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Deleitosa (Municipality, Extremadura, Spain)

Last modified: 2020-11-07 by ivan sache
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Presentation of Deleitosa

The municipality of Deleitosa (748 inhabitants in 2017; 14,400 ha; municipal website) is located 100 km north-east of Cáceres and 50 km north-east of Trujillo.

Deleitosa, according to the popular etymology, was named for its castle used as a jail, castillo delitoso (criminal castle). Another explanation refers to deleite, "pleasure", here referring to a monastery established by St. Peter of Alcántara to lock the monks who had ceded to the pleasures of the flesh.

Deleitosa was mentioned in 1254 as part of the alfoz (group of villages) of Plasencia, a Castilian,strategic area bordering in the south the Almohad state and in the west the Kingdom of León.
The area was granted to the lord of Almaraz, who failed to resettle it in 1225. Sancho confirmed the privilege on 25 January 1298; in 1343, Juan Alfonso de Almaraz started the building of the castle, which was achieved by his son, Blasco. A new privilege granted in 1395 confirmed Blasco Gómez de Almaraz as the lord of Belvis, Alamaraz and Deleitosa.

During the Castilian civil war, the Almaraz supported Henry IV of Trastámara, while the Monroy, a lineage established in Extremasura in the early stages of the reconquest, supported his half-brother and legitimate prentendant to the throne, Peter in the Cruel. The warlords of the two parties were killed during the war.
To settle the dispute, Diego de Almaraz married his daughter, Isabel de Almaraz ,to Fernando Rodríguez de Monroy, the nephew of Fernán de Monroy. Incidentally, the marriage significantly increased the wealth of the reconciliated lineages.
The share of Isabel and Fernando's goods among their children initiated another dynastic crisis. Diego, the elder sun, died in 1435 in Ubrique when fighting the Moors; the second sun, Álvaro, took the coat and was appointed Archdeacon of the cathedral of Guadalajara and Dean of the cathedral of Plasencia. Alfonso inherited from his mother the domains of Belvis, Almaraz and Deleitosa, while Rodrigo inherited from his father the domains of Monroy and Las Quebradas. The very unbalanced share generated a long-lasting conflict between Alfonso and Rodrigo's descendants.
Alfonso de Monroy married Juana de Sotomayor, the sister of the Grand Master of the Order of Alcántara, which dramatically increased the social status of his branch. The dynastic conflict between the two branches infuriated in the context of the dynastic wars of Castile, resulting in military attacks against the domains and towns owned by the two rival parties.

In their attempt to centralize and increase the royal power, the Catholic Monarchs obtained in 1480 from the Toledo Cortes the revocation of the privileges and other donations granted by Henry IV. The Council of Plasencia required the reincorporation of Almaraz and Deleitosa. The commissioner Antón de Baena validated the request but Fernando de Monroy appealed to the court, which turned down the decision. After a second request, Plasencia obtained the required towns, but Fernando's ownership was eventually confirmed by a Royal Executive Order issued on 8 October 1485.
Fernando de Monroy y Zúñiga was elevated Count of Deleitosa in 1529. His daughter, Beatriz de Monroy y Ayala, married Fernando Álvarez de Toledo, 4th Count of Oropesa, which initiated a new conflict with another branch of the Álvarez de Toledo, the Counts of Aguilar. The court case ended only in the 18th century.
The County of Deleitosa was transferred in 1802 from the late Duchess Cayetana of Alba to Fernández de Velasco, Duke of Frias. After the suppression of the feudal system, the Duke applied to the court against the Kingdom; the county was eventually suppressed in 1819.

Ivan Sache, 20 March 2020

Flag of Deleitosa

The flag (photo, photo) and arms of Deleitosa, adopted on 29 August 1987 by the Municipal Council and revised on 12 December 1987 after the recommendation issued on 23 October 1987 by the Royal Academy of History, are prescribed by an Order issued on 30 December 1987 by the Government of Extremadura and published on 7 January 1988 in the official gazette of Extremadura, No. 2, p. 19 (text).
The symbols are described as follows:

Flag: Quadrangular, made of three horizontal stripes, green, yellow and red.. Charged in the center with the municipal coat of arms in full colors.
Coat of arms: Argent an escutcheon quarterly, 1. and 4. Vair azure and argent, 2. and 3. Gules a castle or masoned sable port and windows azure, the escutcheon surmounted by a Count's coronet. The shield surmounted by a Royal crown closed.

The Royal Academy of History accepted the proposal submitted by the municipality to use the arms of the Monroy surmounted by a Count's coronet, to recall that Francisco de Monroy y Zúñiga, lord of Deleitosa and Almaraz, was elevated Count of Deleitosa. To resolve the issue of the crown surmounting the shield, which should be a Royal crown closed, the Academy recommended to feature the arms of Monroy inescutcheon.
The proposed flag was validated, provided the coat of arms featured in the center is amended following the Academy's recommendation.
[Boletín de la Real Academia de la Historia. 1988. 185:2, 379]

Ivan Sache, 20 March 2020