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Plasencia (Municipality, Extremadura, Spain)

Last modified: 2020-11-14 by ivan sache
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Flag of Plasencia - Image by Ivan Sache, 22 March 2020

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Presentation of Plasencia

The municipality of Plasencia (39,913 inhabitants in 2019, therefore the 2nd most populated municipality in the province and the 4th in Extremadura; 21,794 ha) is located 80 km north of Cáceres, being considered as the capital of northern Extremadura. The municipality is composed of the town of Plasencia and of the submunicipal entities of Pradochano (153 inh.) and San Gil (241 inh.).

Plasencia was established by Alfonso VIII, King of Castile, as a fortified town watching the borders with the rival Kingdom of León and the Andalusian Moorish kingdoms. The new town was granted arms and a Latin motto, "Ut placeat Deo et Hominibus", "To please God and men".The Council of the new town was set up in 1189; the same year, Pope Clement III established the Diocese of Plasencia.

Plasencia was established on the remains of the town of Ambros / Ambroz, conquered in 1178 by Alfonso VIII. The Moorish settlement appears to have bene modest, a few houses and a watch tower. An old Mozarab house dedicated to St. Mary is also recorded, as well as a mill established on river Jerte. Remains of a necropolis have also been excavated on the site of the former mosque.
[Condado de Castilla, 12 September 2018]

In the aftermath of the disaster of Alarcos (1195), the Almohad warlord Ya'qub al-Mansur reconquered in 1196 Montánchez, Santa Cruz and Trujillo, then crossed river Tagus and seized Plasencia, being eventually expelled by the Christians the next year.
The town's fortifications were achieved in 1201, composed of two walls separated by a ditch and increased by 70 semi-circular towers. Only seven gates allowed entrance to the citadel. The alcazar, erected in the town's highest point, at the north-eastern part of the wall, was protected by four angle towers and served by a drawbridge. Progressively ruined, the alcazar was definitively suppressed in 1937.

Plasencia has two cathedrals. The Old Cathedral was erected in the 13th century in Romanesque-Gothic transition style and increased in the middle of the 15th century, with the addition of a rectangular cloister of Cistercian inspiration. The building of the New Cathedral was initiated in 1498; famous for its two Renaissance facades in Plateresque style, the cathedral was designed by the most noted architects of the time, such as Juan de Álava, who completed the main facade in 1558, Francisco de Colonia, Enrique Egas, and Diego de Soloó, who completed the second facade in 1538-1548.
Plasencia was the place of the marriage of Joanna la Beltraneja and Alfonso V of Portugal, who were proclaimed Monarchs of Castile and Portugal.
[Lugares con Historia, 7 November 2016]

The Boquique Cave is an emblematic component of Plasencia's collective memory.
Discovered at the end of the 19th century by Vicento Paredes, the Prehistoric site was excavated in the 1970s by Martín Almagro Gorbea; the cave is the namesake of the Boquique ceramic, found from the Neolithic to the Iron Age in the Meseta region.
The cave is named for the local hero Mariano Ceferino del Pozo, aka Boquique. A former soldier of the royal army, Boquique led a guerilla against the Napoleonic troops and supported the Borbonic party during the Carlist Wars. Entrenched in the cave with his partizans, he was betrayed and shot in March 1834; this ended the Carlist plot initiated in 1833 in Plasencia by Alonso Muñoz, aka La Tumba (The Tomb) and Bishop Cipriano Varela.

Ivan Sache, 22 March 2020

Flag of Plasencia

The flag of Plasencia (photo, photo, photo, photo, photo, photo, photo, photo), which does not appear to have been officially registered, is horizontally divided dark red / purple - green, with the municipal coat of arms, not registered either, in the center.

The coat of arms of Plasencia, granted in 1189 by King Alfonso VIII and therefore one of Spain's oldest municipal emblems, is "Argent a tower or masoned sable port and windows azure standing on a base vert surrounded by a chestnut vert and a pine of the same. The shield placed over a cartouche or and surrounded in base by scroll argent inscribed the motto 'UT PLACEAT DEO ET HOMINIBUS'. The shield surrounded by a Royal crown open".

Ivan Sache, 21 March 2020

San Gil


Flag of San Gil - Image by Ivan Sache, 22 March 2020

The submunicipal entity of San Gil (241 inhabitants in 2017) is located 20 km south-west of Plasencia and 1 km east of Galisteo.

The flag and arms of San Gil, adopted on 19 April 2004 by the Village Council and validated on 9 November 2004 by the Assessing Council of Honors and Distinctions of the Government of Extremadura, are prescribed by an Order issued on 15 November 2004 by the Government of Extremadura and published on 4 December 2004 in the official gazette of Extremadura, No. 141, pp. 14,551-14,552 (text).
The symbols are described as follows:

Flag: Rectangular, in proportions 2:3. Composed of a white panel charged with a cross throughout, whose arms' width is 1/5 of the flag's width, the vertical arms, green, and the horizontal arm, red. Charged in the center with the coat of arms, in width 3/5 of the flag's width.
Coat of arms: Per fess, 1. Argent a tower proper port and windows gules surrounded dexter by a chestnut vert and dexter by a pine of the same, 2. Gules a stag passant pierced by an arrow argent. The shield surmounted by a Royal crown closed. center with the municipal coat of arms.

Ivan Sache, 21 March 2020