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Belorado (Municipality, Castilla y León, Spain)

Last modified: 2019-01-13 by ivan sache
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Presentation of Belorado

The municipality of Belorado (2,172 inhabitants in 2009; 13,341 ha; municipal website) is located in the east of the Province of Burgos, 45 km of Burgos.

Belorado emerged in the Middle Ages as a border town between Castile and Navarre; in the beginning of the Christian reconquest, a castle was built on a spur, around which the population, that had been settling the other bank of the river since the Roman period, moved. The resulting citadel was once ruled by the Cid.
In the 10th century, the first independent (from Navarre) Castilian count conceded market rights to the village; in 1116, King of Aragón and Navarre Alfonso the Battler granted municipal rights to the town, including the right to organize a fair, the oldest documented in Spain. A significant Jewish community set up in the "El Corro" borough, located below the castle.
In the 13th century, King Alfonso VIII granted the title of villa to Belorado, and the right to use a seal, as well. Under King Peter the Cruel, the town lost its royal privileges and the Jews emigrated because of discrimination. The decline of the town was aggravated by the Edict of Expulsion signed in 1492 by the Catholic Monarchs of Spain. Some Jewish families abjured their religion and stayed in the town, for instance the Ruiz; Simón Ruiz Embito (1525-1597) was King Philip II's banker, while the botanist Hipólito Ruiz (1754-1816) researched the floras of Peru and Chile during the expedition sponsored by King Charles III (1777-1788).

Ivan Sache, 19 October 2010

Symbols of Belorado

The flag and arms of Belorado are prescribed by a Decree adopted on 24 September 2009 by the Municipal Council, signed on 12 November 2009 by the Mayor, and published on 23 November 2009 in the official gazette of Castilla y León, No. 224, p. 33,253 (text).
Approved by the Chronicler of Arms of Castilla y León, the symbols are described as follows:

Flag: The flag panel shall be crimson red and with the municipal coat of arms in the middle.
Coat of arms: Oblong with a concave lower part, quarterly, in the first and fourth quarters, yellow-colored towers on a red background, in the second and third quarters, silver-colored eight-pointed stars on a blue background. The shield surmounted, as proposed by the Chronicler of Arms of Castile and Leon, by the Royal crown.

The heraldic description of the arms is therefore "Quarterly, 1. and 4. Gules a tower or, 2. and 3. Azure an eight-pointed star argent. The shield surmounted by a Royal crown." The crown is the old, "open" crown of the Kings of Castile and not the modern, "closed" Spanish crown, recalling the royal privileges once granted to the town.

Ivan Sache, 19 October 2010