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Molina de Segura (Municipality, Region of Murcia, Spain)

Last modified: 2016-05-08 by ivan sache
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Flag of Molina de Segura - Image by Ivan Sache, 8 May 2015

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Presentation of Molina de Segura

The municipality of Molina de Segura (68,775 inhabitants in 2014, therefore the 4th most populous municipality in the Region; 16,950 ha; municipal website) is located 10 km north-west of Murcia. The main settlements of the municipality are the towns of Molina de Segura (46,195 inh.), Romeral (14,710 inh.), Ribera de Molina (2,442 inh.), El Llano de Molina (1,937 inh.) and Torrealta (1,335 inh.).
Originally known as Molina, the municipality was renamed Molina de Segura in the beginning of the 20h century, for the sake of differentiation from other places called Molina.

Molina de Segura was settled in the 2nd century BC by the Romans, who transformed a former Iberian settlement. The urban nucleus of Molina was crossed by the Roman road that connected Cartagena to Complutum (Alcalá de Henares) through the valley of river Segura. The name of the town is probably of Latin origin, related to this earlier settlement, and not of Arab origin.
Watching the valley and the confluence of rivers Mula and Segura, Molina was a strategic place. The town was first documented, as Maniya, by an Arab historian from Cordóba, Ibn Hayyān (987-1076), who related the expedition organized in 896 by Emir Abd Alladh (888-912) to submit an uprising. In 1085, the geographer Al Udri mentions Mulina when describing the itineraries from Cartagena to Toledo and from Lorca to Chinchilla. In 1088, El Cid Campeador and King Alfonso VI disagreed on the place where they should meet. The king went back to Toledo, while El Cid awaited him in Molina. The king considered the absence of El Cid in Toledo as a betrayal, banished him for the second time and confiscated all his possessions. The full story is detailed in the anonymous Historia Roderici.
The geographer Al Idrisi described Mulina in Uns al-muhay (12th century). This is only the second mention of the citadel (hisn) of the town, after Ibn Hayyān. The citadel, organized on the Andalusian model of the time, was made of two distinct fortified elements, the alcázar, erected on the highest point, and the center of power, and the urban nucleus proper. The citadel was then the key of access to the town of Murcia.

After the Christian reconquest of the Kingdom of Murcia in 1243, Infante Alfonso (later, King Alfonso X the Wise) granted Molina to his brother Ferdinand, who died one year later. Since the town had surrendered without fighting, the Castilian power maintained the local customs; the population, mostly Muslim, was ruled by Ibn Hud. This changed after the Mudéjar uprising of 1264, supported by the Kingdom of Granada. In the next decades, Molina attempted to separate from Murcia, which was obtained for short periods only (1266, 1272-1283).
The town was eventually reincorporated to Murcia as a retaliation for having supported Sancho IV revolted against his father Alfonso X. Incorporated to Aragón in 1296, Molina de Segura, then known as Molina Secca, was retroceded to Castile by the Treaty of Torrellas-Elche, signed in 1303.
In the 14th century, Molina de Segura was ruled by Infante Juan Manuel, who established a private rule over the Kingdom of Murcia. He was granted Molina by King Ferdinand IV as a debt pavement. Casacales described the town as "a den of rascals" who threatened Murcia. Juan Manuel and his partisans were expelled several times by force. Juan Manuel was eventually granted the rule over Molina and Murcia in 1330 and established in 1336 a truce with the inhabitants of Molina. When his daughter Juana Manuel married King Henry of Trastámara, Molina was reincorporated to the Royal domain.

At the end of the 14th century, after a long quarrel with the heirs of Juan Manuel (d. 1348), the Fajardo lineage took control of the the town. Alfonso Yáñez Fajardo I was granted the domain of Molina in 1395 by King Henry II. His son, Juan Alfonso Fajardo, chartered the town in 1396 and revamped the fortress. The Fajardo increased their possessions to the towns of Librilla, Alhama de Murcia and Mula.
Pedro Fajardo Chacón (1478-1546), one of the richest men in Murcia, was granted in 1507 the title of Marquis de los Vélez by Queen Joan the Mad. Luis Fajardo de la Cueva (1508-1574), 2nd Marquis de los Vélez, was made Marquis of Molina in 1535 by Charles V; the title of Marquis of Molina was granted to the elder heir of the Marquis de los Vélez.

Ivan Sache, 8 May 2015

Symbols of Molina de Segura

The flag of Molina de Segura is white with the municipal coat of arms in the middle (photo, photo).

The coat of arms of Molina de Segura is prescribed by Decree No. 9, adopted on 17 February 2000 by the Government of the Region of Murcia and published on 28 February 2000 in the official gazette of the Region of Murcia, No. 48, p.p 2,423-2,424 (text).
The coat of arms is described as follows:

Coat of arms: Per fess, 1a. Gules a castle or, 1b. Vert five millstones argent per saltire, 2. Chequy argent and azure. The shield surmounted by a Royal Spanish crown closed.

The oldest known seal of the town is described in a document dated 3 November 1389 and kept in the Murcia municipal archive, as "a wax seal featuring five millstones". In the 16th century, the Town Council used its proper seal, which inscribed a shield featuring a Latin cross with the arms ending in arrowheads and surmounted by the head of a bird, probably an eagle. Other seals were used, quite whimsically, during the 19th century.
The first modern coat of arms was adopted in 1918 by the Municipal Council. Designed by Jerónimo Ros de Marcia, it was used until the adoption of the today's coat of arms, which is a modernized and rearranged version of the original design.
[Municipal website]

Ivan Sache, 8 May 2015