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Location in Spain, in the province of Ciudad Real
|Autonomous community||Castile-La Mancha|
|• Mayor||José Juan Fernández Zarco (PSOE)|
|• Total||101.3 km2 (39.1 sq mi)|
|Elevation||656 m (2,152 ft)|
|Time zone||CET (UTC+1)|
|• Summer (DST)||CEST (UTC+2)|
|Area code(s)||34 (Spain) + 926 (Ciudad Real)|
Pedro Muñoz is a municipality in the autonomous community of Castile-La Mancha, Spain. It is located in the province of Ciudad Real, northeast of the province on the basin of the Záncara river. It is in the La Mancha region, in the "Mancha Alta" sub-region. It is a small municipality due to being abandoned as a municipality in 1410, but Pedro Muñoz has 45.27 businesses for each 1000 inhabitants.
- 1 Geography
- 2 Demographics
- 3 History
- 4 Major events in Pedro Muñoz
- 5 Monuments and sites of interest
- 5.1 City Hall
- 5.2 Church of St. Peter the Apostle
- 5.3 Chapel of the Madonna of Los Angeles
- 5.4 Manor houses
- 5.5 Plaza de toros
- 5.6 Roman bridge
- 5.7 San Miguel Bridge
- 5.8 The Vega Lake complex
- 6 Fauna and flora
- 7 Archaeological discoveries
- 8 Historic celebrities
- 9 Bibliography
- 10 References
- 11 External links
The municipality is bounded on the north by El Toboso, on the west by Campo de Criptana, on the east by Mota del Cuervo, and on the south by Socuéllamos and Tomelloso. It has an area of 101.3 km² and is located 113 km from the provincial capital. Although it is at a comparatively high altitude, the region itself is flat. It is a typical village in La Mancha with the concentrated population and low housing typical of the region.
It is located in the southern part of the sub-mesa south of the Iberian peninsula, in the Guadiana river basin and the Záncara river, and has a nature reserve surrounding a lake complex.
This lake complex has seven lakes. La Vega or Laguna del pueblo lagoon is considered "green", Alcahozo, Manjavacas and Monte Chico are salt lakes and Retamar and Navalafuente are endorreic lakes (not providing any outflow of water such as streams or rivers).
It had a population of 8,711 inhabitants in 2009 and, according to the 2011 census, 8,639 inhabitants as of today. Its population density is 78.04 inhabitants per km².
In pre-Roman times, the area had a population of about 100 people in the Cerro de La Nieve area. Several samples of Iberian sculptures have been found in this area. This area was later occupied by the Romans, but was conquered in the fourth century by the Visigoths, and in the eighth century by Iberian Muslims, and then finally came under the Castillians in the 13th century, who then founded the village under the priory of Uclés. The village was founded through the efforts of the Archdeacon of Alcaraz named Pero Muñoz. He was looking to find high, defensible points in the La Mancha plains, close to his headquarters near Alcaraz, that were safe from the raids often carried out by the Muslim armies, causing great havoc among Christians. Alcaraz aimed to populate strategic locations resulting in the village being founded in 1284, the year of the death of King Alfonso X (the Wise) of Castile, whose son Sancho IV succeeded to the throne.
The Archbishop of Toledo had asked permission to create churches throughout this region, expropriating the land on which they stood. Realizing that the site was inhabited, he tried to make the villagers abandon the village so that he could to take it. The Archdeacon of Alcaraz (Pero Muñoz) petitioned the Archbishop of Toledo for permission to annex the inhabited land. The Archbishop became famous for the complicated lawsuit that ruled in Alcaraz's favour. The Archbishop of Toledo was forced to concede the town to Alcaraz, and relinquish his own rights to it. For this reason, the villagers honored him by putting his name to the village.
In 1324 Alfonso XI conceded the village, but in 1410 the villagers were driven out of the barren land by pests. In wetland areas, the lagoon from the villa was drying, dividing the lake into three, making the land near it very prone to disease.
In 1525 the town began to be repopulated again by a family from Cuenca, named Mayordomo. The patriarch of the family, Juan Mayordomo, was encouraged to go to the abandoned village and settle there with his family by what he heard about the fertility of its lands, and due to his having to abandon their old village, Cervera del Llano, for standing up to the Marquis de Villena.
Juan Mayodomo later decided to leave the village to inform his relatives that it was a suitable and welcoming place and thus persuade them to settle and spread the word to other people. John's family was responsible for spreading this message and soon other families began to arrive until the town was reborn. John would thus become the first mayor of the municipality due to his leadership.
Farmers residing in the nearby villages of Socuéllamos, El Toboso, Golf Criptana and Mota del Cuervo, attempted to destroy the houses where the newcomers had settled. They were fearful that they would lose the defensive borders, forests and meadows they had gained when the village was abandoned in 1410. To avoid this Juan Mayordomo, along with some residents, took his case to the courts of Ocaña, Toledo, Avila, and Madrid asking for the granting of town powers to the people. However the councils of Socuéllamos, El Toboso, Golf and Mota del Cuervo Criptana also filed a lawsuit to prevent this concession, vying in favor of Pedro Muñoz. Spain was at that time positioned as one of the major European powers, Emperor Charles I was occupying the Spanish throne, but had to leave Spain to resolve issues in its European territories. Queen Isabella of Portugal and Aragon therefore granted town privileges to Pedro Muñoz on August 10, 1531, saving the town from future threats against its homes. For this reason there appears in the right lower quarter of the towns heraldic shield a crown in gratitude to the monarchy, especially Isabel, for her decision, in such difficult times, to make the village a town.
In 1691, Pedro Muñoz was included in the province of La Mancha, with Almagro as the capital, having been segregated from the Toledo province.
In the seventeenth century, a number of large mansions, such as "Paca's House-Palace", were built. In 1700 the construction of the Church of St. Peter the Apostle began, which epitomized all that was beautiful in the Renaissance and Baroque and reflected the splendor of the town.
Pedro Muñoz has far to go to match the glory it achieved in the beginning of the twentieth century, with the beginnings of the vineyards and winemaking industry. It gained momentum for greater democracy and freedom for its enterprising citizens who created companies to meet the market needs of the people and to provide jobs for its neighbors and those in the region who, in turn, helped to maintain and grow this great municipality that is located in the heart of La Mancha.
Major events in Pedro Muñoz
- In 1284 the town was named Pedro Muñoz; this is the recorded year of inception, but the town was not settled until 40 years later.
- In 1324 Alfonso XI granted it Town Privilege, in the General Chapter held in Mérida.
- In 1410 it was abandoned by the municipality when a drought dried up the water sources.
- In 1525 John Majordomo consolidated the town after 115 years of neglect.
- In 1531 Doña Isobel (wife of Charles I of Spain) grants town Privilege once more to Pedro Muñoz.
- During the Carlist wars there was an agreement signed in this village between the conflicting parties. In fact, one of its streets refers to this agreement (Acuerdo street). Because of this, one of the fields of the town's shield contains, under a crossed sword and baton, two clasped right hands. This is depicted on the genuine glass shield at the head of the stairs of the City Hall.
- On August 12, 1994, at about 4 pm, a storm of mud and hail caused chaos in the town. It was of such magnitude that several hundred-year-old cypress trees in the local cemetery were uprooted and fell on surrounding tombstones. The swimming pool was crowded with people (minutes before the thermometer marked more than 40 °C) and there was mass panic. Fortunately, nobody was injured as there was enough shelter in the locker room.
- Coincidentally, also on August 12, but in 2007 an earthquake (magnitude 5.1 on the Richter scale) with its epicenter in the municipality of Pedro Muñoz shook most of the Iberian peninsula. It could be felt in more than a dozen different communities, though without causing noticeable damage; only a portion of the Municipal Theater Almagro, over ninety miles away, sank. The epicenter was six miles underground.
Monuments and sites of interest
The City Hall is located in the Plaza de España (Spain square), in the center of town. It has been remodeled several times to reach its current renewed state. It emphasizes the twentieth century tower historicist style, but retains the sole remaining original Old Town Hall, built in the early twentieth century in the neo-Mudejar style (a sixteenth century Spanish architectural style), being the actual 1946 building. The design stresses its slenderness, and it is capped with a cover dome. Its forms and curves contain eastern aspects and elements and it is ornamented with dovecotes and an upper turret.
Church of St. Peter the Apostle
As the inhabitants of Pedro Muñoz had fled looking for drier, healthier lands, they had to abandon the old Church of San Antonio. The pedroteños (demonym for the residents of Pedro Muñoz) then decided that it was necessary to build a new church. On September 8, 1700 the foundation stone for the present church was laid. Work on the Church began in 1722.
The church is certainly the best representation of Pedro Muñoz's architecture as a whole. It is of a graceful style that mixes in the Renaissance Baroque style. The church has a Latin cross with low body townhouses in three of the corners of the tower and a cruise square floor plan. Rehabilitation work and mounting a bell tower were done to coincide with the celebration of the third centenary of the start of work. These upgrades have contributed to enhancing the church's beauty.
Chapel of the Madonna of Los Angeles
The hermitage of Our Lady of The Angels is in Virgin Street (calle de la Virgen) at the convergence of Concord Avenue (Avenida de Concordia), Prim Street (la calle Prim) and Cervantes Street (la calle Cervantes), among others. Probably the names of Our Lady of the Angels was given to the holy virgin and at the same time to the hermitage, with the intention of perpetuating the name of the only daughter of the refounder of the town, Juan Mayordomo. The daughter was born a short time after he arrived in the town and died a few years after her birth while still a girl. When the construction of the new houses were begun in the second repopulation on Tahona Hill and in Country street (la calle del Campo) they began the construction of the Santa Ana hermitage and the hermitage of Our Lady of the Angels. It seems the latter was built over a construction that had been there previously. It was a rustic hermitage based on a little rock and a lot of soil.
In 1769 work began on the new chapel, but it did not resume until 1771 and ended eight years later. He had extensive arcades and seating throughout. The building was largely destroyed in the Civil War and was not rebuilt until the war ended.
Casa de la Paca
Paca's House or Menault House at No. 12 Tahoma Street is a mansion built in 1760 in the baroque style with a heraldic decoration on the facade and windows with iron railings. The heraldic decoration on the facade is above the main door, in a reddish sandstone which contrasts with the white walls. (pictured) Behind the main door is an entrance porch and a security door. The bright inner patio has a rustic balustrade and gives access to the rooms. It was first called Paca's House from the name of an early owner who was called Francisca Ramírez Cañas - "Paca", who wanted, after her death, to donate the house to the church. From that time the house has been used for catechesis and other church-related activities.
Casa Granero is in Carlos Garzarán Street, a mansion built by the Granero de Heredia family. It was constructed in the second part of the 18th century by Don Juan José Granero de Heredia y Quiros Garcés de Marcilla. Above the central balcony is placed the family heraldic shield which carries just one field of red with five silver castles and a rampant lion of gold in the centre. It doesn't carry a crest but if so, an armed warrior with a sword and the cross of Santiago on his chest, a baroque border and a cartouche of eight bundles of arrows, the symbol of Fernando el Católico.
Fernandez Cuellar's House
Fernandez Cuéllar's House is in Tahons Street, it is a mansion of the 18th century with a heraldic decoration on the façade. Work has been carried out to renovate the façade and the interior, even so, it has kept its original shape except for the overhang of the roof where the shield is placed. Originally it was at a right angle and now it is diagonal to the architrave. Of the founder little is known, it is thought that he belonged to the Fernández Cuellar family, the name existed in that area but later disappeared.
The shield is of one field which holds a single pine tree and a wolf lifted off its feet, this symbolises a city governor who after a long siege attacks the besiegers and returns victorious with a huge booty. The patio is characteristically Castellano, the main door is made of rustic wood with decorative ironwork.
Casa del Prior
The Prior's House is on the corner of Campo Street and Pizarro street. A house decorated with the shield of the Order of Calatrava. It is preserved as it was. It appears that in 1698 a senior ecclesiastical official or a prior. It is known that a group of monks of the Cistercian order lived there during the time of the parish church's construction at the beginning of the 18th century. These monks wanted to found a monastery here that would be a dependent of the Monastery of San Clodio in Leiro, (Orense) which was commissioned by the pedroteňo (native of Pedro Muňoz) Blas Garcia. It not known who built the house or when.
Casa de la Torrecilla
The Turret House is situated at No. 18 Virgen Street, it was constructed in the 18th century. It is a manor house with a simple heraldic device on the façade founded by an unknown knight of the Order of Santiago. Above one of the windows, where previously there was a door, which can still be seen under the paintwork, is placed a shield with the cross of the Order of Santiago.
La casa de la calle Dos de Mayo
In the 2nd of May Street there was another decorated house, again the founder is unknown. It showed a shield with the cross of the Military Order of St John, now the Order of Malta. The house had a typical castellano patio but is was demolished to build another house.
Plaza de toros
The building of the bullring started in 1916 and was finished in 1919, and at the fair of that year it was inaugurated with two bullfights. In the first the bullfighters, Rafael Rubio "Rodalito", Corralfuente and Antonio Sanchez participated. In the second it was Corralfuente and "Rodalito". The constructors of this structure used the diameter of the bullring of Quintanar de la Orden. During the Spanish Civil War it was converted into a firing range and was seriously damaged. In 1945 some local people got together to buy the bullring and restore it. On the 1 August 1964 it was ceded to the local council with certain conditions.
A Roman bridge, known as the Molino de la Torre bridge (39°20′23.85″N 2°54′6.74″O) still crosses the River Záncara at the edge of the municipal boundary with Socuéllamos. It is a stonework construction, it has three arches of equal size and another smaller blind arch. It is crossed by the Serranos way which has the remains of a Roman road of some 6 metres wide which united Complutum (nowadays Alcala de Henares) with Cartagonova (Cartagena), it has become progressively destroyed by the cultivation of crops nearby.
San Miguel Bridge
St Michael's Bridge (39°20′58″N 2°55′50″0)is similar to the Roman bridge, it it also crosses the River Záncara and can be found next to the hermitage of San Miguel. Recently there has been work to restore the bridge and improve the surroundings with greenways on both banks of the river.
In the Middle Ages and for some time afterwards shepherds were taxed when crossing the bridge, two head of sheep per shepherd crossing.
The Vega Lake complex
The boundary of Pedro Muñoz is located in the drainage basin of the river Záncara, a tributary of the river Guadiana, and hosts the lagoon complex of Pedro Muñoz, made up of three principal lakes: the Vega Lake (also called the Town Lake), the Retemar Lake and the Navalafuente Lake. This swamp complex was declared a natural reserve in 2002, subsequent to having received the following statements of protection: the wildlife refuge of Vega Lake in 1988, a special protection area for birds (ESPA) in 1989. It is a wetland of international importance as a habitat for waterfowl (Ramsar Convention) in 1993. The biosphere reserve of the Wetlands Area was declared by UNESCO in 1981 and comprises a set of the lagoons and marshes in La Mancha. The Vega Lake is the most importante of the complex. It is a sweetwater lake which encourages the growth of non-halophytic vegetation. It has a surface area of 34 hectares and in summer it is supplied with water from the treatment plant which alters its natural hydro-chemical composition from flooding and drought. The fauna is abundant with more than 23 different species of waterfowl. Among those most notable are ducks and waders. Others can be found in the list of the Ramsay Convention.
Navalafuente is a lake that is formed opportunely in very rainy years. Retemar is a purely endorheic lake
Fauna and flora
Flora In the wetland areas there are halophytic plants that have adapted to the salty substrate where salts of chloride and sulphates have concentrated. In these areas the growth is sparse.
In the permanent lakes there is abundant aquatic vegetation. This is supported by the fertile mud on the floor of the lakes and makes possible the large number of waders to be found there. There is also vegetation that grows from the lake floor and emerges from the lake and floats on the surface. Typical plants around the lake are salicornia, juncaceae, glasswort (Arthrocnemum macrostachyum) and phragmites species.
There are halophytic rushes in the boggy areas. Also important are the sedges and sow thistles, in areas that are less salty they reproduce easily. There are also saw-toothed sedge and bull rushes. Nearby in the salty meadows are plantains and gramma grass. There are a range of aromatic herbs such as rosemary, thyme and mint.
The tree most common in the area, particularly in the more saline areas is the tamarix which forms little thickets around the edge of the lakes. The tamarix is a tree that is able to reach the water table with its roots and thus resist the summer drought. Other trees that thrive in the area are the evergreen or holly oak, poplar species, almond, acacia and pines.
Fauna The wetlands complex of this locality is an important natural element to assist the migration of birds between Africa and the north of Europe. In spite of the high salinity of the water and the summer drought. The presence of crustaceans that can resist the summer drought and serve as food for the water fowl assure the value of this marshland.
In the fringes of rushes and sedges there are plenty of ducks, like the mallard. Sometimes the appearance of sedentary birds who nest and winter on the lake are seen, for example the black-necked grebe, the coot and the common pochard. Other more common birds which overwinter on the lakes are the shoveler duck, the northern pintail, the eurasian teal and the little grebe. In the areas of thicker vegetation the purple heron nests during spring and migrates in August to over-winter in other places. In the salty areas can be found wading birds such as the Black-winged stilt and the avocet.
Among non-aquatic birds there are plovers, Great reed warblers, black-headed gulls and the hobby. There is in addition one of the more important predators of waterfowl, the marsh harrier, more common on the permanent lakes where there is more vegetation.
Beyond the wetlands there are various types of other animals such as rodents, hares, pole cats, snakes, falcons, owls and partridges.
Facing the Vega or Laguna del Pueblo, and on a wide plateau elevation of marl clay, accumulated remnants of successive reconstructions of the Iberian type of adobe buildings were found. While clearing the land, a subsidence area was found. The land was later cleared and there were approximately five fee of deposits, similar to the old clay pots. The skeleton of an animal that appeared to be a carnivore was found in one of them. There were also stones glued together with mud, forming Cyclopean walls. There were large animal teeth. It appeared that it was a Carpetani settlement, Celtic people settling among Oretani, the Celtiberians, the Vaccaei and the Vettones.
Archaeological excavations carried out at Cerro de La Nieve, between 1984 and 1990, further threw light on the first inhabitants of Pedro Muñoz. In successive interventions made at the site numerous archaeological remains have been found, including small-scale metal through a possible copper smelter workshop; ceramics hand traditions, bronze fibulae and Greek pottery, numerous Iberian cemeteries as well as a Roman and many medieval cemeteries. The settlement probably was part of a system of towns of Iberian contemporaries at the time, Las Mesas, (Cuenca) and Campo de Criptana (Ciudad Real) being the closest.
- Juan Mayordomo (n/d), re-founder of the village 1525.
- Manuel Gallardo (1642 - 1718) was chaplain of the Spanish Army, preacher of the king and commissioner of Jerusalem from the former Spanish provinces of Sicily.
- Francisco Castillo (1664 - 1714) was a master in philosophy and theology; rector of the Colegio Santo Tomás de Alcalá and grader of the Spanish Inquisition.
- Felipe Sanz (1683 - 1770), was Dominican monk, rector of the Colegio de Santo Tomás de Alcalá and prior of the Convents of Toledo and Cuenca.
- Jesús Chocano Olivares (1854 - d ? ) was a second lieutenant of infantry achieving two medals by war merits.
- Julián del Pozo la Orden (19th century - 1932) was a famous painter during the ending of the 19th century and early 20th.
- Federico Rafael Soriano Cañas (1879 - d ?), son of Luis Soriano (famous doctor of the town with a street named because of him) y graduated in Law, was in charge of several state administrative sections, and other political achievements. Also known by his poems of manners.
- Alejandro Muñoz Pulpón, retired cyclist.
- Bernabé Ramos Ramírez de Arellano, painter. (NB: dead in 2011)
- Jesús Julián Lucendo, former FC Barcelona player and the Andorra National Football Team, after getting the double nationality.
- Jesús Polo González, ex-president of the football club C.D. Leganés.
- José Luis Laguía retired cyclist.
- José Manuel Exojo Mena, painter.
- José Manuel Rodríguez Carretero, political.
- Juande Ramos, football manager.
- Rosa Rosado, radio announcer.
- Santiago Garci, painter.
- Pedro Muñoz... Una Historia. Miguel Tirado Zarco. 1984. ISBN 84-505-0455-4
- Una banda, un pueblo y 120 años de historia. Historia de la Banda Municipal de Música. Juan Antonio Rejano. 2000
- Population of the Continuous Municipal Register by Population Unit, National Institute of Statistics, 2013, retrieved July 27, 2014
- Tirado Zarco, Miguel (1984). Pedro Muñoz ... Una Historia. (in Spanish). pp. 44–45. ISBN 8450504554.
- Tirado Zarco, Miguel (1984). Pedro Muñoz ... Una Historia. (in Spanish). pp. 186–189. ISBN 8450504554.
- Tirado Zarco, Miguel (1984). Pedro Muñoz ... Una Historia. (in Spanish). pp. 32–33. ISBN 8450504554.
- Tirado, 1984, p. 251-258.
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