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Recas (Municipality, Castilla-La Mancha, Spain)

Last modified: 2020-04-04 by ivan sache
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Presentation of Recas

The municipality of Recas (4,206 inhabitants in 2018; 3,100 ha; municipal website) is located 30 km north of Toledo and 20 k south-west of Illescas.

Recas originates in an Hispano-Roman settlement established in the 3rd century in La Peronilla, close to river Guadarrama; fragments of mosaics from a villa dated to the 4th century were excavated.
The Muslims erected the castle of Canales on a hill overlooking the river and the road connecting Segovia and Toledo. A village developed nearby, mostly settled by the former inhabitants of La Peronilla, which had been destroyed and abandoned during the wars. Canales is documented in Arab chronicles; in 930, the inhabitants pledged allegiance to Abd-Al-Rahman III, who besieged Toledo to suppress a Mozarab revolt.
The first significant settlement established near Canales was named Rekab, an Arab world meaning "a caravan", which indicates that the place was a zone of caravan transit during the Muslim period. In the 10th century, most of the inhabitants of Rekab were killed by disease, the Mozarab survivors founded another settlement named Rekachil, a diminutive form of Rekal.

Alfonso VI conquered Canales in 1085. The town was occupied in 1109 / 1119 by the Almoravids, who could not seize the fortress. Afterwards, Canales and Rekachil were deserted, while a new settlement, named Recas, was formed.
In 1143, Alfonso VI offered the castle of Canales to Raimundo, Archbishop of Toledo, as stated in a Bull signed by Pope Eugen III. The castle's jurisdiction included Recas, Rekachil, Bobadilla, and Zodorum. A series of Bulls dated 1161, 1186, and 1192, describe Canales as a "fortified town". A Bull signed in 1210 by Innocent III names Canales as a stronghold of the Kingdom of Toledo. Destroyed in 1350-1369 by Peter I, the fortress was re-established by Pedro Tenorio, Archbishop of Toledo (1377-1399).
In the 14th century, the road lost its significance, being superseded by a road heading to Illescas; this caused the abandon of the fortress of Canales, which was declared depopulated in the 15th century and, in 1517, ruined. The title of Archpriest of Canales was maintained, although the priest resided in Torrijos.

Recas was transferred in 1571 to Joaquín Sobremonte y Carnero, lord of Villafranca de Gaytán. Granted in 1627 the status of villa, Recas was soled by Philip III to Luis Gaitán Ayala. At the end of the 17th century, Recas constituted a proper municipality (c. 3,000 ha), with jurisdiction over the castle of Canales, Bujadazán, Majazul de Arriba, and Majazul de Abajo.

The title of "Preferred Child" of Recas was granted on 24 December 1928 to Dr. César Cabañas Caballero (1862-1930). A noted surgeon, Cabañas worked at the San Carlos Hospital in Madrid from 1890 to 1925, being appointed its director in 1922.
In 1921, Cabañas offered a painting representing St. John the Baptist, attibuted to El Greco, to the Prado Museum in Madrid (inventory number No. 2,444). During a visit to the museum, the king asked about the Knight (caballero) César Cabañas; a fierce Republican, the surgeon accepted, however, to be decorated by the king and to meet him. He wanted to offer "work rather than charity, culture rather than ignorance, machinery facilitating progress and making human labor producive".
On 19 November 1928, Cabañas created in Recas the Doctor Cabañas Foundation, aimed at providing low-rate credit to the poor families of the town. He bequeathed to his birth town funds and plots that allowed the building of a four-class school, a freshwater fountain, a wash house equipped with 20 pipes, and a fresh vegetable and fruit market.

Recas inaugurated on 27 June 2014 the Municipal Mineral Collection "D. Antonio Barahona Ortiz", offered by Antonio Barahona Ortiz (b. 1937), a Recas-borne amateur mineralogist. Barahona supplied specimens of new minerals founded at the Dolores prospect (Murcia), which were named barahonaite-(Fe) and barahonaite-(Al) by J. Viñals et al. The physical, chemical, and X-ray properties of barahonaite-(Fe) and barahonaite-(Al) suggest a relationship to the smolianinovite group, and a close relationship between attikaite and barahonaite-(Al). The name and minerals were approved by the IMA (No. 2006-51 and 2006-52)
[P.C. Piilonen, G. Poirier, K.T. Tait. 2008. New Mineral Names. American Mineralogist 93, 1941-1946]

Ivan Sache, 10 September 2019

Symbols of Recas

The flag and arms of Recas are prescribed by an Order issued on 1 March 1991 by the Government of Castilla-La Mancha and published on 13 March 1991 in the official gazette of Castilla-La Mancha, No. 21, pp. 886-887 (text).
The flag is described as follows:

Flag: Horizontally divided in the middle, the upper stripe, purple, the lower, green; along the hoist, a yellow triangle charged in the center with an olive tree in full colors.
Coat of arms: Spanish shield. Per pale, 1. Vert a tower or, 2. Purpure a Mozarab cross or. Grafted in base, Or an olive tree proper eradicated. The shield surmounted by a Royal crown closed.

The olive tree recalls the town's patrpon saint, the Olive Virgin. and the millenary olive tree still growing outside the town. Before the Muslim invasion, a chapel dedicated to the Virgin was built close to the tree. During he Muslim rule, the Visigoths hid the Christian sacred objects in the dense canopy of the tree.
John II ordered the building of a Franciscan convent dedicated to the Olive Virgin. After the suppression of the convent, the statue of the Olive Virgin was brought to Recas. In the 20th century, the parish priest, José María Gómez Jane, built an altar on an esplanade near the olive tree. A bronze sculpture portraying the patron saint was offered in 2004 by a local family.
[Municipal website]

Ivan Sache, 11 September 2019