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Pedrosa de Duero (Municipality, Castilla y León, Spain)

Last modified: 2019-01-13 by ivan sache
Keywords: pedrosa de duero | guzmán |
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Presentation of Pedrosa de Duero

The municipality of Pedrosa de Duero (455 inhabitants in 2010; 6,986 ha; municipal website) is located 90 km south-west of Burgos, on the border with the Province of Valladolid. The municipality is made of the village of Pedrosa de Duero (115 inh.) and of the villages of Boada de Roa (66 inh.), Guzmán (126 inh.), Quintanamanvirgo (88 inh.), and Valcavado de Roa (60 inh.).

Ivan Sache, 20 February 2015

Submunicipal entity of Guzmán

Guzmán (unofficial website) was first mentioned, as Gudmario, in a document signed in 1069 by King Sancho II. Guzmán was listed as a parish in a document of the Burgos Council, dated 1136, and, as a town, on rights (fuero) granted on 11 December 1148 by Alfonso VII to Roa.
The heraldist and genealogist Canuto Merino Gayubas relates the origin of Guzmán to Gurbán/Urban, third son of the King of Brittany, who came to Spain in 834 to support King of León Ramiro I in the reconquest of the upper valley of Duero. His bravery was awarded with the title of "Gudman" (Good Man). Gurbán is indeed described in the genealogical accounts of the Guzmán lineage as valiant, generous, loyal, and cherished by the King and by his soldiers. He is the stem of all the subsequent Guzmán. Gurbán conquered the place from the Moors in 842-850 and renamed it for himself. The castle that had been burned down during the assault was rebuilt in the 9th-10th centuries; nearly nothing has remained of it, except some caves used today as wine cellars - those cellars, however, are much too big to have been related with the original castle and were most probably built much later.

The most famous Guzmán is Cristóbal de Guzmán Santoyo y Beltrán (1578-1656), the elder son of Cristóbal de Guzmán Santoyo Ordóñez, commander of the forts of Guzmán and Curiel, Treasurer of the Duke of Béjar. Cristóbal de Guzmán studied at the university of Alcalá de Henares and was Professor at the universities of Alcalá de Henares (Art) and Salamanca (Law). King Philip IV appointed him Private Instructor of his son Ferdinand of Austria. Cristóbal de Guzmán was appointed Bishop of Palencia in 1634, a town he significantly embellished.
The village of Guzmán is also the proud cradle of St. Dominic of Guzmán, born in Caleruega as the son of Flix de Guzmán and Juana de Aza.

The flag and arms of Guzmán, approved on 28 March 2000 by the Village Council, are prescribed by a Decree adopted on 11 May 2000 by the Government of the Province of Burgos, signed on 17 May 2000 by the President, and published on 1 June 2000 in the official gazette of Castilla y León, No. 105, p. 6,736 (text).
The symbols are described as follows:

Flag: Quadrangular, horizontally divided, the upper part green, the colour of the Guzmán vineyards, the lower part ocher red, the colour of the soil forming the mound on which Guzmán was built. In the center is placed the municipal coat of arms.
Coat of arms: Arms of Gurbán, 1st lord of Guzmán. A smoke-blackened castle on a white field orled by ermines sable on a field argent, from Brittany. The shield surmounted with a Royal crown closed.

The Royal Academy of History stated that the historical memoir supporting the proposed symbols prolifically reports a series of nonsense. Prince Gurbán never existed, while the ermines on the arms of the Guzmán lineage do not have any relation with the Breton ermine; they come from the Leonese Froilaz via the Cifontes, and are, of course, much older than the ermines adopted by the Dukes of Brittany. The nonsense peaks with the proposal that the arms of the village are "surmounted with the crown of the Kings of Brittany".
The proposed coat of arms features a castle with a bordure ermine, said in the memoir to have existed in the 9th century "(!)". This was indeed used, with a field of a different colour from the usual one, by the Aviados branch of the Guzmán, to be seen in the castle of Toral and on the seal of Ramir Núñez. The ermine border, as well as the name of Ramiro, came from his grand grand mother, María Ramírez de Cifontes.
Guzmán being such an famous lineage, its arms should, undoubtedly, be alluded to in the arms of the village. However, the arms to be represented are not as proposed, but, against all odds, those used by Nuño Pérez, lord of Guzmán in the 13th century: the caldrons, without any addition, as featured in he seals of his son Pedro Nuñez, of his wife, and of his nephew Juan Pérez. These well-known arms would be eligible, with the addition of an element for the sake of differentiation, for instance a bordure. [Boletín de la Real Academia de la Historia, 2002, 199, 1: 144.]

Ivan Sache, 20 February 2015