Bolaños de Calatrava

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Bolaños de Calatrava
Municipality
Flag of Bolaños de Calatrava
Flag
Coat of arms of Bolaños de Calatrava
Coat of arms
Bolaños de Calatrava is located in Spain
Bolaños de Calatrava
Bolaños de Calatrava
Location in Spain
Coordinates: 38°52′59″N 3°43′0″W / 38.88306°N 3.71667°W / 38.88306; -3.71667Coordinates: 38°52′59″N 3°43′0″W / 38.88306°N 3.71667°W / 38.88306; -3.71667
Country  Spain
Autonomous community Castile-La Mancha
Province Ciudad Real
Comarca Campo de Calatrava
Government
 • Alcalde Miguel Ángel Valverde (2011) (Partido Popular)
Area
 • Total 249.73 km2 (96.42 sq mi)
Elevation 646 m (2,119 ft)
Population (2008)
 • Total 12.490
 • Density 0.050/km2 (0.13/sq mi)
Demonym Bolañego/a
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Postal code 13260
Website Official website

Bolaños de Calatrava is a city situated in the Ciudad Real province in the autonomous community of Castile-La Mancha, Spain. It is 4 kilometers from Almagro.

History[edit]

The first settlement dates back to Roman times. The area became a strategic point for trade and communication, linking Toledo with Córdoba and Mérida with the Mediterranean Sea. Bolaños Castle was built to provide housing and protection on the road from Toledo to Córdoba.

Possession of the city was contested by the Taifa of Córdoba, the Taifa of Seville and the Taifa of Toledo, after the fragmentation of Al-Andalus.

During the Reconquista, the region was in a constant state of siege and battle. With the Christian victory at Las Navas de Tolosa (1212), the area began to repopulate.

The city's villa was owned by [Berenguela of Castile]. In 1229, she donated the village to the Order of Calatrava. This grant was confirmed by Fernando III el Santo and later by [Alfonso X of Castile|Alfonso X el Sabio].

Bolaños had large Islamic and Jewish populations until the expulsion of members of these religions in 1492, at which point many of them converted to Christianity.

Geography[edit]

The city lies within small Paleozoic mountain ranges, surrounded by shallow creeks, including the Pellejero and de Cuetos. It also lies within a volcanic zone (la Yezosa), which lies upon a quartzite sierra, similar to the zones of Olot and Cabo de Gata in the Iberian Peninsula.

Events[edit]

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Holy Week[edit]

"The Star" in the Spanish Square at Holy Week

Campo de Calatrava attracts many regional tourists for its odd representation of Holy Week. One of the principal attractions is the marching company of 'Roman soldiers' popularly known as 'los armaos' (the armed ones) . The decorative religious floats are a further attraction. They are influenced by Andalusian iconography along with church guilds such as Our Lady of Solitude and Jesus of Nazareth. The 'Roman soldiers' belong to the guild of Holy Christ of the Sepulchre as exemplified by works of local artist José Castellanos Borondo. The highlights of the Calatrava Holy Week are the representations of "The Arrest," (of Christ) "The Fall" and the colorful parades of 'the armed ones,' notable for its sobriety as they silently start the procession from under the porch of "San Felipe and Santiago Church."

Our Lady of Mount Pilgrimage[edit]

The pilgrimage is certainly the longest established tradition in town, sharing its bolañegos spirit with outsiders and visitors. The event is celebrated on the last Sunday of April, in the former "Meadow of the Moheda" which dates back to the time of the military orders of Calatrava. Eight years ago, in the side of a small ridge, in the foothills of Sierra Pelada, a chapel was built to house the image of the Virgin for neighboring towns and villages of Almagro under the ecclesiastical jurisdiction of Moral de Calatrava and Bolaños de Calatrava. Currently, the site is in a small village that originated around the first chapel of Our Lady of the Mount.

Since ancient times, inhabitants of the region, especially bolañegos, went to the vicinity of the chapel with family and friends in carts and on beasts for a day of festivity, including the consumption of the traditional manchego stew Today, cars have replaced the earlier modes of transportation. Now, the duration of the festival extends beyond one day with people coming from all parts of Spain to celebrate their devotion to the Virgin, as well as to participate in the city's revelry.

Of particular interest to visitors is the image of the Virgin, wearing an amusing hat, peaceful decoration of the chapel with flowers, the hanging of notes on the mantle of Our Lady of Mount during Sunday's procession and the auction of "State Authority" (a gold medal auctioned at the shrine gates once the pilgrimage is complete). Sometimes, the ceremonies have generated controversy among the clergy and bolañega society.

References[edit]