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Soria (Municipality, Castilla y León, Spain)

Last modified: 2016-06-03 by ivan sache
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Flag of Soria - Image by "Rastrojo" (Wikimedia Commons), 22 June 2011


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Presentation of Soria

The municipality of Soria (39,938 inhabitants in 2010; 27,177 ha; municipal website) is the capital of Soria Province. The municipality is made of the town of Soria and of the villages of Las Casas (139 inh.), Pedrajas (66 inh.), Oteruelos (40 inh.) and Toledillo (29 inh.). Soria is considered as the coldest of the Spanish provincial capitals.

Soria was reconquerred in the 11th century and resettled in the 12th century by King of Aragón Alfonso I the Battler. The knights of Soria protected young King Alfonso VIII and fought side by side with him in the Battle of Las Navas de Tolosa (1212).
The Middle Ages are recalled in Soria by the Soria Twelve Lineages (website), the descendants of twelve families that were granted privileges by Alfonso I (some say by Alfonso VII, or even Alfonso VIII), especially the right to raise the banner (pendón) of the Town Council. The lineages were "equivalent in antiquity and nobleness", but of higher rank than all the other local nobles; their status was emphasized by a painted disk showing their twelve coat of arms placed around a central armed knight, said to represent Alfonso VIII. In 1342, Ferdinand IV granted them the privilege to protect the members of the Royal family at war. Their most famous privilege, however, granted by Alfonso VIII and confirmed in 1293 by Sancho IV, was a grant of 100 harnesses by each newly crowned king; in 1476, the privilege was abandoned for a rent granted to the town of Soria.

Soria is known as "The Poets' Town". The Seville-born Romantic poet Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer (1836-1870) married in 1861 Casta Esteban, from Soria; his stays in the town have inspired him his most famous Rimas y Legendas (Rhymes and Legends). Another famous poet born in Seville, Antonio Machado (1875-1939), was appointed in 1907 Professor of French in the Soria Institute, subsequently renamed for him; after the death in 1912 of his wife Isabel, whom he had married in Soria in 1909, Machado left the town where he would come back only once in 1932 for an official tribute ceremony. Gerardo Diego (1896-1987) was appointed in 1920 Professor of Literature in the Soria Institute and spent two years in the town, remembered by the book Soria Sucedida.

Ivan Sache, 22 June 2011


Symbols of Soria

The flag of Soria, hoisted on the Town Hall (photo) and also used indoors (photo) is white with the municipal coat of arms in the middle.

The coat of arms of Soria is "Gules a castle argent masoned sable port and windows azure ensigned with the bust of a crowned king proper, a bordure argent charged with the motto sable 'SORIA PURA CABEZA DE ESTREMADURA' (Pure Soria, Capital of the Extreme Lands). The shield surmonted with a Royal crown open."

Ivan Sache, 22 June 2011