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Lozoya (Municipality, Community of Madrid, Spain)

Last modified: 2016-05-20 by ivan sache
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Presentation of Lozoya

The municipality of Lozoya (591 inhabitants in 2014; 5,764 ha; municipal website) is located in the north-west of the Community of Madrid, on the border with Castilla y León (Province of Segovia), 90 km off Madrid. River Lozoya (91 km), a tributary of Jarama, has been supplying since 1858 the inhabitants of Madrid with freshwater.

Lozoya is named for the word loza / oza / osa, meaning "a pasture for horses" in the Basque dialect spoken in Biscay. Re-settled in the 11th century after the Christian reconquest, the Lozoya valley was managed by the Sociedad de Quiñones, established by the Council of Segovia. The colonists had to build a house and own a horse of a value of at least 200 maravedies; they should have a lance and be prepared to act in case of struggle.
Until the 19th century, the main source of income in the valley was the exploitation of natural resources: pinewoods, oaks used to produce charcoal, and cattle-breeding. Industry was limited to a few paper mills, lime kilns, grain mills, forges and cloth mills. The teachers from the Institución Libre de Enseñanza then started to promote the natural and historical environment of the place. Subsequently, the Royal Society of Mountain Climbing "Peñalara" and the writers from the Generation of 27 increased the fame of the valley, which became a symbol of the identity of the Sierra del Norte.

Ivan Sache, 11 July 2015

Symbols of Lozoya

The flag and arms of Lozoya are prescribed by a Decree adopted on 26 March 2004 by the Government of the Community of Madrid and published on 31 May 2005 in the official gazette of the Community of Madrid, No. 128, p. 34 (text).
The symbols are described as follows:

Flag: Rectangular panel, in proportions 2:3, white with three blue wavy stripes. In the center the municipal coat of arms of the town of Lozoya surmounted by the Royal crown of Spain.
Coat of arms: Per pale, 1. Argent three fesses wavy azure, 2. Azure five scallops or per saltire a bordure gules charged with five saltires or. The shield surmounted by a Royal Spanish crown.

The Royal Academy of History approved the proposed symbols. The coat of arms represent the famous water of Lozoya and the title of Marquis once granted to the local lords, the Suarez de la Concha (lit., shell).
[Boletín de la Real Academia de la Historia, 2005, 202, 3: 163]

The Royal Academy previously rejected an early proposal of symbols, itself submitted after the rejection of a previous proposal. The presence of a horse on the coat of arms is not justified. The arms of the Land of Segovia should be cleaned from the filiera, a modern charge unknown to the Spanish tradition. The motto and the image of the aqueduct shall touch the sides of the shield, as usual. Moreover, the bordure of the arms of Concha should be represented dimitiated, not covering the partition of the shield. Accordingly, the Academy proposed "Per pale, 1. Azure five scallops or a bordure gules charged with saltires or, 2. Gules a two-storeyed aqueduct argent on rocks of the same. The shield surmounted by a Royal Spanish crown".
The proposed flag was approved "without inconvenience", as a rectangular panel, in proportions 2:3, celestial blue with a red stripe running from upper hoist to lower fly, in width 1/5 of the panel's width. In the center is placed the municipal coat of arms as described above.
[Boletín de la Real Academia de la Historia, 1994, 191, 1: 171]

Ivan Sache, 11 July 2015