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Telgate(Lombardy, Italy)

Last modified: 2013-01-20 by rob raeside
Keywords: telgate | bergamo | lombardy |
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image located by Ivan Sache, 31 December 2012

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The municipality of Telgate ( in Bergamo dialect, Telgàt; 4,932 inhabitants; 812 ha) is located in the east of the Bergamo Province. Telgate was mentioned for the first time in 830, via its baptismal church. However, a coaching inn probably existed there on the Roman times, serving the Brescia-Milan road. The parish church of Telgate was indeed involved in several historical events. In 1156, the municipal militia from Bergamo and Brescia, who had fought in the bloody Battle of Grumore, signed a truce in the St. Michael church, long disappeared. The truce was quickly broken, until a new treaty signed in 1198, again in Telgate but in the St. Peter church, eventually settled the dispute. At the time, Telgate was ruled by the Valvassori family, who set up its court in the local castle. The Valvassori are the ancestors of the famous Valvasor Slovene family, thus explaining the partnership between Telgate and Šmartno pri Litiji, the cradle of the Slovene branch. They were succeeded in 1387 by the Marenzi. The very rich and powerful lords of several places around Bergamo, the Marenzi revamped Telgate's fortifications and transformed the old castle into a cosy manor. In 1440, they were made Counts of Telgate and Tagliuno by Duke of Milan Philip Mary Visconti (1412-1447). In the late 15th century, Telgate was ran by the Republic of Venice, which boosted its development due to its location between Brescia and Bergamo. In 1797, Telgate was incorporated to the municipality of Grumello del Monte by the administration of the Cisalpine Republic, created by Napoléon Bonaparte. Subsequently incorporated to the Kingdom of Lombardy-Venetia, Telgate regained its municipal independence but trade was diverted to Valcalepio, making of Telgate a small rural town. Telgate regained some significance in the 20th century with industrialization and the building of the A4 highway that crosses the municipal territory. - Municipal website

The flag of Telgate, hoisted vertically, is vertically divided white-blue with the greater municipal arms in the middle. "COMUNE DI TELGATE" is written in yellow letters forming an arch above the arms. The flag can be seen on photos taken during friendly meetings with the Slovene partner town of Telgate, Šmartno pri Litiji. - Telgate (town hall), 16-18 September 2005 - Šmartno pri Litiji, 2 July 2005 - here the writing seems to be dark orange or red - Šmartno pri Litiji, 27 May 2006

The flag hoisted over the town hall seem to be horizontal, vertically divided white-blue with the greater municipal arms in the middle. Whether the writing appears on this flag or not cannot be seen on the source photo. - "L'Eco di Bergamo", 16 December 2011

The arms of Telgate are "Or a castle azure port and windows sable a chief azure a scallop argent over a cross of the same per bend sinister." The shield is surmounted by a mural crown argent field gules and surrounded by branches of olive (?) proper tied per saltire under the shield with a ribbon of the Italian colors. The arms of Telgate were designed in 1964 by the local historian and heraldist Renato Verdine, from Bergamo, as a "synthesis of the historical, religious and civil elements" representing the town, mostly the baptismal church and the castle. The arms are seemingly based on an "old" coat of arms showing the same elements, unless the today's arms are a modernization of Verdine's original design (the source text is not clear on this). In chief, the white scallop placed over the cross set up diagonally is not a simple decorative attribute but recalls that the Telgate church was the oldest baptismal church in the diocese, exerting its jurisdiction over a large territory. The castle, represented with Ghibelline crenellation, recalls the old urban and strategic structure of the town, then surrounded by a wall protected by several fortified towers.
Ivan Sache, 31 December 2011