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Brihuega (Municipality, Castilla-La Mancha, Spain)

Last modified: 2020-02-22 by ivan sache
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Flag of Brihuega - Image by Ivan Sache, 6 September 2019


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Presentation of Brihuega

The municipality of Brihuega (2,359 inhabitants in 2018; 29,641 ha; municipal website) is located 35 km north-east of Guadalajara. The municipality is composed of the town of Brihuega (1,998 inh.) and of the villages of Archilla (24 inh.), Balconete (66 inh.), Castilmimbre (14 inh.), Cívica (13 inh.), Fuentes de la Alcarria (16 inh.), Hontanares (29 inh.), Malacuera (24 inh.), Olmeda del Extremo (15 inh.), Pajares (7 inh.), Romancos (136 inh.), Santa Clara (26 inh.), Tomellosa (37 inh.), Valdesaz (50 inh.), Villaviciosa de Tajuña (7 inh.), and Yela (14 inh.).

Brihuega was known in the Middle Ages as Castrum Briga / Castrum Brioca. The root -briga indicates a Celtiberian origin; a necropolis including funerary urns was found in Arroyo de la Villa.
Alfonso VI, in trouble with his father, was welcomed for a season in Brihuega by Al-Mamún, King of Toledo. After the reconquest of Toledo in 1086, Brihuega was transferred to the Archbishop of Toledo. Rodrigo Ximénez de Rada, a wise politician and historian, chartered the town in 1242 and embelished it with several sanctuaries.
Incorporated to the Royal domain in 1584 by Philip II, Brihuega was acquired in 1607 by Cardinal Archbishop Sandoval y Rojas.

The battle of Brihuega (8 December 1710) and the subsequent battle of Villaviciosa de Tajuña (10 December 1710) were decisive episodes of the War of the Spanish Succession.

Ivan Sache, 6 September 2019


Symbols of Brihuega

The flag of Brihuega (photo, photo, photo), which does not appear to have been officially registered, is reddish brown with the municipal coat of arms.

The coat of arms of Brihuega is prescribed by Decree No. 129, issued on 9 December 1986 by the Government of Castilla-La Mancha and published on 23 December 1986 in the official gazette of Castilla-La Mancha, No. 53, p. 3,211 (text).
The coat of arms is described as follows:

Coat of arms: Gules a three-towered castle or masoned sable the main tower surrounded by two bishop's staffs or and surmounted by an image of Our Lady with Her Son in the arms. The shield surmounted by a Royal crown closed.

The coat of arms is based on the old municipal seal appended to a document dated 1211, kept in the Episcopal Archives of Toledo. The seal's reverse features the Virgin holding Jesus in her arms, surrounded by the writing "dominus tecum benedicta tu". This is the Virgin of the Rock, who appeared between the rocks supporting Red Rock Castle, the residence of Princess Elima, Al-Mamún's daughter. The seal's reverse features a three-towered castle with two bishop's staffs and the incomplete writing "sigilum concilii".
The municipal coat of arms was designed by merging the two sides of the seal and using traditional herladic colors. Some variants feature only one staff placed diagonally against the main tower, or represent the Virgin as the Immaculate Conception. This recalls that the Bourbon army expelled the Austrian and English occupants of the town on the Day of the Immaculate Conception.
[Los Escritos de Herrera Casado, 2 June 1989]

Ivan Sache, 6 September 2019


Submunicipal entity of Romancos

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Flag of Romancos - Image by Ivan Sache, 7 September 2019

The submunicipal entity of Romancos (municipal website) was established by Decree No. 2 issued on 7 January 2003 by the Government of Castilla-La Mancha and published on 10 January 2003 in the official gazette of Castilla-La Mancha, No. 3, pp. 153-154 (text). The request was validated on 7 February 2002 by the Municipal Council of Brihuega, to which Romancos, together with other municipalities, was incorporated in 1970 "only because of the lack of economical resources".
The former municipalities of Archilla, Balconete, Castilmimbren Fuentes de la Alcarria, Olmeda del Extremo, Pajres, Romancos, Tomellosa, Valdesaz, and Villaviciosa del Tajuña were incorporated to the municipality of Brihuega by Decree No. 1,593, issued on 29 May 1970 by the Spanish Government and published on 15 June 1970 in the Spanish official gazette, No. 142, p. 9,395 (text).

Romancos was first documented in 1184; in the early 13th century, the village was granted to the Archbishop of Toledo, who would rule it until the 16th century.
Romancos acquired the status of villa in 1564, to be soon sold by Philip II to his secretary, Juan Fernández de Herrera. The domain was acquired in 1580 by Diego de Ansúrez, an inhabitant of Brihuega, who ruled it until 1586. Upset by the quick changes of lords, the villagers attempted to purchase back municipal independence, but could not pay the rent; accordingly, Romancos was acquired in 1606 by the Velasco, Marquesses Salinas del Río Pisuerga, who lived in America and ruled the village until 1812.
Most of the history of Romancos was a succession of quarrels and lawsuits against the neighboring villages for the ownership of the mountains and of the deserted villages of Valdelacueva, Valdehita and Montemayor.
The incorporation of Romancos to Brihuega was conflictual, being considered by the villagers as a re-enaction of the feudal history, until the establishment of the submunicipal entity in 1987.

The flag of Romancos (photo) is prescribed by an Order issued on 25 March 2008 by the Government of Castilla-La Mancha and published on 7 April 2008 in the official gazette of Castilla-La Mancha, No. 72, p. 10,998 (text).
The flag is described as follows:

Flag: Rectangular, in proportions 2:3. Divided in two equal parts by the diagonal running from the hoist' lower angle to the fly's upper corner, white in the upper part and blue in the lower part. Charged in the center with the crowned coat of arms of the municipality.

The coat of arms of Romancos is prescribed by an Order issued on 25 March 2008 by the Government of Castilla-La Mancha and published on 4 April 2008 in the official gazette of Castilla-La Mancha, No. 71, p. 10,857 (text).
The coat of arms is described as follows:

Coat of arms: Per pale, 1. Azure a tower argent, 2. Argent a nut tree proper surmounted by an eagle sable [or on the arms in actual use]. The shield surmounted by a Royal Spanish crown.