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La Bañeza (Municipality, Castilla y León, Spain)

Last modified: 2019-01-13 by ivan sache
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Flag of La Bañeza - Image by Antonio Gutiérrez (VexiLeón website), 21 February 2015

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Presentation of La Bañeza

The municipality of La Bañeza (10,595 ha in 2014; 1,971 ha; tourism website) is located in the south of the Province of León, 50 km of León. The municipality is made of the town of La Bañeza and of the villages of San Mamés de la Vega (116 inh.) and Santiago de la Valduerna (88 inh.).

La Bañeza probably emerged in the 5th-8th centuries. Suppressed in 711 by the Muslim invasion, the village was re-established in the mid 9th centuries by Gatón, Count of El Bierzo. It was originally formed of two settlements, San Pedro de Périx, settled by colonists from Pereje (El Bierzo), and Bani Eiza ("the place inhabited by the descendants of Jesus"), established by Mozarabic colonists from Córdoba. The merger of the two settlements was subsequently named La Bañeza.
Located on the Silver Way, one of the branches of the Way of St. James, La Bañeza became a significant trade center in León, still famous today for its market established in 1230.
In the Middle Ages, the town was the capital of a Marquisate ruled by the Bazán family. French and Flemish weavers increased the fame of La Bañeza, forming one of the most important guilds in the town. La Bañeza was granted the title of ciudad in 1895 by Queen Regent Maria Cristina de Habsbourg-Lorraine.

La Bañeza is the birth town of the erudite Juan Ferreras (1652-1735), founding member of the Spanish Royal Academy (1713) and chief librarian of the Royal Library (1715). Ferreras wrote an history of Spain until the 16th century (Synopsis histórica chronologica de España, 16 volumes, 1700-1722), which was translated in French and German.

Ivan Sache, 21 February 2015

Symbols of La Bañeza

The flag of La Bañeza (photo, photo, photo) is crimson red with the municipal coat of arms in the middle.

The coat of arms of La Bañeza is "Per fess, 1a. A Mater Dolorosa holding her son in her arms proper, 2a. Azure a holly oak on a base vert, 2b. Argent a tower or on a base vert. The shield placed on a cartouche and surmounted with a Marquis' coronet."
The upper part of the arms must represent the Pieta (photo) designed by Gregorio Fernández (1576-1636), the most important Castilian sculptor in the 17th century, kept in a chapel of the Santa María church of La Bañeza.

Ivan Sache, 21 February 2015