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Villaverde de Íscar (Municipality, Castilla y León, Spain)

Last modified: 2020-02-11 by ivan sache
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Presentation of Villaverde de Íscar

The municipality of Villaverde de Íscar (737 inhabitants in 2009; 2,780 ha; municipal website) is located in the west of Segovia Province, on the border with Valladolid Province, 70 km from Segovia.

Villaverde de Íscar was originally a hamlet depending on Íscar, a place mentioned for the first time in 939 in the Muslim chronicles relating Abd-ar-Rahman III's campaigns against the Christian settlements in the south of river Duero ("they headed to Hins'Skr [Íscar castle], which had been abandoned, destroyed it and sacked the domains of its people"). Following the seizure of Toledo in 1086 by King Alfonso VI, the border zones of the south of Duero were resettled by Álvar Fáñez de Minaya. In the "Tales of Count Lucanor" (1335), Juan Manuel mentions Íscar as Ixcar. Around the citadel of Íscar emerged different villages, including Villaverde; in 1120, the Segovia Diocese was founded, incorporating Íscar and its villages. Villaverde itself appears in a document of the Segovia Cathedral dated 1247, as part of the Community of the Village and Land of Íscar. In 1371, Villaverde was granted by King Henry IV to Juan González de Avellaneda and his wife María de Haza.

Alvar Fáñez (1047-1114) was a relative of Rodrigo Díaz de Vivar (El Cid), who called him "mi anai" (Old Castilan, "my brother"), therefore his nickname of Minaya. Presented in the Cantar as El Cid's alter ego and best brother in arms, Fáñez was in the real life the most loyal captain of King of Castile Alfonso VI, who defended the Tagus border and prevented the Almoravids to reconqueer Toledo. El Cid and Fáñez were both named Knights of the Order of St. James in the church of Zamora; they contributed to the success of Sancho II, King of Castile, in the battles of Llantada (1068) and Golpejara (1072), fought against his brother Alfonso, King of León. Fáñez ednured the Leonese attack that resulted in the capture of Sancho, while El Cid counter-attacked, liberated his king and captured Alfonso, who was exiled to Toledo, then ruled by Almamun. After the murder of Sancho in Zamora in 1072, Alfonso VI reunited the kingdoms of Castile and León and seized Toeldo from the Moors in 1085, with the support of Fáñez. The fall of Toledo prompted the Almoravids to invade Al Andalus; Fáñez was commissioned to defend the Tagus border. His cavalry included the fierce "dawair" Moslims, who had taken the Christian party after the Almoravid conquest. Following the disaster of Uclés (1108) and the death of Alfonso's unique son, Sancho, aged 12, and of the seven Castilian counts, Fáñez crossed the Sierre de Altomira and headed to Zorita. He resumed resistance to the Moors' advance, seizing Cuenca, soon lost, but resisted in Toledo to the assault by Emir Ben Yusuf Tasufin.
After decades of fighting against the Muslims, Fáñez was killed in April 1114 in Segovia by partisans of Alfonso I the Battler, King of Aragón, who was in struggle with his wife Urraca, Alfonso VI's daughter.
[ABC, 2 July 2018]

Ivan Sache, 6 September 2019

Symbols of Villaverde de Íscar

The flag and arms of Villaverde de Íscar are prescribed by a Decree adopted on 12 January 2001 by the Municipal Council, signed on 26 January 2001 by the Mayor, and published on 6 March 2001 in the official gazette of Castilla y León, No. 46, p. 3,753 (text).
The symbols are described as follows:

Flag: Quadrangular panel, with proportions 1:1, white with a green saltire of height 1/5 of the flag's hoist. In the middle of the flag is placed the municipal coat of arms, surmounted with a Royal crown.
Coat of arms: Per pale 1. Argent a bend sable all over in orle a chain or with eight escarbocles (Zúñiga), 2. Or two wolves sable eating two lambs per pale, a bordure gules eight saltires or (Avellaneda), grafted in base or a pine vert terraced of the same The shield surmounted with a Royal Spanish crown.

Ivan Sache, 14 February 2011