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Villa del Prado (Municipality, Community of Madrid, Spain)

Last modified: 2016-05-24 by ivan sache
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Presentation of Villa del Prado

The municipality of Villa del Prado (6,506 inhabitants in 2014; 7,842 ha; Sierra Oeste website) s located in the south-west of the Community of Madrid, on the border with Castilla-La Mancha (Province of Toledo), 60 km of Madrid.

Villa del Prado originates in the Moorish settlement of El Alamín, once a well-populated and wealthy town. Surrounded by pastures (prados), the place was subsequently renamed El Prado. In the 12th century, King Alfonso VIII granted El Alamín to the Archbishop of Toledo, who would rule it until 1436. Acquired by Álvaro de Luna, the settlement was granted the status of villa in 1497. Villa del Prado was then transferred to the Dukes of the Infantado, who ruled it until the suppression of the feudal system in 1811.

Ivan Sache, 4 August 2015

Symbols of Villa del Prado

The flag of Villa del Prado (photos) is green with the municipal coat of arms in the middle, maybe with two stars at fly (see below).

The Royal Academy of History approved the proposed flag, amended by the Subdirectorate General of Fine Arts of the Community of Madrid. The flag is described as follows (Boletín de la Real Academia de la Historia, 1992, 189:1, 165):

Flag: Rectangular, in proportions 2/3, light green with the crowned municipal coat of arms in the middle and two stars, respectively six and eight-pointed, placed in the upper and lower angles of the fly, respectively.

The coat of arms of Villa del Prado is prescribed in a Decree adopted on 5 March 1987 by the Government of the Community of Madrid and published on 17 March 1987 in the official gazette of the Community of Madrid, No. 64 (text), p. 3, and on 4 April 1987 in the official Spanish gazette, No. 81, p. 10,119 (text). The coat of arms is described as follows:

Coat of arms: Per pale, 1. Gules an ash vert on a pasture [prado] of the same, 2. Azure a three-arched bridge with a tower adextered all or masoned sable over waves argent. The shield surmounted by a Royal crown closed.

The Royal Academy of History rejected the proposed coat of arms, pointing out that no explication of the design was attached to the submitted drawing. The coat of arms is divided per pale, featuring a tree in the first quarter and a tower and a point over waves in the second quarter. The placement of a tree vert on a field gules is not acceptable in a coat of arms designed from scratch. The "natural and traditional" placement of the tower should be on the bridge, to defend passage, which is not the case in the submitted design. The waves should be represented argent and blue instead of or; moreover, the waves should be placed just below the bridge and not separated from it.
[Boletín de la Real Academia de la Historia, 1992, 189:1, 165]

According to Rafael de la Fuente Santos, the coat of arms is modelled on arms painted on the wall of the Town Hall decades ago. A cow might have been represented on the pasture in the old arms. A simpler coat of arms was used to represent the town on the labels of the wine bottles produced by the El Cantorral cellar.
The pasture makes the arms canting; the ash represents the tree most commonly found in the pastures. The waves represent river Alberche. The fortified bridge recalls the town of El Alamín; erected in the 14th century by the architect Rodrigo Alfonso, the bridge was subsequently demolished.
[Unofficial blog]

The Royal Academy of History rejected a previous proposal of coat of arms, totally different form the design eventually adopted. The proposed arms ware "Quarterly, 1. and 4. A castle, 2. and 3. A lion rampant. The proposal was deemed unsubstantiated, and therefore, not acceptable. On 30 June 1453, the King of Castile and Juana Pimentel set up in Escalona a concord, which re-allocated to Juana the domains confiscated to her late husband, Constable Álvaro de Luna, Villa de Prado included. Accordingly, the Academy suggests to use the arms of the Pimentel lineage.
[Boletín de la Real Academia de la Historia, 1985, 182:2, 574-575]

Ivan Sache, 4 August 2015