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Villadiego (Municipality, Castilla y León, Spain)

Last modified: 2019-01-13 by ivan sache
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Flag of Villadiego - Image by Ivan Sache, 4 March 2014

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Presentation of Villadiego

The municipality of Villadiego (1,694 inhabitants in 2012; 32,796 ha, therefore the largest municipality in the province; municipal website) is located in the west of the Province of Burgos, 40 km from Burgos. The municipality is made of the villages of Acedillo, Arenillas de Villadiego, Barrios de Villadiego, Barruelo de Villadiego, Boada de Villadiego, Brullés, Bustillo del Páramo, Castromorca, Coculina, Fuencivil, Hormazuela, Hormicedo, Icedo, Los Valcárceres (Santa Cruz, San Miguel, Santiago), Melgosa de Villadiego, Olmos de la Picaza, Palazuelos de Villadiego, Quintanilla de la Presa, Rioparaíso, Sandoval de la Reina, Tablada de Villadiego, Tapia de Villadiego, Villadiego, Villahernando, Villahizán de Treviño, Villalbilla de Villadiego, Villalibado, Villanoño, Villanueva de Odra, Villanueva de Puerta, Villaúte, Villavedón and Villusto.

Villadiego was founded in the second half of the 9th century by Count Diego Rodríguez Porcelos, lord of Amaya, who would found Burgos a few years later (884). The town was originally known as Las Siete Villas de Diego (Diego's Seven Villages), referring to Barruelo, San Esteban, San Cristóbal, Tudanca de Arriba, Tudanca de Abajo, Mora and Villadiego. The town was first chartered on 4 June 1134 by King Alfonso VII and his mother Berenguela; the privilege was confirmed in 1243 by Ferdinand III the Saint, in 1254 by Alfonso X the Wise, in 1287 by Sancho IV, in 1299 by Ferdinand IV, in 1324 by Alfonso XI, in 1384 by John I (with additions), and in 1424 by John II.
Villadiego belonged to the Counts of Amaya, who had a residence in the village at least since 1182. The village was incorporated to the Royal domain by Ferdinand III and eventually sold to the Burgos Council on 18 July 1255 by Alfonso X; the sale was confirmed on 26 May 1285 by Sancho IV. Owned in the middle of the 14th century by María of Portugal, Villadiego was sold in the early 15th century to Juan Fernández de Velasco, whose family ruled the village until the end of the feudal system.

Villadiego had once a flourishing Jewish community, established in the village in 1223 by Ferdinand III. The Jews of Villadiego funded King Peter I in his struggle against Henry II. In 1368, the Jewish borough was sacked by the troops of the Black Prince, loyal to Peter I, but not paid. Suppressed by Henry II, the Jewish communities of Castile re- emerged in the 15th century; in 1415, the Villadiego Council approved the Statutes of the Jews. Short after, Henry IV granted the right of asylum to the Jews in Castile. Pedro Fernández de Velasco established Jewish "charities" (banks) in Briviesca, Medina, Herrera, Salas, Belorado, Grisaleña, Arnedo and Villadiego; these entities were approved by a Bull signed on 15 September 1432 by Pope Eugene IV. However, the Jews remained submitted to strict rules and a wide range of prohibitions; accordingly, several of them converted to the Christian religion and the Jewish community of Villadiego progressively disappeared.

Ivan Sache, 4 March 2014

Symbols of Villadiego

The flag of Villadiego (Escudos y Banderas de la Provincia de Burgos website; photo, Town Hall) is prescribed by a Decree adopted on 9 February 2007 by the Municipal Council and published on 8 March 2007 in the official gazette of the Province of Burgos.
The flag is described as follows:

Flag: Rectangular, in proportions 2:3, red. In the middle is placed a white rhomb whose points reach the edges of the flag. In the middle of the flag is placed the municipal coat of arms, of height half the flag's hoist.

The red and white colours, as well as the rhomb, are taken from the municipal coat of arms.

The coat of arms of Villadiego (Escudos y Banderas de la Provincia de Burgos website) has been used since the 1950s. It blazons "Quarterly, 1. and 4. Castile (Gules a castle or port and windows azure), 2. and 3. León (Argent a lion gules). All over a rhomb argent charged with a bust of Count Diego Rodríguez Porcelos proper. The shield surmounted with a Royal Spanish crown."

Ivan Sache, 4 March 2014