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Olmeda de las Fuentes (Municipality, Community of Madrid, Spain)

Last modified: 2016-05-21 by ivan sache
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Flag of Olmeda de las Fuentes - Image by Ivan Sache, 18 July 2015

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Presentation of Olmeda de las Fuentes

The municipality of Olmeda de las Fuentes (334 inhabitants in 2014; 1,673 ha; municipal website) is located in the south-east of the Community of Madrid. 50 km of Madrid and 25 km of Alcalá de Henares. The municipality was known as Olmeda de la Cebolla until 29 September 1953.

Olmeda de las Fuentes was first documented in the 12th-13th century, always in relation with Alcalá de Henares. The Old Charter, dated 1135, lists El Alameda as a dependency of Alcalá. As a reward for the support of the militia from Segovia in the struggle against the Moors, King Alfonso VIII transferred in 1190 19 villages, El Alameda included, to the Community of the Town and Land of Segovia. After the victory of Las Navas de Tolosa (1212), Alfonso VIII rewarded the support of Rodrigo Ximénez de Rada, Archbishop of Toledo, by transferring him the 19 villages previously granted to Segovia.

Olmeda was granted the status of villa on 22 August 1564, separating from Alcalá de Henares. The town was acquired in 1576 by Balthasar Lomelín for 2,385,090 maravedies. The subsequent sale to Alonso Núñez de Bohórquez, signed on 13 June 1582, was cancelled two years later following the appeal of the villagers, who eventually purchased the rights on 2 March 1584, for 1,743,750 maravedies. Pedro de Franqueza, Count of Villalonga, purchased Olmedo and two neighbouring villages in 1593. A next owner, Fernando Antonio de Loyola, who acquired the town in 1683, was made Marquis of La Olmeda.
Juan de Goyeneche purchased the town of La Olmeda de la Cebolla in 1714. He established there his first cloth mill, producing high quality uniforms for the Royal troops; this boosted the development of the town, whose population peaked to 800 inhabitants.

The painter Álvaro Delgado (b. 1922; biography) settled in Olmeda de las Fuentes in 1965. He portrayed the picturesque environment of the village in a series of paintings called Crónica de la Olmeda, shown in 1971 in the Spanish Museum of Modern Art.
Olmeda de las Fuentes is the birth place of the Jesuit father Pedro Páez Xaramillo (1564-1622), who was in 1618 the first European to reach the sources of Blue Nile. He is also considered as the first European to have drunk coffee and to have reported the event. He wrote an History of Ethiopia, a milestone in historical and scientific literature, published in Portuguese in 1945, and, eventually, in Spanish in 2010.
[ABC, 13 March 2014]

Ivan Sache, 18 July 2015

Symbols of Olmeda de las Fuentes

The flag (photos) and arms of Olmeda de las Fuentes are prescribed by a Decree adopted on 28 May 1987 by the Government of the Community of Madrid and published on 3 July 1987 in the official gazette of the Community of Madrid, No. 156, p. 2 (text), and on 20 August 1987 in the Spanish official gazette, No. 199, p. 25,827 (text).
The symbols are described as follows:

Flag: Horizontally divided white-green in the middle, charged with a yellow fleur-de-lis.
Coat of arms: Argent an elm vert charged with a fleur-de-lis or. The shield surmounted by a Royal crown closed.

The Royal Academy of History approved the proposed symbols.
The elm (olmo) makes the arms canting. The yellow fleur-de-lis is taken from the arms of Juan de Goyeneche, once lord of Olmeda.
[Boletín de la Real Academia de la Historia, 1987, 184, 2: 390]

Ivan Sache, 18 July 2015