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Barrios de Colina (Municipality, Castilla y León, Spain)

Last modified: 2016-04-09 by ivan sache
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Flag of Barrios de Colina - Image by Ivan Sache, 4 December 2010

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Presentation of Barrios de Colina

The municipality of Barrios de Colina (65 inhabitants; 2,349 ha) is located in the center of the Province of Burgos, 20 km east of Burgos. The municipality is made of the villages of Barrios de Colina (capital), Hiniestra and San Juan de Ortega.

The borough of Milanes, today part of Colina, was mentioned for the first time on a document signed in 947 by the first Count of Castile, Fernán González, founding the monastery of Sts. John and Millán in Hiniestra. Colina appeared in history in 991, when the villagers granted plots of land to the aforementioned monastery. All the villages of the region appeared in the same period, as part of the resettlement of the territory reconquerred from the Moors; the villages remained politically autonomous until the set up of the feudal system, in the 12th century.
In 1135, King of Castile Alfonso VII granted Milanes to the monastery of San Juan de Ortega, that would rule it until the 19th century. In 1165, Alfonso VIII transferred Colina, until then a royal domain, to the Hospital of Valdefuentes, which was granted in 1230 by Ferdinand III, together with the village of Valdefuentes, to the Royal Hospital of Burgos. For centuries, the Burgos Hospital would be the most important hospital on the Way of St. James. In the 14th century, the small neighbouring villages formed a single political entity known as Barrios [boroughs] of Milanes, Colina and Santiago de Colina. The entity was listed in 1526 as Barrios de Colina.

The former monastery of San Juan de Ortega was built in a clearing made in the pine forest. St. John of Ortega (1080-1163), a disciple of St. Dominic of the Causeway, built there a chapel around 1115; later on an Augustinian monastery, recognized by Pope Innocent II on 24 April 1138, developed. The monastery was granted on 27 July 1170 by King Alfonso VIII to the Chapter of the Cathedral of Burgos. Abandoned and sold in 1835, the monastery was registered as an historical monument in 1931. The today's monument is made of the church (12th-15th centuries), the cloister, the St. Nicholas chapel and the pilgrims' hospital (15th-16th century).

Ivan Sache, 4 December 2010

Symbols of Barrios de Colina

The flag and arms of Barrios de Colina, designed by Friar Valentín de la Cruz, the official Chronicler of Province of Burgos, are prescribed by a Decree adopted on 14 February 2006 by the Municipal Council, signed on 21 February 2006 by the Mayor, and published on 2 March 2006 in the official gazette of Castilla y León, No. 43, pp. 3,775-3,776 (text).
The symbols are described as follows:

Flag: Quadrangular flag, 1:1. A big red bend of 6/10 the flag size. The lower corner green, the upper corner white, in the middle the municipal coat of arms.
Coat of arms: Per pale, 1. Gules a scallop or charged with a Cross of St. James (gules), 2a. Azure a saint's bust proper nimbed or, 2b. Argent an oak terraced and a sheep passant proper. A border vert nine six-pointed stars or. The shield surmounted by a Royal crown closed.

The original document, dated 1 October 2005, submitted by Friar Valentín de la Cruz for the registration of the flag, shows the flag with the central bend white and not red; the wording in the description, however, is absolutely identical in the original document and in the official gazette. Most probably, Friar Valentin wrote an erroneous description, which was blindly copied in the official gazette.

The first quarter of the arms recalls that Barrios de Colina is located on the Way of St. James. The second quarter portrays St. John of Ortega. The third quarter symbolizes peace, agriculture and cattle breeding. The nine stars in the border represent the today's three components of the village (Colina, Hiniestra and San Juan de Ortega) and its six abandoned villages (Ojuela de Villahumada, Ortega de Suso [Lower and Upper], San Millán, Santa Lucia and Santiago de Colina).

Ivan Sache, 4 December 2010