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Titulcia (Municipality, Community of Madrid, Spain)

Last modified: 2016-05-22 by ivan sache
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Flag of Titulcia - Image by Ivan Sache, 27 July 2015


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Presentation of Titulcia

The municipality of Titulcia (1,291 inhabitants in 2014; 990 ha; municipal website) is located in the south-east of the Community of Madrid, on the border with Castilla-La Mancha (Province of Toledo), 40 km of Madrid and 20 km of Aranjuez.

Titulcia is located on a promontory watching the confluence of rivers Jarama and Tajuña, settled in the 4th century BC by the Carpetani, a Celtiberian people. Ptolemy listed Titulcia among the 18 towns (polis) located on the Carpetani territory.
After the Roman conquest, Titulcia remained a significant place of trade located on the road connecting Emerita Augusta (Mérida) and Caesaraugusta (Zaragoza). A Christian monastery, of location still unknown, was founded in Titulcia in 308.
Reconquerred from the Moors in 1085 by King Alfonso VI, Titulcia was re-settled on the very site of the Roman town. After the seizure of the castle of Aurelia (Colmenar de Oreja) in 1137, Alfonso VII rewarded the support of the militia of Segovia by transferring several places, Titulcia included, to the Council of Segovia. In 1480, the Catholic Monarchs granted Titulcia, Ciempozuelos and San Martín de la Vega to the Marquis of Moya, who had supported Isabel during the struggle for the crown of Castile. In 1520, the villagers of Titulcia joined the War of the Comuneros; they were eventually sentenced to pay 30,000 maravedies to the Count of Chinchón for the damage they had caused to his castle. Titulcia was granted in 1706 by Philip VI the status of villa, to be soon sold to the Marquis of Torremocha.

Titulcia has been known from the 12th century to 1814 as Bayona del Tajuña. After the withdrawal of the French troops, the Count of Torremocha provided evidence that the genuine name of the town should be Titulcia, named as a tribute to Titus Livy; the new name was approved by King Ferdinand VII. Titulcia offered at the same time a part of the territory to increase the bridge over Tajuña heading to Aranjuez (Puento Largo), since the municipality of Aranjuez lacked a proper plot; the plot should have been retroceded 100 years after the inauguration of the bridge, but Titulcia is still waiting. Moreover, the new bridge diverted traffic from the town, causing its decline.

The patera (shallow libation bowl) known as Titulcia Patera or Titulcia Medusa was excavated in October 2009 from the El Cerrón archeological site (press release). The piece, of 18 cm in diameter, was made in the 4th-3rd century BC by the Carpetani; designed in Hellenistic style, the patera features a feline's head, in relief, surrounded by two snakes twirled to form Medusa's hair. The inside part of the patera is decorated with local, wolf-teeth motives.
Made of gold and silver, the patera was, undoubtedly, intended for ceremonial purpose. It was found in the remains of a building, most probably a temple, in a small hole sealed with adobe. Accordingly, the patera might have been used in a foundation and consecration ritual. As of today, this is the unique patera discovered in Spain during a scientific excavation.
The patera is shown in the Regional Archeological Museum of Alcalá de Henares; a replica was offered to Titulcia in July 2013, now shown in the interpretation Center inaugurated in the Town Hall in spring 2015 (presentation).

Ivan Sache, 27 July 2015


Symbols of Titulcia

The flag of Titulcia (photos, photo, photo, photo) is white with the municipal coat of arms in the middle. The flag does not appear to have been officially approved.

Ivan Sache, 27 July 2015