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Grajal de Campos (Municipality, Castilla y León, Spain)

Last modified: 2019-01-13 by ivan sache
Keywords: grajal de campos |
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Flag of Grajal de Campos - Image by Antonio Gutiérrez (VexiLeón website), 19 February 2015

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Presentation of Grajal de Campos

The municipality of Grajal de Campos (243 inhabitants in 2014; 2,537 ha) is located in the south-eastern corner of the Province of León, on the border with the Province of Valladolid , 10 km of Sahagún and 60 km of León.

Grajal may originate in a Celtiberian fortified camp located on the Turrutalba hill. The tradition says that the settlement was originally named Gracca, for its mythical founders, the Roman brothers Tiberius and Caius Graccus.
Destroyed in 989 by Almanzor, the town was re-established by King of Asturias Alfonso III (866-910). He erected a palace in Grajal, presented by the chronicler Sampiro as "Grazliari civitatem mirifican". The king possibly used the town as a base for his victorious campaign against his revolted brothers.
Raymond of Burgundy (1070-1107), Count of Galicia, the son-in-law of Alfonso VI (1065-1109) and husband of Urraca (1109-1126), died in Grajal de Campos. The town started to decline in 1085 when Alfonso VI transferred its market to Sahagún. From 1123 to 1152, the inhabitants of Grajal challenged the Benedictine monastery of Sahagún for the ownership of a mill; they were eventually sentenced to pay a fee of 2,000 silver suelos.

Grajal de Campos re-emerged when granted to the Vega family by Ferdinand of Aragón. Hernando de la Vega, lord of Grajal, Palazuelo and Melgar de Yuso (1511), served Charles I as President of the Council of Orders, President of the Queen's Council, and Commander-in- Chief of Castile. His son; Juan de la Vega y Enrique de Acuña (d. 1560), inherited in 1525 his charges and domains. Charles I appointed him in 1545 Ambassador at the Holy See and Naples. Pope Paul III allowed the ambassador's wife, Leonor Osorio y Sarmiento, to choose relics from his personal collection she would bring back to Grajal. Erected Count of Grajal de Campos by Philip II, Juan de la Vega commissioned the Italian architect Lorenzo de Adonza to rebuild the castle of Grajal. The fortress, square with four circular angle towers, relatively low, was the first example in Spain of a castle intended to be defended by artillery.
[Notas sobre la genealogía de los condes de Grajal de Campos, de sus abusos feudales y de sus mansiones señoriales, by María Luengo y Martínez]

Ivan Sache, 19 February 2015

Symbols of Grajal de Campos

The flag of Grajal de Campos (photo, photo, photo) is white with the municipal coat of arms in the center.

The coat of arms of Grajal de Campos is "Vert a tower or ports and windows azure surmounted by an ermine sable holding in its mouth a scroll argent inscribed with 'ANTES MORIR QUE MANCHARME' in letters sable. The shield surrounded by a Royal crown closed."
The castle represents the castles once erected in the area. The ermine is the noble's favourite animal. The motto "Death rather than Disgrace" is mostly known in Latin, as "Potius mori quam foedare", for instance as the motto of the Dukes of Brittany (France).
[Municipal website]

Ivan Sache, 19 February 2015