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Castrocalbón (Municipality, Castilla y León, Spain)

Last modified: 2015-04-04 by ivan sache
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Flag of Castrocalbón - Image by Antonio Gutiérrez (VexiLeón website), 14 January 2014

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Presentation of Castrocalbón

The municipality of Castrocalbón (1,037 inhabitants in in 2012; 8,830 ha) is located in the south of León Province, on the border with Zamora Province, here river Eria, 15 km from La Bañeza and 65 km from of León. The municipality is made of the villages of Castrocalbón, Calzada de la Valdería, Felechares de la Valdería, Pobladura de Yuso and San Félix de la Valdería.

Castrocalbón is of disputed etymology. The first part of the village's name, undoubtedly, comes from Latin castrum, "a fortified camp". The meaning of the second part of the toponym is more obscure, probably from Latin calvus, "bald", referring, as calvoni, to a bald lord. Other proposed etymologies involve charcoal (carbón) produced from holly oak, the Calvo Roman family, or a Mozarabic re-settler.
Anyway, the place was already inhabited in the Prehistoric times, and, probably continuously, until the Roman conquest. Historians have located different Roman military units (Cohors IV Gallorum, Legio X, Ala II Flavia Hispanorum civium Romanorum) on the municipal territory, as well as the town of Argentiolo, listed on the Antonine Itinerary as the 2nd mansion on via XVII when coming from Astorga.
According to Gómez Moreno, Castro Calvone was mentioned for the first time in 1084. On 16 August 1156, the village was granted a charter by Alfonso VII, mostly derived form the charter previously granted to the town of León; this indicated that Castrocalbó:n was at the time one of the most significant towns in the Kingdom of León.

Ivan Sache, 14 January 2014

Symbols of Castrocalbón

The flag of Castrocalbón (photo) is light blue with the municipal coat of arms in the middle.

The coat of arms of Castrocalbón is prescribed by Royal Decree No. 2,534 of 24 September 1982, published on 8 October 1982 in the Spanish official gazette, No. 241, p. 27,875 (text).
The coat of arms, which was validated by the Royal Academy of History, is described as follows:

Coat of arms: Per pale, 1. Argent a lion gules crowned or, 2. Gules a parchment argent sealed or and inscribed "FUERO DE CASTROCALBÓN" in letters sable. Grafted in base, vert a ruined castle with three gates or masoned sable. The shield surmounted with a Royal crown closed.

The castle represents the fortress built by the Knight Templars in the 15th century, subsequently used as their residence by the lords of Castrocalbón. Little remains form the fortress but the arch that is the symbol of the village (Diario de León, 7 September 2010).

Ivan Sache, 14 January 2014