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Torquemada (Municipality, Castilla y León, Spain)

Last modified: 2020-09-20 by ivan sache
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Presentation of Torquemada

The municipality of Torquemada (1,049 inhabitants in 2009; 8,363 ha; municipal website) is located in the southeast of Palencia Province, 25 km from Palencia.

Torquemada is famous for its bridge over river Pisuerga; built in 1583-1586 by Diego Gómez de Sisniega and his son García de Sisniega, probably to replace a former wooden bridge, the Torquemada bridge, with 25 arches, is one of the biggest in Castilla y León. Linking Castile to Bilbao and Vitoria, the bridge was crossed in 1506 by King Philip I's funerary cortege, escorted by Queen Joan the Mad; fifty years later, their son Charles V crossed the bridge on his way to the Yuste monastery, following his abdication.
On 6 June 1808, the villagers of Torquemada attempted to prevent four French infantry and cavalry battalions commanded by General Lasalle to cross the bridge and rush to Valladolid; the French repelled the defenders and burned down several houses and the parish church. During their withdrawal in 1814, the French troops crossed the same bridge and damaged it to stop their pursuers.

Torquemada is the cradle of the Torquemada family, famous for Cardinal Juan de Torquemada (1388-1468), Bishop of Cádiz and Orense (Spain) and of Albano and Sabina (Italy), one of the most famous theologians and wise diplomats of the time, and, mostly, for his nephew Tomás de Torquemada (1420-1498), the confessor of Queen Isabel I and Inquisitor General of Spain from 1483 to his death.
Torquemada is the birth place of Infant Catherine of Austria (1507-1578), the sixth daughter of Philip and Joan of Castile; she married on 2 February 1525 in Salamanca King of Portugal John III.
The writer José Zorrilla y Moral (1817-1893), author of Don Juan Tenorio (1844, traditionally represented in Spain on All Saints Day), spent a part of his life in Torquemada.

Ivan Sache, 10 July 2011

Symbols of Torquemada

The flag and arms of Torquemada are prescribed by a Decree adopted on 16 January 2001 by the Municipal Council, signed by the Mayor on 22 January 2001, and published on 2 February 2001 in the official gazette of Castilla y León, No. 24, p. 2,031 (text).
The symbols are described as follows:

Flag: A yellow panel with a black bend and in the middle the argent - white - shield with a tower proper burning, surmounted, or not, with a Royal crown open, similar to the one shown on the coat of arms of the Autonomous Community of Castilla y León, proportions 1:1.
Coat of arms: Or a bend sable an escutcheon argent a tower proper burning forming a rebus of the village's name (torre quemada, "burned tower"). The shield surmounted with a Royal Spanish crown.

Ivan Sache, 10 July 2011