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Novés (Municipality, Castilla-La Mancha, Spain)

Last modified: 2020-04-04 by ivan sache
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Flag of Novés - Image by Ivan Sache, 10 September 2019

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Presentation of Novés

The municipality of Novés (2,727 inhabitants in 2015; 4,200 ha; municipal website) is located 40 km of Toledo.

Novés was allegedly founded by the Greeks in 1250 BC or by Jews returning from Babylone. It is more certain that the area was inhabited at the Roman times, as evidenced by coins and tools found in the deserted villages of Aldeanueva and Rodillas. Arab toponyms, such as Algollón and Albañal, indicate a clear Muslim presence.
Novés was mentioned in the 13th century as a dependency of Fontalba de la Sagra, with more than 300 inhabitants. The population of the village was reduced to 50 in 1387 by an epidemic. Re-settled with the help of Juana and Aldonza, the daughters of the Royal Councillor López de Ayala, Novés counted in 1436 more than 400 inhabitants. The origin of the colonists is still seen in the today's anthroponyms, such as Soriano, Carasa, Marrón, Solórzano, Rozas and Valtierra.

From 1590 to 1605, the poet Lope de Vega (1562-1635) lived in the village after his expelling from the court. Luis Crespi y Borja (1607-1663), Bishop of Orihuela (1652-1658) and Plasencia (1658-1663) and Ambassador of Philip IV, died in Novés on 19 April 1663 on his way back from Rome.
Wool industry peaked in Novés in 1750, when the village counted more than 60 workshops employing more than 1,500 workers. The local production accounted for 20% of the cloth produced in the Province of Toledo. Highly prized at the court, the Novés cloth was sold to Castile, Galicia and Portugal, competing with English stuff.

Ivan Sache, 10 September 2019

Symbols of Novés

The flag of Novés is prescribed by an Order adopted on 20 February 2006 by the Government of Castilla-La Mancha and published on 7 March 2006 in the official gazette of Castilla-La Mancha, No. 50, p. 5,573 (text).
The flag is described as follows:

Flag: Rectangular in proportions 2:3, vertically divided in three stripes of equal size, at hoist, red, in the center, yellow, at fly, green.

The colors of the flag appear to have been derived of the municipal coat of arms, of "immemorial use" but seemingly never officialy adopted. The coat of arms is white with three red arrows pointing dexter, separated from each other by two green stripes. The upper and lateral part of the shield are bordered by yellow pearls, while the lower part of the bordure is white, inscribed with "ARMAS NOVES" in black letters.
The three arrows represent the three leaders of the War of the Comuneros, Juan de Padilla (1490-1521), Juan Bravo (1483-1521) and Francisco Maldonado (1480-1521), who were executed on 24 April 1521 in the aftermath of the battle of Villalar.
The local tradition claims that Juan de Padilla was born in Novés. His father, Pedro López de Padilla, was, among other titles, lord of Novés, but there is no evidence that Juan was born in Novés.
[Municipal website]

The coat of arms is shown on an engraving made in 1802, kept in the parish church. Another, also far-fetched origin of the arms could be the Aragonese town of Novés, whose second and thrid quarters of the arms feature the bordure and the fesses of the arms of the Castlian Novés, respectively. There is, however, no hint of an Aragonese origin of the re-settlement of Novés. The arms could also be a schematic representation of the arms of the Rivadeneira, lords of Caudilla and of half of Novés, composed of three fesses azure charged with three fesses argent.
[José Luis Ruz Márquez & Ventura Leblic García. Heraldica municipal de la Provincia de Toledo. 1983]

Ivan Sache, 10 September 2019