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Griñón (Municipality, Community of Madrid, Spain)

Last modified: 2016-05-18 by ivan sache
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Flag of Griñón - Image by Ivan Sache, 9 July 2015


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Presentation of Griñón

The municipality of Griñón (9,928 inhabitants in 2014; 1,700 ha; municipal website) is located in the south-west of the Community of Madrid, on the border with Castilla-La Mancha (Province of Toledo), 30 km of Madrid.

Griñón was first settled in the Roman times, as evidenced by recent archeological findings. The town was first mentioned in a document signed on 13 December 1208 by King Henry II, fixing the limits between the Councils of Segovia, Madrid and Toledo. Until the end of the 13th century, Griñón and the neighbouring town of Cubas de la Sagra belonged to the Guzmán. The two towns were sold in 1374 to the Council of Madrid for 280,000 maravedies. Ten years later, a lawsuit opposed the Council of Madrid to Juan Ramírez de Guzmán, who appears to have been forced to sell the towns as the guarantor of Mayor Abendaño, a Jew of Toledo who was Greater Treasurer of Castile and misused the founds.
Griñón was granted the status of villa in 1400/1407 by Henry III. In the middle of the 15th century, the town was transferred by John II to Luis de Cerda, Count of Medinaceli, to be soon purchased in 1450 by Alonso Álvarez de Toledo. The town was inherited in 1457 by his son, Pedro Nuñez de Toledo, succeeded in 1503 by Luis Núñez de Toledo. His nephew, Bernardino de Mendoza y Toledo, is recorded as the lord of Griñón in 1522. Subsequent lords were Alfonso de Mendoza y Toledo (1560) and Enrique Dávila y Guzmán, Marquis of Povar, who purchased the domain in 1615. In 1753, the lord of Griñón was Joaquín María Pimentel, Marquis of Malpica.
The Clarisse monastery of Griñón was established in 1525 by Rodrigo Vivar. Designed in baroque style, the convent is decorated with paintings by a noted painter from Toledo, Juan Correa de Vivar, who was the nephew of the convent's founder.

The origin of the name of the town is unknown, in spite of popular etymology based on the meaning of griñón in Spanish, "a variety of peach" or "a nun's veil or hairdress".

Ivan Sache, 9 July 2015


Symbols of Griñón

The flag (photos, photo) of Griñón is blue with the municipal coat of arms in the center. The flag does not appear to have been officially approved.

The coat of arms of Griñón is prescribed by a Decree adopted on 11 April 1985 by the Government of the Community of Madrid and published on 10 May 1985 in the official gazette of the Community of Madrid, No. 110, p. 6 (text).
The coat of arms is described as follows:

Coat of arms: Per pale, 1. Quarterly per saltire, 1. and 3. Gules (red) a bend vert (green) fimbriated or, 2. and 3. Or the archangelic salute "Ave María Gracia Plena" in letters sable (black) (Mendoza), 2. Gules 15 pieces azure (blue) and argent (Toledo). Inescutcheon gules two swords argent hilted or per saltire. The shield surmounted by a Royal crown closed.

The Royal Academy of History validated the proposed arms.
[Boletín de la Real Academia de la Historia, 1984, 181, 3: 440]

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]

Ivan Sache, 9 July 2015