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Piérnigas (Municipality, Castilla y León, Spain)

Last modified: 2019-01-13 by ivan sache
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Presentation of Piérnigas

The municipality of Piérnigas (51 inhabitants in 2010; 1,340 ha; municipal website) is located 50 km of Burgos.

Piérnigas was officially founded on 26 August 1066, as stated by a document established by Count Sancho Garcés and the Cid Campeador; the patrons of the new settlement were the Abbot of the San Salvador de Oña monastery and King Sancho II. The village was allowed by the king as an increase of the abbey's domain located in the subsequently abandoned village of Villaverde. The abadengo (abbey's domain) status of Piérnigas was preserved until the 19th century, the Abbot of Oña being the lord of Piérnigas. The abadengo status was usually more profitable to the villages than the realengo (royal domain) or feudal status, the monks being closer to the farmers and their needs than the feudal lords.
The etymology of the village's name is disputed, either piernas, "legs", or piornos, "brooms" (preferred in the coat of arms).

Ivan Sache, 6 March 2011

Symbols of Piérnigas

The flag and arms (village blog) of Piérnigas, adopted on 10 September 1999 by the Municipal Council, are prescribed by a Decree adopted on 11 May 2000 by the Burgos Provincial Government, signed on 17 May 2000 by the President of the Government, 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 flag with three colors, red, blue and green, or, gules, azure and vert, arranged horizontally, as follows: first, blue, 2:10 in height, second, red, 6:10 in height, third, green 2:10 in height. In the middle of the flag is placed the municipal coat of arms.
Coat of arms: Per fess, 1. Gules a shield of Castile with three towers masoned sable port and windows azure surrounded by bushes of brooms [piornos] vert fimbriated or and three spikes of the second, 2a. Azure a crozier argent, 2b. Vert a Romanesque triple archivolt argent. The shield surmounted with a Royal crown closed.

The castle represents Castile. The broom alludes to a possible etymology of the village's name. The spikes represent agriculture. The cross stands for the San Salvador de Oña monastery, while the archivolts belongs to the San Martín chapel.

The Royal Academy of History did not admit the use of the arms of Castile on the municipal coat of arms just because the village once belonged to the Kingdom of Castile. The modern invention of the fimbriation to separate fields of similar colour decreases the legibility of the design; its use is rarely legitimate. Here, the tree could be placed in another quarter, on a field of different colour. The Romanesque archivolt, an element totally unknown to heraldry, should be dropped form the design. The approval of the proposed flag is conditional to the submission of a revised proposal of coat of arms (Buletín de la Real Academia de Historia 198, 3 : 572, 2001).

Ivan Sache, 20 February 2014