Last modified: 2016-05-25 by ivan sache
Keywords: villanueva de la cañada |
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Flag of Villanueva de la Cañada - Image by Ivan Sache, 5 August 2015
The municipality of Villanueva de la Cañada (18,827 inhabitants in 2014; 3,492 ha) is located in the south-west of the Community of Madrid, 30 km of Madrid.
Villanueva de la Cañada is the seat of the Center of Astronomy and Planet Science of the European Space Agency and of the Alfonso X El Sabio and Camilo José Cela universities.
Luis Partida Brunete (PP; interview) has been re-elected Mayor of Villanueva de la Cañada since the first democratic elections, held in 1979. Therefore, he started his 10th mandate in 2015.
Villanueva de la Cañada, originally known as La Despernada, once belonged to the Community of the Town and Land of Segovia. A hamlet of Valdemorillo until 1487, La Despernada was granted the status of villa, under its modern name, in 1628. The Relaciones Topográficas de Felipe II (1578) claim that La Despernada was the birth place of the famous pirate Barbarossa - indeed, the story was reported to a clerk born in La Despernada by a third party who had discussed the issue with the pirate in Algiers!
Ivan Sache, 5 August 2015
The flag of Villanueva de la Cañada is prescribed by a Decree adopted on 12 July 1991 by the Government of the Community of Madrid and published on 28 October 1991 in the official gazette of the Community of Madrid, No. 256, p. 10 (text), and on 19 November 1991 in the Spanish official gazette, No. 277, p. 37,480 (text).
The flag is described as follows:
Flag: In proportions 2:3. Horizontally divided blue and green, the colours of the municipal coat of arms.The flag in actual use (photo, photo) is charged with the municipal coat of arms.
The coat of arms of Villanueva de la Cañada is prescribed by a Decree adopted on 27 October 1984 by the Government of the Community of Madrid and published on 14 January 1985 in the official gazette of the Community of Madrid, No. 11 (text).
The coat of arms is described as follows:
Coat of arms: Per fess, 1. Azure "La Despernada" argent, 2. Vert three wheat spikes or per fess. The shield surmounted with a Royal crown closed.
"La Despernada" (more or less, "the woman with a missing leg") is the emblematic statue erected on the main square of the town, in front of the old Town Hall (photo). The statue recalls the legendary origin of the former name of the municipality. During a Royal hunting party, a princess fell down from her horse and broke her leg (pierna). The hamlet subsequently built on the site of the accident was called La Despernada, as a tribute to the unfortunate princess. A related legend says that La Despernada was named for an old statue whose leg was broken by vandals.
The spikes represent the past agricultural resources of the municipality.
The Royal Academy of History validated the proposed arms in a slightly different design, the first quarter being given as "Argent 'La Despernada' sable", as "most relevant". The Academy recommended to design the statue with a more serene attitude and without any vegetal ornamentation, and to reduce the size of the spikes, which, in spite of being well-designed, could be mistaken for trees.
[Boletín de la Real Academia de la Historia, 1984, 183:2, 328]
Ivan Sache, 5 August 2015