Santa Cruz de la Zarza

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Santa Cruz de la Zarza
Coat of arms of Santa Cruz de la Zarza
Coat of arms
Santa Cruz de la Zarza.png
Santa Cruz de la Zarza is located in Spain
Santa Cruz de la Zarza
Santa Cruz de la Zarza
Location in Spain
Coordinates: 39°58′36″N 3°11′27″W / 39.97667°N 3.19083°W / 39.97667; -3.19083Coordinates: 39°58′36″N 3°11′27″W / 39.97667°N 3.19083°W / 39.97667; -3.19083
Country  Spain
Autonomous community  Castile-La Mancha
Province Toledo
Comarca Mesa de Ocaña
Judicial district Ocaña
Founded Early 12th century (before 1175) by the Knights of Santiago.
 • Alcalde Román Muñoz Sánchez (2007)
 • Total 264.54 km2 (102.14 sq mi)
Elevation 790 m (2,590 ft)
Population (2009)
 • Total 4,929
 • Density 19/km2 (48/sq mi)
Demonym santacrucero, ra / santacruceño, ña
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Postal code 45370
Dialing code 925125 and 925143
Official language(s) Castillian
Website Official website

Santa Cruz de la Zarza, village and municipality in the province of Toledo, part of the autonomous community of Castile-La Mancha, Spain, placed to the North-East of Mesa de Ocaña called and to the south of the river Tagus.

Santa Cruz de la Zarza es un municipio de la provincia de Toledo (Castilla-La Mancha, España) situado al noreste de la denominada Mesa de Ocaña y al sur del río Tajo. Cuenta con 4906 habitantes (2011).4 Los restos más antiguos de esta villa se remontan a la segunda Edad del Hierro, concretamente a la necrópolis de Las Esperillas. Desde la Antigüedad un importante centro de comunicaciones y lugar defendido en época romana y también en la visigoda y árabe, dada su posición dominante. Fue cedida a la Orden de Santiago antes de 1175, estableciéndose allí, después de la confirmación del papa Alejandro III en esta fecha, una encomienda. En 1242 su creciente importancia la hace, bajo el maestrazgo de Rodrigo Íñiguez, cabeza de la encomienda de su nombre y en 1253, el maestre de la Orden de Santiago don Pelayo Pérez Correa le concede fuero.5 En su casco urbano hay un gran número de casas-palacio con abundancia de escudos señoriales. La principal actividad económica de Santa Cruz de la Zarza ha sido tradicionalmente la agricultura y la ganadería, aunque, según datos del INE, en 2006 la distribución del empleo de afiliados por sectores de ocupación era la siguiente: 31,5% de la población dedicada al sector servicios (principalmente el comercio), el 26,5% a la industria, el 20,4% a la agricultura y ganadería y el 21,6% restante a la construcción.4


According to account the legend, having to happen one day the Gothic king Recaredo, for the street of the Cava that to the season was in those days a covered rill of undergrowth, the neighbors gave fire to the brambles and between the flames, some cross of wood appeared without damage, after this fact, the village started be call Santa Cruz entre Zarzas, evolving later to the name that today has. Other sources affirm that the origin of the name of Santa Cruz de la Zarza can come from it geographical situation placed between two valleys and between these two valleys there was a mountain of bramble patches.

In any case, it seems that the toponym alludes, on the one hand, to the Order of Santiago (" the Holy Cross"); the bramble corresponds to a toponymic form own of the epoch of the repopulation later to the Reconquest, which is in the habit of using names of plants: Ajofrín (garlic), Cebolla (onion), Almendros (Almond-trees), Perales (Peartrees) (Perales de Tajuña, Perales del Río..), etc.

A last hypothesis aims that the toponym "Zarza" can be related to the group of toponyms derived from the Latin quercus "oak", as Cerceda, Cercedilla, Cercedo, etc. Since quercus is a feminine name of 4 ª decline in Latin, bramble might derive from the form of the Latin quercea, "oak". Another possibility is that from the adjective querceus, " relative to the oak ", there comes the form of neutral plural *quercea, " abundant site(place) in oaks, grove of evergreen oaks ". The evolution would be Quercea> *Kercea> *Kercia> *Cerza> Zarza. Another information in favour of this hypothesis they would be the thick groves of evergreen oaks preserved in the surroundings of the municipality.


The shield of Santa Cruz de la Zarza is formed by a field of silver, Latin Cross of saber supported in divided and cut brambles, being it top part of sinople and it low part of gules. To the stamp, closed Sunflower.



It is located in the northeast region of the province of Toledo, in the border between Toledo, Madrid and Cuenca far 85, 83 and 101 km of its provincial capitals respectively. Its length is 264.54 km2, and its altitude is 790 m. Bordered by the municipalities of Villamanrique de Tajo and Fuentidueña de Tajo in the north, on the province of Madrid; Villarrubia de Santiago and Villatobas, the east; Corral de Almaguer and Cabezamesada, in the south; all of them in the province of Toledo; and Tarancón, Zarza de Tajo, Fuente de Pedro Naharro and Horcajo de Santiago, west, in the province of Cuenca. The township is crossed by the River Tagus. Its location in the northeastern part of the high plateau known as the Mesa de Ocaña offers from the top, with levels higher than 800 m, one of the best perspectives on the valley Tagus.

It can be seen Santa Cruz de la Zarza in Google Maps.

Natural Resources[edit]

In Santa Cruz de la Zarza there is a very important natural asset, presenting unique habitats that have been identified as priorities by the European directives. These are the areas declared as Sites of Community Importance (SCI's), as the steppes of Toledo saline or reservoir plaster in the Tagus valley. There are Areas of Special Protection for Birds (SPB's) in the steppe area north of the stain. For all its lengthy term there are numerous caves, mostly uninhabited, and a large number of oak groves, as well as a host of water wells and water for livestock.[1]


The climate of Santa Cruz de la Zarza is Mediterranean/Continental. The winters are cool, with average temperatures lower than 5°C, night frosts very frequent and occasional snowfall (three or four a year). The summers are hot, with average temperatures higher than 24°C in July and August, with peak can reach 35°C. The thermal oscillation daily is about 10°C.


The village was an important communications center from the Roman, Visigoth and Arab times, as well as a fortified site, given its dominant position over the Tajo valley.

Santa Cruz was yielded to the Military Order of Saint Jacques before 1175, when an "encomienda" was settled down, after the confirmation by Pope Alexander III.

Due to its increasing importance, in 1242, under the "maestrazgo" of Rodrigo Íñiguez, it became the Head of the "encomienda".

In 1253, the master Don Pelay Perez Correa granted to the village its Foundational Chart.


According to the 2003 census its population is of 4,594 inhabitants. Its economy was formerly based on agriculture, mainly dedicated to the grapevine, olive trees and cereals, although it actually grows and moves more and more to the field of industry.

Their main celebrations take place at the end of August, in honor of Our Lady of the Rosary.


  1. ^ Asociación Don Quijote

External links[edit]