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Herrera de Pisuerga (Municipality, Castilla y León, Spain)

Last modified: 2015-01-17 by ivan sache
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Flag of Herrera de Pisuerga - Image by Ivan Sache, 29 January 2011

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Presentation of Herrera de Pisuerga

The municipality of Herrera de Pisuerga (2,379 inhabitants in 2009; 9,908 ha; municipal website) is located in the north of Palencia Province, 70 km from Palencia. The municipality is made of the villages of Herrera de Pisuerga (capital), Ventosa de Pisuerga, Villaberrmudo, Naveros de Pisuerga and Olmos de Pisuerga.

Herrera de Pisuerga was named after a forge (herrera, derived from Latin ferraria) located on river Pisuerga; according to Roberto Gordaliza, Pisoraca was the name of a Roman town, while in the Middle Ages, this name was used only for the river.
Several Roman remains from years 20-40 AD have been found in Herrera; at the time, the Third Legion, commissioned to submit Cantabria and Asturias, was garrisoned in Pisoraca, which counted some 10,000 inhabitants. Among the artefacts excavated there are several sigillated ceramic pieces made by a local potter called Terentius and the tessera hospitalis, a boar-shaped bronze piece engraved with the hospitality pact, written in Latin, set up between the town and Amparamus, who was granted the title of honorary citizen. The Roman town was resettled by the Visigoths, as evidenced by the remains of a house, a basilica and a necropolis with 52 women's tombs.

In the Middle Ages, Herrera was a typical fortified town surrounded by a thick wall open with four gates; quite wealthy, the town had two churches and two yearly fairs. In 1130, King Alfonso VII, threatened by the increasing power of Count Pedro of Lara, captured him; the next year, he seized the citadel of Herrera from the Count's heirs. Alfonso XI granted in 1130 privileges to Herrera to boost the resettlement and revamping of the town raided by Fernán Ruiz de Castañeda.
In 1379, King John I granted Herrera to the Fernández de Velasco family; until the 19th century, the Velasco Dukes of Frías would be lords of Herrera. They founded in the late 15th century the Franciscan San Bernardino monastery. In 1522, the Count of Haro issued a municipal regulation, prohibiting the throwing of refuse inside the town and in house cellars. The gates were rebuilt; the New Gate, decorated with the arms of Velasco, is the only one to have been preserved until now.

The Castile Canal was built at the end of the 18th century; the northern branch of the canal waters Herrero, where it crosses river Pisuerga via the Royal and St. Andrew locks.
Herrera industrialized in the 19th century, with the building of grain mills; the railway reached the town in 1862. In 1902, Queen María Cristina granted the title of ciudad to Herrera.

Ivan Sache, 29 January 2011

Symbols of Herrera de Pisuerga

The flag and arms of Herrera del Pisuerga are prescribed by a Decree adopted on 22 March 2002 by the Municipal Council, signed on 3 May 2002 by the Mayor, and published on 10 May 2002 in the official gazette of Castilla y León, No. 88, p. 6,252 (text).
The symbols are described as follows:

Flag: Quadrangular flag with proportions 1:1, with red and white horizontal stripes. In the middle of the flag is placed the municipal coat of arms in full colors.
Coat of arms: Shield of Spanish shape. Argent two cauldrons sable with snake-like handles. The shield surmounted with a Royal Spanish crown.

The black cauldrons are taken from the arms of the Counts of Lara.

Ivan Sache, 29 January 2011