.

In 1469, Juan Arias Dávila commissioned the cathedral's Dean, Juan López, to issue a Bull for raising funds required for the building of the new cathedral and to investigate Gütenberg's invention, whose fame has spread all over Europe. López convinced the German printer Juan Parix, from Heidelberg, to establish a printing press in Segovia in 1476, where he would print the Sinodal de Aguilafuente and another eight books.
The Sinodal de Aguilafuente is a small book (235 x 175 mm), composed of 48 printed sheets and another 14 left blank for poetntial subsequent additions. Fallen into oblivion for the next centuries, the book was re-discovered by the great local historian Diego de Colmenares, who established in his Historia de Segovia (1637) ir was among the first books printed in Spain. In 1930, the cathedral archivist, Canon Cristino Valverde, discovered the orginal book and confirmed that Segovia was the first Spanish town to have a printing press.
[Cathedral de Segovia]

Ivan Sache, 5 August 2019