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Real Sitio de San Ildefonso (Municipality, Castilla y León, Spain)

San Ildefonso, La Granja de San Ildefonso

Last modified: 2015-08-10 by ivan sache
Keywords: san ildefonso | segovia |
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Flag of Real Sitio de San Ildefonso - Image by Ivan Sache, 15 March 2011

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Presentation of Real Sitio de San Ildefonso

The municipality of Real Sitio de San Ildefonso (aka San Ildefonso, Real Sitio de la Granja de San Ildefonso, La Granja de San Ildefonso, or La Granja; 5,702 inhabitants in 2010, therefore the 4th most populous municipality in the province; 14,481 ha; municipal website) is located in the southeast of Segovia Province, on the border with Madrid Autonomous Community, 10 km from Segovia. The municipality is made of the town of San Ildefonso (aka La Granja; 4,746 inh.) and of the villages of Riofrío (7 inh.), Valsaín (210 inh.) and Pradera de Navalhorno (674 inh.).
The municipality of San Ildefonso was renamed Real Sitio de San Ildefonso by a Decree adopted on 2 December 2010 by the Government of Castilla y León and published on 12 January 2011 in the official Spanish gazette of, No. 11, Section III, p. 4,622 (text).

San Ildefonse emerged as groups of small hunting lodges built during the reign of Henry III (1390-1406) in the Valsaín mountains (Valsaín is also the local name of river Eresma). Henry IV (1454-1474) founded there a chapel dedicated to St. Ildephonsus of Toledo after the saint had interceded for him during an accident with a wild beast. Later on, the chapel was transferred to the Hieronymit El Parral monastery in Segovia, who set up an estate (granja) for leisure and rest.
To replace the old Valsaín hunting lodge, Philip II (1556-1598) supervized the building of the Real Casa del Bosque, a symbol of the rise and fall of the Austrian Habsburgs. Philip V (1700-1746) purchased in 1720 the Granja de San Ildefonse from the monks to build a small palace where he retired after his abdication in 1724 for his son Louis I. After Louis' death the same year, Philip V, enthroned again, increased the palace to house the Court and transformed it into a Royal Site (Real Sitio); famous architects, such as Ardemans, Procaccini and Juvarra, designed patios, facades, lounges and the Royal Collegiate church, while the French landscape designer René Carlier built a 146-ha park. The town surrounding the "Versailles of Spain" was built by Charles III (1759-1788), reflecting his urbanist views.

The summer residence of the kings, La Granja de San Ildefonse was the place of several historical events involving the Spanish sovereigns. On 4 September 1765, Charles IV (1748-1819, King in 1788) married Maria Luisa of Parma (1751-1819). Several international treaties were signed there, the most famous being those known as the first Treaty of San Ildefonse (1 October 1777, fixing the borders of Spain and Portugal in South America), the second Treaty of San Ildefonse (19 August 1796, setting up the alliance of Spain and France against Britain), and the third Treaty of San Ildefonse (1 October 1800, retroceding Louisiana to France).

Philip V founded in 1727 in La Granja de San Ildefonso the Royal Manufacture of Glass and Crystal (Real Fábrica de Vidrios y Cristales). Pine and oak wood required for glass manufacturing was requisitioned in 1761 from the Community of the Town and Land of Segovia, while sand and clay were obtained from neighboring villages.
In the late 18th century, during its Golden Age, the manufacture was granted the privilege of glass sale in the town of Madrid. Production of glass was eventually stopped in 1963. Formed in 1982, the National Glass Center Foundation (website) aims at the preservation of the manufacture's heritage.

Ivan Sache, 15 March 2011

Symbols of Real Sitio de San Ildefonso

The flag and arms (image) of Real Sitio de San Ildefonso are prescribed by a Decree adopted on 17 February 1999 by the Segovia Provincial Government, signed on 4 March 1999 by the President of the Government, and published on 17 March 1999 in the official gazette of Castilla y León, No. No. 52, p. 2,698 (text).
The symbols are described as follows:

Flag: Rectangular flag, with proportions 1:1, blue with a yellow saltire of 1/5 of the flag's hoist. In the middle of the flag is placed the municipal coat of arms in full colors.
Coat of arms: Per fess, 1a. Gules a chimney or surrounded with two fountains argent the whole on waves argent and azure, 1b. Or a pine eradicated proper, 2. Argent three iron gates sable, an escutcheon azure three fleurs-de-lis or bordered gules. The shield surmounted with a Royal Spanish crown.

Ivan Sache, 15 March 2011