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Solosancho (Municipality, Castilla y León, Spain)

Last modified: 2015-01-17 by ivan sache
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Flag of Solosancho - Image by Ivan Sache, 26 April 2011

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Presentation of Solosancho

The municipality of Solosancho (953 inhabitants in 2010; 5,440 ha; municipal website) is located in the center of the Ávila Province, 20 km from Ávila. The municipality is made of the villages of Solosancho (505 inh. in 2004), Robledillo (206 inh.), Baterna (202 inh.) and Villaviciosa (130 inh.).

Solosancho is not mentioned on the list of the villages depending on the Archdeacon of Ávila set up in 1250 by Cardinal Gil Torres for Pope Innocent IV, while Baterna and Villaviciosa are already listed, as Tavernas and Xemensancho, respectively. Solosancho did not exist at the time, or was the deserted village listed as Blascosancho.
Baterna / Tavernas is named for the Latin word tabernae, "huts", probably recalling a Roman origin as a settlement located on the way linking Talavera and Ávila. The Ávila Chronicle, written c. 1255, claims that in 1100 a big Muslim army failed to seize Ávila and withdrew in the neighborhood, looting the Christian settlements; close to Baterna, a knight named Acedo sweared on his beard that the Muslims would be defeated, which happened. Accordingly, the battlefield was named Cerro de Barbacedo (Acedo's Beard Hill).
Villaviciosa / Xemensancho was probably named for the grand son (Basque, xemen) of a resettler named Sancho.

Ivan Sache, 26 April 2011

Symbols of Solosancho

The flag and arms of Solosancho are prescribed by a Decree adopted on 24 November 1997 by the Provincial Executive and published on 22 December 1997 in the official gazette of Castilla y León, No. 245 (text).
The symbols are described as follows:

Flag: Rectangular flag, with proportions 2:3, made of two equal horizontal stripes, green on top and red on bottom, and a vertical white stripe of 1/3 of the flag's length placed along the hoist and charged with a red castle.
Coat of arms: Per fess, 1. Vert a verraco argent surrounded by four bezants argent, 2. Or a castle gules masoned sable. The shield surmounted with a Royal crown closed.

On the coat of arms (municipal website), the four bezants represent the four settlements forming the municipality of Solosancho. The verraco recall the Vettones; the Vettones are also known as the Culture of the Verracos, referring to the verracos de piedras (lit. "stone boars"), granite sculptures representing pigs, boars, wild boars and bulls found in several sites. Two such verracos were indeed found in Solosancho and Villaviciosa. The castle symbolizes the resettlement of the area that started in the 11th century, the castle of Villaviciosa actually dating back to the 14th century.
Green represents the mountain pastures of the Sierra de Paramera range, while yellow represents grain cultivation in the lower fields of Amblés valley.

Ivan Sache, 26 April 2011

Flag proposed by the Royal Academy of History


Flag proposed by the Royal Academy of History - Image by Ivan Sache, 27 February 2014

The Royal Academy of History did not admit that the castle is shown on a field of different colous on the flag (white) and the arms (yellow). Accordingly, the Academy recommended to change the white stripe for a yellow one on the flag (Boletín de la Real Academia de Historia 196, 2:354-355, 1999).

Ivan Sache, 27 February 2014