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Sayatón (Municipality, Castilla-La Mancha, Spain)

Last modified: 2020-02-22 by ivan sache
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Flag of Sayatón - Image by Ivan Sache, 7 September 2019

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Presentation of Sayatón

The municipality of Sayatón (81 inhabitants in 2018 vs. 837 in 1950; 4,538 ha; municipal website) is located on the border with the Province of Cuenca, 70 km south-west of Guadalajara.

Sayatón was already settled at the Roman times, as evidenced by remains if a settlement and an inscribed funerary flagstone. Little is known about the history of the town, which is said to have emerged around the Saya Inn, inhabited by a famous tailor.
Ana de al Cerda acquired in 1539 Sayatón from the Order of Calatrava. The village remained part of the Duchy of Pastrana; after the union of the Pastrana and Infantado lineage, the village was transferred to the Duchy of the infantado.
Sayatón was granted the status of villa on 7 September 1728, separating from Pastrana.

Tne castle of Anguix was erected on a hill overlooking river Tagus. Of Moorish origin, the castle was fiercelu disputed by local lords after the Christian reconquest. Alfonso VII granted the castle in 1136 to Martín Ordóñez, a knight from Toledo; his widow offered it in 1174 to the Order of Calatrava, which incorporated to the Commandery of Zorita.
Reincorporated to the Royal domain in the 14th cntury, the castle belonged to the council of Huete. Alfonso XI granted it to Alfón Martínez; the marriage of his son Lope López transferred the castle to the Carrillo, a powerful family from Huete. Henry IV, owner of the fortress in 1464, probably from a sale, offered it to Lope Vazquez de Acuña, another member of the Carrillo lineage, who eventually sold Anguix in 1484 to Iñigo Lopez de Mendoza, 1st Count of Tendilla. The fortress and the surrounding domain were acquired in 1847 by Justo Hernández, from Brihuega.
[Ayer y Hoy de Guadalajara y Provincia, 6 July 2008]

Sayatón has became the archetype of the Spanish abandoned villages after María Ángeles Rosado posted a message on Twitter on 31 December 2019:

Finishing sowing.
Mother, young farmer from Sayatón, small municipality of 50 inhabitants in Guadalajara, closed to the Sierra de Altomira, Natura 2000, without secondary school and child dcotor, a doctor one hour per week. We don't give up, with a dream, feeding the world.

The closure of the Zorita nuclear power plant in 2006 accelerated the eorision of the poopulation of the village. As a consequence, bus lines to Madrid and Guadalajara had their frequency decreased, to be eventually suppressed. In the 1950s, Sayatón was a busy village with more than 800 inhabitants, three inns, two secondary schools and three bars. The last bar was recently re-opened by a young Uruguayan couple.
The Province of Guadalajara counts 180 municipalities with less than 100 inhabitants, teh highest number among the Spanish provinces.
[El Confidencial, 7 January 2019]

Ivan Sache, 7 September 2019

Symbols of Sayatón

The flag of Sayatón is prescribed by an Order issued on 25 November 1991 by the Government of Castilla-La Mancha and published on 29 November 1991 in the official gazette of Castilla-La Mancha, No. 91, pp. 4,189-4,190 (text).
The flag is described as follows:

Flag: Cloth in usual dimensions, with two stripes of equal proportions horizontally separated, the upper, white and the lower, red, charged with the local coat of arms.

The Royal Academy of History rejected a previously proposed flag, composed of the red-white flag of Castilla-La Mancha charged with a castle or in the red part. Considering that the proposed design did not correctly account for the place, the Academy proposed instead the design that was eventually adopted.
[Boletín de la Real Academia de la Historia 181:3, 439-440. 1984]

The coat of arms of Sayatón is prescribed by Decree No. 47, issued on 7 May 1986 by the Government of Castilla-La Mancha and published on 13 May 1986 in the official gazette of Castilla-La Mancha, No. 19, p. 698 (text).
The coat of arms is described as follows:

Coat of arms: Per fess, 1a. Argent a Cross of Calatrava gules, 1b. Quarterly per saltire (Mendoza): 1. and 3. Vert a bend gules fimbriated or, 2. Or the legend AVE MARIA in letters azure, 4. Or the legend GRATIA PLENA in letters azure, 2. Argent waves azure and argent. The shield surmounted by a Royal crown closed.

The Royal Academy of History accepted the proposed arms, although they were "deficiently described". The upper quarters recall the feudal lords of Sayatón, the Order of Calatrava and the house of Pastrana. The lower quarter represents river Tagus and the Bolarque dam.
[Boletín de la Real Academia de la Historia 181:3, 439-440. 1984]

Ivan Sache, 7 September 2019