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Hontoba (Municipality, Castilla-La Mancha, Spain)

Last modified: 2020-02-11 by ivan sache
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Flag of Hontoba - Image by "Nethunter", Wikimedia Commons, 6 September 2019

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Presentation of Hontoba

The municipality of Hontoba (314 inhabitants in 2015; 3,214 ha) is located 40 south-east of Guadalajara.

Hontoba was first mentioned in 1124, as Fontona, among the posseissions of Alvar Fáñez, lord of Almoguera and Zorita. In 1152, King Alfonso VIII granted Vállaga and Hueva, Hontoba included, to Gómez Galíndez. The king transferred the two domains in 1176 to the Order of Calatrava, commissioned to watch the border area between rivers Henares and Tagus.
According to a docmuent signed in 1336, the inhabitants of Hontoba paid a fee to Grand Master Páez Núñez to be sure that the possessions of the village would not be sold to foreginers. Hontoba was granted the status of villa in 1498 by the Catholic Monarchs.

Alvar Fáñez (1047-1114) was a relative of Rodrigo Díaz de Vivar (El Cid), who called him "mi anai" (Old Castilan, "my brother"), therefore his nickname of Minaya. Presented in the Cantar as El Cid's alter ego and best brother in arms, Fáñez was in the real life the most loyal captain of King of Castile Alfonso VI, who defended the Tagus border and prevented the Almoravids to reconqueer Toledo. El Cid and Fáñez were both named Knights of the Order of St. James in the church of Zamora; they contributed to the success of Sancho II, King of Castile, in the battles of Llantada (1068) and Golpejara (1072), fought against his brother Alfonso, King of León. Fáñez ednured the Leonese attack that resulted in the capture of Sancho, while El Cid counter-attacked, liberated his king and captured Alfonso, who was exiled to Toledo, then ruled by Almamun. After the murder of Sancho in Zamora in 1072, Alfonso VI reunited the kingdoms of Castile and León and seized Toeldo from the Moors in 1085, with the support of Fáñez. The fall of Toledo prompted the Almoravids to invade Al Andalus; Fáñez was commissioned to defend the Tagus border. His cavalry included the fierce "dawair" Moslims, who had taken the Christian party after the Almoravid conquest. Following the disaster of Uclés (1108) and the death of Alfonso's unique son, Sancho, aged 12, and of the seven Castilian counts, Fáñez crossed the Sierre de Altomira and headed to Zorita. He resumed resistance to the Moors' advance, seizing Cuenca, soon lost, but resisted in Toledo to the assault by Emir Ben Yusuf Tasufin.
After decades of fighting against the Muslims, Fáñez was killed in April 1114 in Segovia by partisans of Alfonso I the Battler, King of Aragón, who was in struggle with his wife Urraca, Alfonso VI's daughter.
[ABC, 2 July 2018]

Ivan Sache, 6 September 2019

Symbols of Hontoba

The flag of Hontoba is prescribed by an Order issued on 21 September 2006 by the Government of Castilla-La Mancha and published on 6 October 2006 in the official gazette of Castilla-La Mancha, No. 207 (1), p. 20,502 (text).
The flag is described as follows:

Flag: In proportions 2:3, made of two horizontal, equal stripes, the upper, white, and the lower, blue, the white stripe charged with two red Crosses of Calatrava. Each cross is in height 60% of the width of the white stripe. The axes of the crosses are located at 1/4 and 3/4 of the hoist, respectively.

The Royal Academy of History valdiated the proposed flag, whose design is "perfectly valid".
[Boletín de la Real Academia de la Historia 203:2,200. 2006]

The coat of arms of Hontoba is prescribed by an Order issued on 1 October 1992 by the Government of Castilla-La Mancha and published on 7 October 1992 in the official gazette of Castilla-La Mancha, No. 76, pp. 4,357-4,358 (text).
The coat of arms is described as follows:

Coat of arms: Spanish shield. Argent a mural fountain proper masoend sable with two pipes pouring water argent in canton dexter and sinister a Cross of Calatrava gules. The shield surmounted by a Royal crown closed.

The fountain makes the arms canting, recalling that Hontoba was named for the several fountains located on the slopes and hills surrounding the village, and for the fountain erected on the central square. The Crosses of Calatrava recall the history of the village.
[Antonio Herrera Casado & Antonio Ortiz García. Heráldica municipal de Guadalajara]

Ivan Sache, 6 September 2019