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Tielmes (Municipality, Community of Madrid, Spain)

Last modified: 2016-05-22 by ivan sache
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Flag of Tielmes - Image by Ivan Sache, 27 July 2015

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Presentation of Tielmes

The municipality of Tielmes (2,617 inhabitants in 2014; 2,700 ha; tourism guide) is located in the south-east of the Community of Madrid, 45 km of Madrid and 30 km of Alcalá de Henares.

Tielmes was named from the Latin toponym Thermada, derived from thermae-arum; this place, mentioned by Ptolemy, would be related to warm water baths that might have existed in the Roman times; the healing property of the sulphur-bearing water of the Amarguilla source, located in the northern part of the municipal territory and today concealed by marshy plants, has indeed been famous for ages, like those from the neighbouring town of Carabaña. Another etymology is related to the medieval toponym Termes, derived from the Latin word for "termite"; those insects indeed thrive in warm and wet environment, as found in Tielmes.

A significant Prehistoric site was discovered in 1971 in the Juan Barbero cave; excavations performed by Isabel Martínez Navarrete (El comenzo de la metaluriga in la provincia: la cueva y cerro de Juan Barbero, Trabajos de Prehistoria, 41, 17-89, 1984) yielded idols, ceramics and arrowheads, which were transferred to the National Museum of Archeology. Dated back to the transition between the Ages of Bronze and Iron, the Tielmes site is the first site from the ages of metals found in the Community of Madrid.

Tielmes was first documented in a donation made on 25 March 1190 by King Alfonso VIII to the Council of Segovia. The village was transferred 25 years later to the Bishop of Toledo, Rodrigo Jiménez de Rada (aka El Toledano; c. 1170-1247), who incorporated it to the Land of Alcalá, amending in 1223 the charter originally granted in 1135. Following the 1468 epidemics of black plague, Tielmes was deserted for 60 years. The village re-emerged in 1530, the year of re-establishment of the baptismal register. Tielmes was re-settled by Íñigo López de Mendoza, Marquis of Mondéjar, who was granted the village in 1512 by the Catholic Monarchs. The municipality of Tielmes was re-established in 1554, to be sold in 1606 by Philip III to Pedro Ledesma Ruy Gómez de Silva y Mendoza, Count of Villalonga. His heirs sold Tielmes in 1635 to a Genoan banker, Julio César Escazuola y Juzén, who built a palace, a bridge over river Tajuña, but was prevented by death in 1652 to complete the building of the new church, postponed for the next 125 years.

Ivan Sache, 27 July 2015

Symbols of Tielmes

The flag of Tielmes (photo, photo, photo) is prescribed by a Decree adopted on 1 August 2002 by the Government of the Community of Madrid and published on 14 August 2002 in the official gazette of the Community of Madrid, No. 192, p. 40 (text), and on 29 August 2002 in the Spanish official gazette, No. 207, p. 31,900 (text).
The flag, originally adopted on 3 July 2002 by the Municipal Council, was validated on 9 July 2002 by the Heraldry Assessors (Royal Academy "Matritense" of Heraldry and Genealogy).
The flag is described as follows:

Flag: Rectangular panel, in proportions 2:3, vertically divided in three parts, the central part, white, of double length, the other parts, red. In the center is placed the coat of arms of the municipality, surmounted with a Royal crown.

The flag was selected among different proposals entered into a public contest. The colours are derived from the coat of arms, red as a symbol of martyr and white as a symbol of purity.
[Tourism guide]

The coat of arms of Tielmes is prescribed by a Decree adopted on 9 April 1987 by the Government of the Community of Madrid and published on 22 April 1987 in the official gazette of the Community of Madrid, No. 94, p. 2 (text) and on 22 May 1987 in the Spanish official gazette, No. 122, p. 15,033 (text).
The coat of arms is described as follows:

Coat of arms: Per pale, 1. Argent a mannequin issuant from flames gules, 2. Gules two writing tablets or per pale two palms of the same crossed per saltire. The shield surmounted with a Royal crown closed.

The coat of arms represents the pagan and Christian traditions in Tielmes. The first quarter features the trunk of a big tree surmounted by an anthropomorphic figure, erected on the village square on Resurrection's Sunday, The tree is eventually set to fire, symbolizing the repelling of evil from the community. Called Judas' Burning and documented in Spain since 1664, the ceremony is indeed a re-enaction of pre-Christian rituals.
The second quarter features the attributes of the Saints Children Justus and Pastor, two schoolboys allegedly born in Tielmes / Termada as the sons of St. Vidal, and beheaded outside Complutum (Alcalá de Henares) on 6 August 306, during the Diocletian persecution. The tablets recall their age (6 and 9, respectively), while the palms are a symbol of martyr.
[Tourism guide]

Ivan Sache, 27 July 2015