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Torrejón el Rubio (Municipality, Extremadura, Spain)

Last modified: 2020-11-14 by ivan sache
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Presentation of Torrejón el Rubio

The municipality of Torrejón el Rubio (593 inhabitants in 2017 vs. 2,218 in 1950; 22,188 ha; municipal website) is located 60 km north-east of Cáceres and 50 km south of Plasencia.

Torrejón el Rubio was already settled in the Prehistoric times, as evidenced by the dolmen located in the Sierra de les Corchuelas; schematic rock paintings have been found in the Castle's Shelter and in the Bats' Cave. The Monfragüe mountains were a suitable habitat, both for hunting and collecting wild fruits.
Torrejón el Rubio has kept five stone steles erected within a radius of 4 km. The oldest stele, Torrejón el Rubio V, dates back to 2,200 BC while the youngest one, Torrejón el Rubio III, dates back "only" to the 8th century BC. The steles provide evidence for the existence for more than 10 centuries of a significant settlement in the Bronze Age; the Torrejón el Rubio IV stele was reused at different periods.
La Villeta de la Burra, located near river Almonte, was in the Iron Age a village covering 6 ha; towers and walls dated to the 4th century BC are preserved there. The site was most probably resettled by the Romans in the 1st century.
A Roman funerary monument was excavated in Los Toriles, San Rafael estate.

After the conquest of the area, the Moors erected in 811 the castle of Monfragüe, as part of the local network of fortresses. In 1166, the Portuguese warlord Geraldo Geraldes, aka Sempavor, seized the castle via an audacious tactic; captured in 1169 in Badajoz with King of Portugal Alfonso Enriquez by King of León Ferdinand II, Sempavor had to cede, as his ransom, the castle and all his local possessions to Fernando Rodríguez de Castro. The new lord of Monfragüe established a "pseudo-independent" domain, which was transferred to the Order of Saint James and eventually incorporated in 1185 to the Kingdom of León by Alfonso VIII. The village of Monfragüe was first mentioned in 1186.
Monfragüe was occupied in 1196-1197 by the Muslims, who were finally expelled by the knights of Monfragüe. After the reconquest of Trujillo in 1232, the area, the village of Monfragüe included, was resettled.
The local legend claims that a Castilian shepherd, Pedro Rubio, settled with his family near an Arab turret (torreón). The oldest documents mentioning the village are dated back to 1298; since then, Torrejón el Rubio belonged to the Council of Plasencia.

The first lord of Torrejón el Rubio, Diego González Almaraz, mentioned in 1428, was succeeded by Garci López de Carvajal, appointed between 1440 and 1450 by John II. His son, Francisco de Carvajal y Trejo, organized in 1488 with his brothers the so-called reduction of Plasencia: twenty farmers from Torrejón el Rubio broke the gate of the Trujillo Gate with wooden trunks, allowing 50 knights to enter the town and to lock into the fortress the troops of Count Álvaro de Zú&ntiulde;iga until the arrival of Ferdinand the Catholic. Francisco's son, Garci López de Carvajal II, lord of Torrejón, served as ambassador of Spain in Portugal; he was among the main negotiators of the Treaty of Tordesillas (1498) that shared the New World between the two countries. His brother Bernardino de Carvajal was appointed Cardinal and a candidate to papacy.
Francisco de Carvajal y Manrique de Lara was appointed Count of Torrejón on 31 January 1602 by Philip III and died one year later; he was also Corregidor of Toledo, Granada and Seville, Alférez Mayor of the Order of Calatrava, Commander of Puertollanoa and Captain General of Seville. His adventurous life included a series a lawsuits, fighting, duels and attempts of assassination.
Torrejón el Rubio declined in the 18th century, when the Counts stayed in Madrid and did not care of the village but for perceiving tax. In 1764, the Chancellery of Valladolid declared an embargo on the resources of Antonio María Pantoja y Portacarrero Carvajal, Grandee of Spain since 1764, because of his numerous debts and lawsuits.

Ivan Sache, 22 March 2020

Flag of Torrejón el Rubio

The flag of Torrejón el Rubio, adopted on 2 November 2000 by the Municipal Council and validated on 29 April 2002 by the Assessing Council of Honors and Distinctions of the Government of Extremadura, is prescribed by an Order issued on 13 January 2003 by the Government of Extremadura and published on 11 February 2003 in the official gazette of Extremadura, No. 18, pp. 1,865-1,866 (text).
The flag is described as follows:

Flag: Composed of three equal horizontal stripes, in proportions three units in length on two units in width. The colors shall be, from top to bottom, red, yellow and green. In the central stripe is placed the coat of arms.

On the flag in actual use (photo), the coat of arms appears to be featured without the bordure.

The coat of arms of Torrejón el Rubio, adopted on 31 May 1985 and ratified on 30 December 1985 by the Municipal Council and validated on 25 November 1985 by the Royal Academy of History, is prescribed by an Order issued on 16 January 1986 by the Government of Extremadura and published on 11 February 1986 in the official gazette of Extremadura, No. 12, pp. 142-143 (text).
The coat of arms is described as follows:

Coat of arms: Per fess, 1a. Gules a tower or masoned sable port and windows azure, 1b. Or a bend sable, 2. Vert a spike or per bend sinister. A bordure argent inscribed with "PAZ-TRABAJO-TAJO-ALMONTE" [Peace-Work-Tagus-Almonte]. The shield surmounted by a Royal crown closed.

The Royal Academy of History deemed the proposed arms "viable", provided the proposed Count's coronet is substituted by a Royal crown closed. The first quarter makes the arms canting, torrejón meaning "a turret". The second quarter features the arms of the Carvajal, founders of the town. The third quarter features the most important crop in the place.
[Boletín de la Real Academia de la Historia. 1985. 182:3, 578]

Ivan Sache, 22 March 2020