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Buitrago del Lozoya (Municipality, Community of Madrid, Spain)

Last modified: 2016-05-15 by ivan sache
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Flag of Buitrago del Lozoya - Image by Ivan Sache, 2 July 2015


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Presentation of Buitrago del Lozoya

The municipality of Buitrago del Lozoya (1,952 inhabitants in 2014; 2,650 ha; unofficial website) is located in the north of the Community of Madrid, 75 km of Madrid.

Buitrago del Lozoya, established on a promontory inscribed in a meander of river Lozoya, is the only town in the Community of Madrid to have fully preserved its medieval fortifications, proclaimed in 1931 a National Historical Monument, the alcazar (fortified town) included. The town is surrounded by a wall of 800 m in perimeter, including both Moorish and Christian elements. The part of the wall dominating the river is of more than 6 m in height and 2 m in width, lacking towers; the other part of the wall, more prone to attack, has a minimal height of 9 m and a width of 3.2 m, and is protected by several towers. The main entrance of the town was defended by the clock tower, a pentagonal tower of some 16 m in height, erected in the 14th century.
The alcazar, built in the 13th-15th century in Mujédar style on the remains of an earlier Moorish citadel, is nearly square, protected by seven towers. In the 15th century, Íñigo López de Mendoza (1388-1458, 1st Marquis of Santillana and Count of Manzanares) built a palace inside the citadel, which was visited by Kings John II and Philip III, by Juana la Beltraneja and her mother Juana, and by the Dukes of the Infantado. Destroyed by a blaze in 1536, the palace was subsequently rebuilt; burned down again in the 17th century, the palace was suppressed, its site being transformed in the 1930s into a bull ring.
Buitrago was the capital of the Community of the Town and Land of Buitrago, chartered in 1096 by King Alfonso VI.

The Town Hall, built in the 1940s, houses the Picasso Museum, inaugurated in 1985. Born in Buitrago in 1909, Eugenio Arias Herranz exiled after the Civil War to Vallauris (France), where he was the barber of Pablo Picasso and one of his closest friendsuntil the painter's death. In 1983, Arias refused to sell the works Picasso had offered him and donated them to the Provincial Council of Madrid.
[The Independent, 2 May 2008]

Ivan Sache, 2 July 2015


Symbols of Buitrago del Lozoya

The flag and arms of Buitrago del Lozoya are prescribed by a Decree adopted on 20 September 2001 by the Government of the Community of Madrid and published on 24 January 2002 in the official gazette of the Community of Madrid, No. 20, p. 8 (text) and on 19 March 2002 in the Spanish official gazette, No. 2678, p. 11,290 (text).
The symbols were originally adopted in April 1988 by the Municipal Council. The Heraldry Assessors and the Royal Academy of History recommended minor modifications on 26 May 1988 and 10 June 1988, respectively. Other Heraldry Assessors proposed modifications on 16 April and 30 May 1991, but the Municipal Council did not follow up. A new proposal, taking into account the aforementioned recommendations, was eventually adopted on 30 April 2000.
The symbols are described as follows:

Flag: In proportions 2:3, quartered per saltire, 1. and 4. Vert a red bend fimbriated yellow, 2. and 3. Yellow with the words "AVE MARÍA" sable. In the center is placed the municipal coat of arms.
Coat of arms: Or a holly oak vert on a base of the same the trunk superimposed with an oxen sable. The shield surmounted by a Royal Spanish crown.

Diego Hurtado de Mendoza y Figueroa (1415/1417-1479), the elder son of Íñigo López de Mendoza, First Marquis of Santillana, was made Duke of the Infantado (full title, "Duque de las Cinco Villas del Estado del Infantado") in 1475; subsequently, the Dukes of the Infantado were made first-rank Grandees of Spain, and were therefore allowed to wear their hat in the presence of the king. Íñigo de Arteaga y Martín (b. 1941) is the 19th Duke of the Infantado.
"Vert a bend gules fimbriated or" are the oldest known arms of Mendoza; subsequently modified several times, the arms always included a red bend on a green field. The arms quartered per saltire were introduced by the first Marquis of Santillana and appear on a seal dated 1440; the marquis quartered his father's arms (Mendoza) with his mother's arms (de la Vega). His descendants were known as Mendoza de Guadalajara or Mendoza de l'Ave María. In the representations of these arms, the first quarter is inscribed with "AVE MARÍA" while the third quarter is inscribed with "PLENA GRATIA" (or, at least "GRATIA").
[José Luis García de Paz (UAM), Los poderosos Mendoza website]

The arms featuring the bull and the holly oak were granted in 1096 by Alfonso VI, when establishing the Community of the Town and Land of Buitrago.
The flags in actual use (photo, photos, photo) appear to lack the "AVE MARÍA" writing in the yellow quarters.

Ivan Sache, 2 July 2015