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Torredonjimeno (Municipality, Andalusia, Spain)

Last modified: 2016-06-03 by ivan sache
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Flag of Torredonjimeno - Image by "Xavigivax" (Wikimedia Commons), 12 July 2009


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Presentation of Torredonjimeno

The municipality of Torredonjimeno (14,138 inhabitants in 2008; 15,760 ha; municipal website) is located 15 km west of Jaén.

Located on flat, fertile soil, the site of Torredonjimeno has been settled all along the history since the Paelolithic. The oldest available sources refer to an Iberian settlement called Tosiria (recalled in the current name of the inhabitants, tosirianos), superseded by the Roman colony known as Colonia Augusta Gemina. A Visigoth treasure found in 1926 confirms that Torredonjimeno was still inhabited during the Greater Invasions; the Byzantine-like votive crowns and crosses forming the treasure, most probably designed in a Seville workshop in the 7th century, have been scattered among different museums in Madrid, Barcelona and Córdoba, not to mention the pieces that have been destroyed, stolen or lost.
Incorporated to the neighbouring town of Martos in the Moorish period, Torredonjimeno watched the crossroads of the roads to Jaén and Córdoba. In 1224, the town was reconquered and incorporated to the Kingdom of Castile; the next year, King Ferdinand III the Saint transferred the town to the Military Order of Calatrava, commissionned to resettle and watch the new border of the kingdom. The name of the town seems to date from this period, "Torre" ("a tower") refering to a military enclave and "Donjimeno" refering to one of the first commanders of the fortress, Don Ximeno de Raya. In 1275, the Archbishop of Toledo and Infant of Aragón, Sancho, the son of King James the Conqueror, was caught in a border skirmish with Moorish troops sent by Muhammad II, King of Granada. Captured near Torredonjimeno, the Infant was the source of a quarrel between the Nasrids from Granada and their allies from Morocco; to solve the problem, a knight killed the Infant and offerred the head to the Moroccans and the right hand, bearing the bishop's ring, to the Nasrids. Since then, the place has been known as Fuente de Don Sancho (Don Sancho's Fountain).

At the end of the 14th century, Torredonjimeno was protected by a comprehensive system of fortifications still recalled by the modern toponymy of the town. This prevented a Muslim attack in 1471; captured during the siege, the two daughters of the commander of the fortress, Diego Fernández de Martos, were jailed in Granada; one of them abjured the Christian faith, but her sister, together with her servant, refused to do so. Eventually martyred, the two maidens were never officially canonized but are locally venerated as Sts. Juana and María, aka the Santas Toxirianas. In a subsequent battle, the Christian troops commanded by Diego López Pacheco, Marquis of Villena and First Majordomo of Queen Isabel I, defeated the Moors.
In 1558, Princess Joanna of Austria granted to Torredonjimeno independence from Martos, the title of villa and several privileges; in 1911, King Alfonso XIII granted the title of ciudad to the town. In 2005, the Culture Council of the Government of Andalusia proclaimed Torredonjimeno a Place of Cultural Interest recognizing the historic and urbanistic significance of the town.

Ivan Sache, 12 July 2009


Symbols of Torredonjimeno

The flag of Torredonjimeno, adopted on 28 September 2006 by the Municipal Council and submitted on 17 October 2006 to the Directorate General of the Local Administration, is prescribed by a Resolution adopted on 13 November 2006 by the Directorate General of the Local Administration and published on 26 November 2006 in the official gazette of Andalusia, No. 231, pp. 27-28 (text).
The flag is described as follows:

Flag: Rectangular panel in proportions 2:3, vertically divided in the middle, red at hoist and white at fly. A green stripe fimbriated white from the lower left to the upper right corner.

The coat of arms of Torredonjimeno, adopted on 28 September 2006 by the Municipal Council and submitted on 16 October 2006 to the Directorate General of the Local Administration, is prescribed by a Resolution adopted on 23 October 2006 by the Directorate General of the Local Administration and published on 3 November 2006 in the official gazette of Andalusia, No. 213, p. 26 (text).
The "rehabiltated" coat of arms is described as follows:

Coat of arms: Oval shield. Or a Cross of Calatrava superimposed with a castle masoned sable with one door and one window three towers the median higher each with a window in the castle's window a crowned head, in base dexter and sinister two understraps sable dexter per bend sinister per bend sinister. The shield surmounted by a Spanish Royal crown closed.

The Cross of Calatrava and the understraps recall that Torredonjimeno belonged from 1303 to 1837 to the Order of Calatrava. The tower and the head make the arms canting. The castle is the origin of the medieval settlement. The head belongs to Don Jimeno de Raya, conqueror of the castle of Osaría and probable mayor or lord of the fortress.
[Símbolos de las Entidades Locales de Andalucía. Jaén (PDF file)]

Ivan Sache, 21 July 2009