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Perales de Tajuña (Municipality, Community of Madrid, Spain)

Last modified: 2016-05-21 by ivan sache
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Flag of Perales de Tajuña - Image by Ivan Sache, 19 July 2015

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Presentation of Perales de Tajuña

The municipality of Perales de Tajuña (2,945 inhabitants in 2014; 4,892 ha; municipal website) is located in the south-east of the Community of Madrid, 40 km of Madrid.

Perales de Tajuña was already settled in the Age of Bronze; remains were found in an area stretching over 3 ha on the left terrace of river Tajuña. The main site, El Risco de las Cuevas, of tedious dating, is made of a 60 caves whose entrance watches the plain formed by the Tajuña. El Risco de las Cuevas was identified by some authors and by the local tradition with the troglodytic Iberic settlement of Caracca; in his "Parallel Lives", Plutarch relates how the Roman general Sartorius forced the cave dwellers to move down to the plain. The Cuesta del Viejo site has yielded a necropolis from the Second Age of Iron.
After the Christian reconquest, the plain of Tajuña became a border zone. To secure the reconquerred territories, King Alfonso VI organized the emigration of farmers from Segovia, Aragón, Navarre and France, and transferred Alcalá de Henares and its surroundings, Perales included, to the Archbishop of Toledo. The scattered Mozarab farmers were regrouped with the new colonists in bigger estates, such as La Rinconada de Perales. Villages emerged around a chapel and a Council House; several of these early villages are today's towns, while many other were subsequently deserted (Quintana, Aldeormeña, Villaescusa, Valdemorales, Peña Ahumada, Las Peñuelas, La Rinconada, Congosto, Eza, Villaverde, El Monasterio, Casasola).

Archbishop Raimundo granted in 1135 the so-called Old Charters to Alcalá and the surrounding villages; to promote the colonization, the subsequent archbishops confirmed and increased the privileges. In 1190, part of the Land of Alcalá and the villages of the valleys of Tajuña and Henares, Perales included, were transferred to the Community of the Town and Land of Segovia. The Archbishop of Toledo, however, re-established his rule in 1214. Perales and other villages ruled by the Archbishop entered in a series of conflicts with the neighbouring villages belonging to the wA HREF="rel-chor.html#stjames">Order of St. James for the control of woods and pastures. The Tajuña Concord, signed in 1277, appointed two judges, one from each party.
Alonso Carrillo de Acuña, Archbishop of Toledo, supported the Catholic Monarchs against Henry IV. As a retaliation, Henry IV ordered Vasco de Contreras to seize the fortress of Perales, which was done in 1470, on Christmas Day. The troops of the Archbishop, helped by the Mendoza, soon took over the fortress.
Perales was granted the status of villa at the end of the 16th century, separating from Alcalá and from the Archbishop of Toledo. The Marquis of Leganés acquired the town in 1694. The 3rd Marquis of Leganés, who died in 1771 without male heirs, was succeeded by the Counts of Altamira.

Ivan Sache, 19 July 2015

Symbols of Perales de Tajuña

The flag (photos, photo, photo) and arms of Perales de Taju–a are prescribed by a Decree adopted on 30 May 1991 by the Government of the Community of Madrid and published on 29 August 1991 in the Spanish official gazette, No. 207, p. 28,729 (text).
The symbols are described as follows:

Flag: In proportions 2:3, yellow with a green fess of 1/5 of the flag's width, charged in the center with the crowned municipal coat of arms in full colours.
Coat of arms: Gules a castle or masoned sable port and windows azure on a stone mount with a path in base waves argent and azure in chief a bishop's crozier and a patriarchal cross argent per saltire superimposed with a cauldron checky or and gules engulfed by two snake's heads vert. The shield surmounted by a Royal Spanish crown.

The castle represents the fortress, of which nearly nothing remains. The mountain represents the natural location of the town and the path recalls the Royal Road of Castellón that crossed the town. The waves represent river Tajuña.
The crozier and the cross recall the rule exerted by the Archbishop of Toledo for five centuries. The cauldron is taken from the arms of the Guzmán, Marquis of Leganés and lords of Perales from 1649 to 1811.
The field gules and the castle or recalls that Perales belonged to the old Kingdom of Castile.
[Unofficial website]

The flag appears to be used with at least two different versions of the coat of arms.

Ivan Sache, 19 July 2015