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Chinchón (Municipality, Community of Madrid, Spain)

Last modified: 2016-05-16 by ivan sache
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Flag of Chinchón - Image by Ivan Sache, 4 July 2015


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Presentation of Chinchón

The municipality of Chinchón (5,447 inhabitants in 2014; 11,590 ha; municipal website) is located in the south-east of the Community of Madrid, 45 km of Madrid.

Chinchón belonged to the Kingdom of Toledo during the Moorish rule; after the Christian reconquest, the town was transferred to the Council of Segovia.
Chinchón was transferred in 1480 by the Catholic Monarchs to the Marquis of Moya, Fernando Cabrera, and his wife, Beatriz de Bobadilla, as a reward for their support against Juana la Beltraneja. Between 1494 and 1499, the Monarchs paid at least five visits to the town. Chinchón was also visited on 15 September 1502 by Joan the Mad and Philip the Handsome. Fernando de Cabrera y Bobadilla, second lord of Chinchón, was made Count of Chinchón in 1520 by Charles V. His nephew, Diego Fernández de Cabrera y Bobadilla, 3rd Count of Chinchón, served Philip II. He rebuilt the castle, which had been destroyed during the War of the Comuneros, and the main chapel of the parish church, hiring the best artists who had worked at El Escorial palace. As a reward, he was granted a crypt under the main altar, where he was buried, as well as his descendants.
The 4th Count of Chinchón was appointed Vice-Roy of Peru by Philip IV. In 1629, Countess Francisca Enríquez de Rivera suffered of fever that threatened her life. The Corregidor of Loja, who had suffered from the same disease, forwarded her the medicine that had saved him. The Countess recovered five days after having been cured with an extract of tree scorch. She ordered to collect a huge amount of scorch and to share it among several hospitals. The cure soon known as the Countess' powder, or chinchona, was introduced in Europe by the Jesuits.

During the War of the Spanish Succession, Chinchón remained loyal to Philip V, who overnighted in the town on 25 February 1706 and was acclaimed king by the inhabitants on 3 August 1706. Eight days later, the town was sacked by the partisans of Archduke Charles. Chinchón, subsequently ruled by Infante Felipe de Borbón y Farnesio, was awarded in 1739 the title of "Muy Noble y Muy Leal" (Very Noble and Very Loyal). In 1761, the Infante sold the town to his brother, Luis Antonio Jaime de Borbón, who abandoned the Archbishopric of Toledo and married in 1778 María Teresa de Villábriga; accordingly, he was banned from Madrid and forbidden to use the name of Bourbon. The next lord of Chinchón was his son, Luis Maria de Borbón, ordained priest in 1799 and subsequently appointed Archbishop of Seville and Toledo; he transferred the County to his sister, Teresa de Borbón y Villábriga, the famous Countess of Chinchón who recovered all her titles and the name of Bourbon after her marriage with Godoy in 1797.
The Countess and her brother protected the painter Francisco Goya, whose brother Camilo was appointed chaplain of the parish church of Chinchón; Goya painted a picture representing the church as it was before the destruction experienced during the War of Independence. In his famous series entitled The Disasters of War, drawing No. 37 is labelled El de Chinchón, referring to the sack of the town by the French, which claimed 86 lives.

The "Sociedad de Cosecheros" was established in 1845 in Chinchón by the producers of wine, brandy and vinegar. They were awarded a golden medal in the Paris International Fairs 1889 and 1900, and the title of "Supplier of the Royal House" by Regent María Cristina. The wealthy society funded the building of the theatre, the transformation of the town's square into a bull ring, the rebuilding of the clock tower and the establishment of the railway station, of public fountains and of street lightning.

Ivan Sache, 4 July 2015


Symbols of Chinchón

The flag of Chinchón is prescribed by a Decree adopted on 14 March 2002 by the Government of the Community of Madrid and published on 25 April 2002 in the Spanish official gazette, No. 99, p. 15,423 (text). The flag, originally adopted on 26 July 1999 by the Municipal Council, was validated on 1 March 2001 by the Heraldry Assessors (Royal Academy "Matritense" of Heraldry and Genealogy).
The flag is described as follows:

Flag: In proportions 2:3. The panel vertically divided in two parts, red at hoist and blue at fly.

Ivan Sache, 4 July 2015