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Galve de Sorbe (Municipality, Castilla-La Mancha, Spain)

Last modified: 2020-02-22 by ivan sache
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Flag of Galve de Sorbe - Image from the municipal website, 6 September 2019

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Presentation of Galve de Sorbe

The municipality of Galve de Sorbe (107 inhabitants in 2018 vs. 544 in 1900; 4,936 ha) is located 90 km due north of Guadalajara and 40 km north-west of Sigüenza.

Galve de Sorbe was named for Galbi ben Amril, a general of Caliph Abd al-Rahman III (929-961), who erected a fortress to defend the border with the Kingdom of Castile. After the Reconquest and the Christian resettlement (11th-12th centuries), Galve was incorporated to the Community of the Town and Land of Atienza, with proper rights and a wide territory. In the 14th century, the town was granted to Infante Juan Manual, who built a castle on the remains of the Moorish fortress. In the aftermath of the struggle between the Infante and King Alfonso VIII, Galve was incorporated to the Royal domain and the castle was suppressed. The castle as it stands today was erected in the 15th century by the Zúñiga, lords of Galve. Diego López de Estuñiga initiated the building of his personal residence, which was completed by his son, Pedro. Another famous lineage, the Mendoza, acquired the castle from the Zúñiga in the middle of the 16th century; Baltasar de la Cerda y Mendoza (1517-1578) was made 1st Count of Galve by Philip II. After the end of his direct lineage, the title was transferred to his niece, Ana de Mendoza de la Cerda (1540-1592), Princess de Éboli and Duchess of Pastrana. In the 18th century, the castle and the title were transfered to the house of Alba, which still bears the title of Counts of Galve. In poor conditions, the castle was, however, not damaged during the War of Independence due to its isolated location.

In 1873, during the Third Carlist War, the castle was looted and ruined by the troops of General Villalaín; the House of Alba subsequently "offerred" it to the Spanish state. A private owner acquired the ruins in 1973, consolidated them and rebuit different parts of the wall. Still owned by the same family, the castle recently experienced a new round of restoration.
The castle, of trapezoidal plan, has walls of more than 1.5 m in width. It is composed of a high keep with four corrner turrets and several square or semi-circular towers connected by walls. The Moorish cistern (aljibe) was recently excavated in the courtyard.
The historian G. Layna Serrano considers the keep as "the most beautiful of all the feudal towers that remain in the ruined castles of the province" (Castillos de Guadalajara, 1993).
[Castillo de Galve website]

Ivan Sache, 6 September 2019

Symbols of Galve de Sorbe

The flag and arms of Galve de Sorbe, unanimously approved on 7 June 2017 by the Municipal Council are prescribed by Order No. 137, issued on 21 August 2018 by the Government of Castilla-La Mancha and published on 26 September 2018 in the official gazette of Castilla-La Mancha, No. 189, p. 25,310 (text).
The symbols, which were proposed by the Sociedad Española de Vexilología, are described as follows:

Flag: Rectangular, in proportions 2:3. Charged with a wavy stripe running from the hoist's upper angle to the fly's lower angle, blue outlined in white. The triangle at fly is red, charged with a yellow pillory. The triangle at hoist is green, charged with with a yellow castle with blue ports and windows. charged in the center with the municipal coat of arms in width 40% of thre flag's width.
Coat of arms: Tierced per bend, 1. Gules (red) a pillory or, 2. A bend sinister wavy azure (blue) fimbriated argent, 3. Vert (green) a castle or port and windows azure. The shield surmounted by a Royal Spanish crown.

Pillories have not be often maintained until now in Castile. Galve de Sorbe has kept two pillories, the one located on Plaza Mayor and the other one, which was originally erected near the Soledad chapel, in the nearby children's park.
[Solana, No. 85]

Ivan Sache, 6 September 2019