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Torrecaballeros (Municipality, Castilla y León, Spain)

Last modified: 2018-10-06 by ivan sache
Keywords: torrecaballeros | segovia |
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Flag of Torrecaballeros - Image by Ivan Sache, 7 August 2018

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Presentation of Torrecaballeros

The municipality of Torrecaballeros (1,366 inhabitants in 2016, 4,214 ha; municipal website) is located 10 km from Segovia. The municipality is made of the villages of Torrecaballeros (1,101 inh.), La Aldehuela (204 inh.), Cabanillas del Monte (57 inh.) and El Caserío de La Torre (4 inh.).

Torrecaballeros was known in the Middle Ages as Oter de Cavalleros, that is the Knights' (Caballeros) Hill (Otero). A small garrison was stationed here in the 11th-12th centuries to watch Malangosto Pass and prevent Muslim raids. Until the 18th century, Torrecaballeros and the neighboring villages contributed to the funding of the Segovia garrison, probably a reminiscence of their military past. Mentioned in the 16th century as Tor de Caballeros, the village took its definitive name in 1759.
In 1273, King Alfonso X reorganized sheep-breeding, then the main source of income in Castile through the production of wool, and developed royal transhumance roads. Torrecaballeros was crossed by the Western Soria Transhumance Road. The herds arrived in the region, which is rich in pastures and freshwater, at the shearing period. This prompted the establishment of wealthy shearing ranches. The Company of Jesus owned such a ranch in Torrecaballeros, where 42,000 sheep were sheared every year, while the Herrera Silva family owned another one in Cabanillas, where 15,500 sheep were sheared every year.
The Cabanillas shearing ranch, rebuilt in 1762, belonged to the wealthy Peñalosa family. The best preserved shearing ranch of that kind in the Province of Segovia, it was registered as of Cultural Interest in 1997. El Caserío de La Torre (Tower's Hamlet) was one of the biggest ranches in the province (2,254 ha), housing more than 30 people and equipped with a water mill and a chapel. The estate was named for an old tower once located near San Medel Canal.

Ivan Sache, 7 August 2018

Symbols of Torrecaballeros

The flag and arms of Torrecaballeros were approved on 10 July 2018 by the Municipal Council. The memoir supporting the proposed symbol was redacted by Alfonso de Ceballos-Escalera y Gila, Chronicler of Arms of Castilla y León. The symbols had to be designed from scratch since no reference to any historical symbol was available.
The legal text prescribing the symbols and, hopefully, giving their official description, has yet to be published in the official gazette of Castilla y León.

The flag is white with five blue wavy stripes and the municipal coat of arms in the center. The stripes represent the irrigation canals that fostered the development of the village.
The coat of arms is "Purpure a tower argent masoned port and windows sable on a mount proper charged with a sheep argent surrounded by two swords argent hilted or pointing downwards a base fessy wavy azure and argent. The shield surmounted by a Royal Spanish crown."
[Radio Segovia, 10 July 2018; Memoir, municipal website]

Ivan Sache, 7 August 2018