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Villamanrique de la Condesa (Municipality, Andalusia, Spain)

Last modified: 2017-02-04 by ivan sache
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Flag of Villamanrique de la Condesa - Image from the Símbolos de Sevilla website, 23 January 2017

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Presentation of Villamanrique de la Condesa

The municipality of Villamanrique de la Condesa (4,462 inhabitants in 2016; 5,2767 ha; municipal website), is located 40 km south-west of Seville, on the border with the Province of Huelva.

Villamanrique was originally known as Mures, a name that seems to have been coined by the Tartessians and used by all the subsequent inhabitants of the area, during the Muslim period included. Mures appears to be related with murena, "a murena". Excavated on 22 March 1978 by Manuel Zurita Chacón and Manuel Carrasco Díaz in Chillas, the Tartessian stele of Villamanrique (6th century BC) is kept in the Provincial Archeological Museum (Seville). The stele, made of red sandstone (69 cm x 60 cm x 28 cm) is engraved in one of its corners with nine Tartessian letters inscribed between two parallel lines forming an imperfect semicircle; the writing, reading from right to left, could only have been partially (4 letters) transliterated.
[Record in the Seville museum; J.A. Correa. Inscripción tartesia hallada en Villamanrique de la Condesa (Sevilla). Habis 1978, 210: 207-211]

The first organized settlement in Villamanrique was established by the Moors, with densely populated boroughs, such as Harat-Algerna and Beni-Moslema. A caliphal jar from that period is kept in the Provincial Archeological Museum (Seville).
Reconquerred on 10 June 1253 by Alfonso X the Wise, Villamanrique was granted to Pelay Correa, Master of the Order of St. James. The town of Mures was united with the villages of Chillas and Gatos in 1399, during the reign of Henry III.
Villamanrique was transferred in 1539 by Charles I to Francisco de Zúñiga y Guzmán, Duke of Béjar. Philip II erected the Marquisate of Villamanrique for Alvaro Manrique de Zúñiga, the town being renamed on 24 March 1577 to Villamanrique de Zúñiga. The town was subsequently transferred to the Marquis of Astorga, later Counts of Altamira.

In 1869, the Duke of Montpensier, son of Louis-Philippe d'Orléans (King of the French, 1860-1848) and Infante o Spain as Antonio de Orleans (1824-1890) after his marriage with Infante Luisa Fernanda de Borbón (1832-1897), purchased the land spreading between Gatos and the El Rocío farm, and the palace of the Counts of Altamira. The town was renamed to Villamanrique de la Condesa by a Royal Decree signed on 27 June 1916, as a tribute to the daughter of the Duke, María Isabel de Orleans (1848-1919), who bore the title of Countess of Paris after her marriage with Philippe d'Orléans (1848-1894), Count of Paris and pretender to the throne of France, as Philip VII.
The palace of the Infantes of Orlaans y Borbón , built in the 16th century and revamped in the 19th century by the Duke of Montpensier, is still owned by the Spanish Royal family. The St. Philip convent was established in 1901 as an hospital and named as a tribute to Philippe d'Orléans; in 1928, Infante Louisa de Orleans (1882-1958), the daughter of the Countess of Paris, offered the building to St. Angela of the Cross (1846-1932; canonized on 4 May 2003 by Pope John Paul II), who re-established a convent for the Sisters of the Company of the Cross, the congregation she had founded in 1875 in Seville and that was canonically approved in 1904 by Pope Pius X.

Villamanrique is the birth town of the torero Pascual Márquez Díaz (1915-1941), known as the "Treasure of the Island". Granted the alternative on 27 May 1937 during the Real Maestranza in Seville, Márquez died on 30 May 1941, 12 days after having been injured by a bull in Las Ventas.

Ivan Sache, 23 January 2017

Symbols of Villamanrique de la Condesa

The flag of Villamanrique de la Condesa (photo) is dark red with the municipal coat of arms in the center. Neither the flag not the coat of arms appear to have been officially registered.

The coat of arms of Villamanrique de la Condesa is "Per fess, 1a. Argent a bend sable orled by a chain or, 1b. Argent the anagram "AB" sable orled by a chain or, 2. Azure a fleur-de-lis or surrounded by the writing "AYUNTAMIENTO" in chief and "VILLAMANRIQE" in base all sable. The shield surmounted by a Royal crown closed."
The first quarter features the arms of the Zúñiga lineage. The second quarter features an anagram representing ēlvaro Manrique de Zúñiga (A), first Marquis of Villamanrique, and his wife, Blanca Enríquez (B). The fleur-de-lis is the emblem of the Bourbon dynasty.
[Leyendas e Historias de Villamanrique, 26 July 2010]

Ivan Sache, 23 January 2017