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Quintana del Puente (Municipality, Castilla y León, Spain)

Last modified: 2014-12-29 by ivan sache
Keywords: quintana del puente | palencia |
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Flag of Quintana del Puente - Image by Ivan Sache, 2 May 2011

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Presentation of Quintana del Puente

The municipality of Quintana del Puente (248 inhabitants in 2010; 1,152 ha; unofficial website) is located in the south-east of Palencia Province, 30 km from Palencia.

Quintana del Puente is name for the bridge (puente) over river Arlanza. The current 18-arched, stone bridge was built c. 1580, under the reign of Philip II. The etymology of Quitana is less straightforward. The most plausible meaning of the village's name refers to an estate; other explanations refer to the quinta via crossing the Roman colony, to a Basque anthroponym formed on Quintus, to a square piece of land or to the transfer of 1/5th (quinto) of the crops to the lord. Toponyms formed on quinta are widespread in Palencia Province.

Quintana, resettled at an unknown date, was one of the 34 villages forming the alfoz (group of villages) of Palenzuela. Juan Rodriguez de Sandoval, lord of Quintana in 1340, was commissioned by King Peter I the Cruel to seize the citadel of Palenzuela, whose garrison had taken the party of his half-brother and enemy, Henry II; Sandoval was eventually killed in an ambush in Quintana. Diego Gutiérrez de Ceballos, appointed Master of the Order of Alcántara by Peter in 1355, settled in Quintana to prepare the siege of Palenzuela. Later on, the inhabitants of Palenzuela and the neighboring villages complained at King John II of abuse committed by the Admiral of Castile and his brother-in-law Juan de Tobar; the king decided to seize Palenzuela, helped with his private councillor Álvaro de Luna. The villagers of Quintana contributed to the Royal victory by providing wood and manpower to build a second bridge, the main bridge of Palenzuela being controlled by the local warlord, Fernando de Temiño.

A sanatorium for tubercular patients was built in 1939 on a hill dominating Quintana. In 1957, it was transformed into the Military Children's Colony "General Varela", a military college locally known as "The Colony". After having been the main source of income for the village, the Colony was closed in 1988 and is today ruined.

Ivan Sache, 2 May 2011

Symbols of Quintana del Puente

The flag and arms of Quintana del Puente, approved by the Municipal Council on 7 June 1996, are prescribed by a Decree adopted on 26 September 1996 by the Palencia Provincial Government, signed on 3 October 1996 by the President of the Government, and published on 16 October 1996 in the official gazette of Castilla y León, No. 201 (text).
The symbols are described as follows:

Flag: Quadrangular flag, with proportions 1:1, crimson. In the middle of the flag is placed the municipal coat of arms in full colors.
Coat of arms: Shield in Spanish shape. Gules a three-arched fortified bridge or over waves argent and azure ensigned with three towers [argent] masoned sable port and windows azure. The shield surmounted with a Royal Spanish crown.

The symbols (unofficial website) were designed by F. Narganes Quijano (Notas históricas para la adopción del escudo y la bandera municipal de Quintana del Puente - Palencia). The bridge is the symbol of the town, while red is the color of Castile.

The Royal Academy of History approved the proposed arms, which "perfectly fit the best Castilian traditional style, are simple, immediately recognizable and charged with toponymy elements". However, the waves should completely fill the base of the shield. The proposed flag was approved, as well (Boletín de la Real Academia de la Historia, 1998, 195, 2: 365).

Ivan Sache, 2 May 2011