Last modified: 2014-12-29 by ivan sache
Keywords: toral de los guzmanes | león |
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Flag of Toral de los Guzmanes - Image by Antonio Gutiérrez (VexiLeón website), 26 March 2011
The municipality of Toral de los Guzmanes (603 inhabitants in 2010; 2,111 ha; municipal website) is located in the southeast of León Province, 40 km of León.
Toral de los Guzmanes, originally known as Toral de la Vega, was
subsequently renamed after its most famous lords. The meaning of
toral is unclear: from Latin tores, "a blister", from the pre-Roman root taurus, "a hill", or from Latin turum, "a bull".
Mentioned for the first time in 980, Toral was sacked by Al-Mansur; in 1027, King Vermudo II granted the village to Munio Fernández, who rewarded him with a horse. Subsequently, Toral was ruled by the Counts of Valencia de Don Juan, who were succeeded by the Guzmán. The most famous of them was Ramiro Núñez de Guzmán, involved in the Comuneros War; excluded from the amnesty proclaimed on 28 October 1522 by Charles I and sentenced to death, Guzmán exiled to Portugal. The King confiscated all his possessions in Toral. Guzmán's wife, María de Quiñones, was able to raise her husband's vassals, who revamped the Toral fortress and defended it against an unsuccessful siege. On 10 July 1532, Charles I eventually pardoned Guzmán and retroceded the confiscated possessions to his sons. On 22 October 1612, King Philip III created the Marquisate of Toral for Gabriel Núñez de Guzmán.
The former Guzmán Palace, built in the 14th century by Juan Ramírez de Guzmán, Mayor of León, houses today the municipal administration and the Botijos Museum, showing 2,500 pieces offered by the lawyer Jesús Gil Gibernau. Botijos are typical Spanish porous clay jars used to keep fresh water and also to drink from, using the output called pitorro. The word botijo is derived from Latin buttis, whose diminutive buticulla (bottle) gave in French bouteille, in Portuguese and Catalan botija, in Aragonese boteja, and, in Navarrian botejo.
Ivan Sache, 26 March 2011
The flag and arms of Toral de Los Guzmanes are prescribed by a Decree
adopted on 28 April 1999 by the Leon Provincial Government, signed on 10 September 1999 by the President of the Government, and published on
4 October 1999 in the official gazette of Castilla y León, No. 192, pp. 9,661-9,662 (text).
The symbols are described as follows:
Flag: Azure a castle or surrounded by two cauldrons or checky gules. Rectangular, with proportions 2:3.
Coat of arms: Per pale, 1. Azure a castle or surrounded by two cauldrons or checky gules, 2. Checky gules and vair (arms of the Quiñones lineage), grafted in base or a spike vert. The shield surmounted with a Royal Spanish crown.
The Royal Academy of History questioned the proposed coat of arms,
intended to represent the Guzmán and Quiñones lineages. The academy found the use of the Guzmán arms relevant, as the old lords of Toral, and accepted the use of the Quiñones arms, relevant because of the specific role of María de Quiñones in the local history. However, the academy pointed out that the medieval lords of Toral did not used cauldrons in their arms, but only the castle, surrounded by the ermines of the Fróilaz lineage; the true arms are seen on an old stone in the castle of Toral and on the seal of Núñez de Guzmán. The seal of Pedro Núñez de Guzmán, dated 1261, also bears the ermines.
Accordingly, the Academy recommended the design of new arms, omitting the cauldrons and including the ermines, and of a new flag including the very same charges as the arms (Boletín de la Real Academia de la Historia, 2000, 197, 2: 355).
Ivan Sache, 26 March 2011