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Manzanares el Real (Municipality, Community of Madrid, Spain)

Last modified: 2016-05-20 by ivan sache
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Presentation of Manzanares el Real

The municipality of Manzanares el Real (8,182 inhabitants in 2014; 12,840 ha; tourism website) is located in the north-west of the Community of Madrid

Manzanares el Real was already settled in the late Age of Bronze (1400-1200 BC), as evidenced by anthropomorphic rock paintings discovered in 1987 in La Pedriza.
Manzanares el Real was re-settled in 1248 by colonists from Segovia. To solve the infuriating territorial dispute between the Councils of Madrid and Segovia, King Alfonso X the Wise reincorporated the disputed area to the Royal domain, as the Real de Manzanares. Alfonso XI transferred in 1344-1346 the Real de Manzanares to his mistress, Leonor de Guzmán.

In 1383, King John I granted the Real de Manzanares to Pedro González de Mendoza (1340-1385), as a reward for his support to his father, Henry II. His son, Diego Hurtado de Mendoza (1365-1404), is credited the building of a first castle, whose last remains are locally known as the "old castle". Diego Hurtado de Mendoza y de la Vega (1417-1479), 1st Duke of the Infantado and 2nd Count of Manzanares el Real, initiated in 1475, on the site of a Mudéjar chapel (13th century), the building of the castle of Manzanares, one of the best known and preserved medieval fortresses in Spain. The quadrangular castle is protected by cylindric angle towers in the corner, the donjon being located in the south-eastern corner. A secondary wing is appended to the east side of the fortress, including the apse of the old chapel.
Still owned by the Duke of the Infantado, the castle is managed by the Community of Madrid, whose Autonomy Statutes were established there in 1982 by the Assembly of the Representatives of Madrid.

Ivan Sache, 14 July 2015


Symbols of Manzanares el Real

The flag of Manzanares el Real is prescribed by a Decree adopted on 11 November 1993 by the Government of the Community of Madrid and published on 2 December 1993 in the official gazette of the Community of Madrid, No. 286, p. 25 (text), and on 21 December 1993 in the Spanish official gazette, No. 304, p. 36,549 (text).
The flag is described as follows:

Flag: Proportions 2:3. Divided in three parts by two lines, one running from the lower hoist corner to first third of the upper edge, the other running from the upper fly corner to the second third of the lower edge. The central stripe, yellow, the lateral triangles, green. In the center is placed the municipal coat of arms.

The flag in actual use (photo, photos) does not strictly match the prescriptions, since the yellow stripe does not reach the flag's corners.
The four towers of the Mendoza castle each hoist a flag: Spain, European Union, Community of Madrid, and Manzanares el Real (photos, photos).

The coat of arms of Manzanares el Real is prescribed by Decree No. 239, adopted on 18 January 1974 by the Spanish Government and published on 6 February 1974 in the Spanish official gazette, No. 32, p. 2,298 (text).
The coat of arms is described as follows:

Coat of arms: Quarterly per saltire, 1. and 4. Vert a bend gules fimbriated or, 2. and 3. Or the angelic salute "Ave María gratia plena" azure. The shield surmounted by a Count's coronet.

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, 14 July 2015