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Vegas de Matute (Municipality, Castilla y León, Spain)

Last modified: 2015-01-05 by ivan sache
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Flag of Vegas de Matute - Image by José Manuel Erbez (La Driza blog), 3 March 2014

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Presentation of Vegas de Matute

The municipality of Vegas de Matute (297 inhabitants in 2010; 2,192 ha; municipal website) is located in the southwest of Segovia Province, 40 km from Segovia.

Vegas de Matute was originally known as Vegas de Monte, a village then part of the Community of the Town and Land of Segovia. The first lord of the village was Gómez Rodríguez de Segovia, a vassal of King Ferdinand IV, rewarded for his support with "a tower and manor located in Las Vegas, three leagues from Segovia, at the foot of the Sierras de Guaderrama, together with the Royal benefits attached to the place". Gómez Rodríguez, subsequently named Captain of the Segovia Militia, died in 1292 during the siege of Tarifa. His descendants would rule Vegas de Matute for the next six centuries and play major roles in the town of Segovia and at the court of Castile.
In 1520, Pedro of Segovia, lord of Vegas de Matute, remained loyal to the king during the War of the Comuneros, who burned down his manor in the village. At the time, the most famous inhabitant of the village was Pedro Pérez, Philip II's Royal Writer, who settled there a territorial dispute between Madrid and Segovia. A document referring to the erection of the parish church, dated 1570, still names the village Las Vegas.

The exact date of the change of the place name to Vegas de Matute is not known - a document dated 1662 uses the village's current name. Matute, a village located on the banks of river Moros, appears to have been settled earlier than Las Vegas, but was deserted in the 8th century. At the time, the villagers poorly lived from grain cultivation and sheep breeding; in the 18th century, 4,000 sheep were shorn every year in two farms owned by the Segovia family. The lords also owned several watermills powered - and often damaged - by river Moros. Some families obtained additional income by operating lime kilns, whose importance increased with the building in 1564 of the Royal Monastery of San Lorenzo of El Escorial. The remains of the seven biggest kilns, located near brook Zancao, are preserved in the Archeological Park of the Zancao Kilns.

Ivan Sache, 3 March 2014

Symbols of Vegas de Matute

The flag and arms of Vegas de Matute are prescribed by a Decree adopted on 21 April 2010 by the Municipal Council, signed on the same day by the Mayor, and published on 13 September 2010 in the official gazette off Castilla y León, No. 187, p. 73,289 (text).
The Decree does not include a description of the symbols.

The memoir supporting the proposed symbols was written by Diego Conte Bragado, helped in the design of the coat of arms by the illustrators Manuel Gómez Cía and Diego Conte Peralta, all from the Tuco Naturaleza y Patrimonio S.L. company, from Sepúlveda.
The flag is green with the municipal coat of arms in the middle. Green is the main colour of the local landscape.
The coat of arms is "Per fess, 1. Argent a Cross of Calatrava gules, 2. Vert a lime kiln proper. The shield surmounted by a Royal Spanish crown closed". The upper quarter represents the arms of the Segovia family while the lower quarter recalls lime industry (El Adelantado, 18 October 2010).

Ivan Sache, 3 March 2014