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Moya (Municipality, Castilla-La Mancha, Spain)

Last modified: 2019-10-19 by ivan sache
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Flag of Moya - Image by Ivan Sache, 1 July 2019

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Presentation of Moya

The municipality of Moya (172 inhabitants in 2014; 9,173 ha; unofficial website) is located in the north-east of the Province of Cuenca.

Moya was settled by King of Castile Alfonso VIII after the seizure of the castles of El Cuervo, Castielfabib, Ademuz and Serrenilla by his rival, King Peter II of Aragón (1210). Due to its strategic position on the border between the two kingdoms, the area was known as the Key of the Kingdoms. The privileges granted by Alfonso VIII were confirmed by Ferdinand III, so that Moya soon became a powerful domain, with jurisdiction on 33 villages. Moya remained part of the Royal domain, until 4 July 1480, when Isabel the Catholic offered the domain to her chamberlain, Beatríz de Bobadilla (1440-1511), and her husband, Andrés de Cabrera (1430-1511), made Marquess of Moya, as a reward for having guarded the treasure of the Crown in the Segovia alcázar during the Castilian Civil War. At the time, Moya was the main river port in the area, being the only town with access to river Turia.

In the beginning of the 19th century, the inhabitants abandoned the citadel and established new boroughs downhill. Deserted in 1950, the citadel was progressively ruined. With the support of the Association of the Friends of Moya, the citadel was registered an Artistic and Historical Monument on 3 September 1982.

Ivan Sache, 1 July 2019

Symbols of Moya

The flag and arms of Moya are prescribed by an Order issued on 17 September 2014 by the Government of Castilla-La Mancha and published on 6 October 2014 in the official gazette of Castilla-La Mancha, No. 192, p. 30,843 (text).
The symbols are described as follows:

Flag: Rectangular, in proportions 2:3, made of two equal vertical stripes, red at hoist, for the blood shed during the conquest, and white at fly, with the coat of arms centered.
Coat of arms: Shield: In Spanish style, triangular, rounded-off in base.
Canton dexter [indeed, sinister]: On a green field a golden goat symbolizing the 1st Marquess, Andrés de Cabrera. It was derived from the proper arms of the Marquess' lineage.
Canton sinister [indeed, dexter]: On a white field of purity the Cross of the Trinitarians as a symbol of devotion to the Tejada Virgin and, most of all, of the monastery that keeps it, matching the Trinitarian Cross, with red vertical arms and blue horizontal arms.
Grafted in base: On a field gules, a tower or with a ladder accosty. Crown: Royal crown or, for its dependence since the 18th century, made of a circle set up with gems on a field gules, surmounted by a cross.

The coat of arms is "Per pale, 1. Argent a cross patty azure and gules, 2. Vert a goat or passant. Grafted in base, gules a tower or masoned sable and port and windows of the same a ladder or adextered. The shield surmounted by a Royal crown closed."
The historical and heraldical memoir supporting the proposed symbols was redacted by Miguel Romero Saíz, Ph.D in History, corresponding member of the Royal Academy of History, and member of the Association of the Friends of Moya. The memoir was validated on 18 October 2013 by the Municipal Council and approved on 24 March 2014 by the Royal Academy of History. The proposed symbols were eventually adopted on 27 March 2014.
The historian proposed that the second stripe of the flag is white or green, with a preference for white - for a better match of the flag with the Trinitarian Cross -, which was eventually adopted.

The Trinitarian Cross is the emblem of the Trinitarian Order (Order of the Most Holy Trinity for the Redemption of the Captives; website), founded near Paris at the end of the 12th century by St. John of Matha (1160-1213) and approved on 17 December 1198 by Pope Innocent III (Bull Operante Divine Dispositionis). The cross recalls that the Trinitarian Order was active in Moya, and, most of all, established the monastery of Tejeda, the symbol of devotion in the Land of Moya; the Cross decorates the keystone on the vault of the cupula of the St. Mary church in Moya.
The goat comes from the canting arms of the Cabrera family, "Or a goat sable", recalling that Andrés de Cabrera was made Marquess of Moya in 1480 . The tower and the ladder recall the reconquest of the citadel of Moya.
[Teodoro Sáez Fernández. 2015. El nuevo escudo municipal de Moya. Moya, No. 41, January 2015, pp. 3-6]

The white coat with the red and blue cross is the emblem of the Trinitarians, representing the Holy Trinity.
The Trinitarian Cross is attached as a scapular on the statue of the Christ of Medinaceli (17th century, aka the Lord of Madrid). Venerated in the town of La Mamora (today, Mehduya, Morocco), the statue was captured in 1681 after the seizure of the town by Sultan Muley Ismail. Brought to Meknes, the statue was carried through the streets as a symbol of triumph. A Trinitarian Friar offered the Sultan the statute's weight in golden coins as a ransom. When the father was about to deliver the ransom, the statue miraculously decreased in size. Attached to the statue as a safe-conduct and a proof of payment, the scapulary allowed the statue to be brought back to Madrid in 1682.
The Trinitarian Cross is featured on the big monument dedicated to the writer Miguel de Cervantes, erected in 1929 on the Plaza de España in Madrid. It recalls that the ransom for the writer, captive in Algiers, was paid by the Trinitarian Friar Juan Gil.

The Trinitarian Cross is represented either as a cross patty or a cross coupy. The tradition says that the original cross patty was superseded by a cross coupy after the reform of the Trinitarian Order by St. John Baptist of the Conception (1561-1613), who established in Valdepeñas the first community of Discalced Trinitarians.
[Spanish Provinces of the Trinitarian Order]

The pilgrimage of the Virgin of Tejada of Moya (description) has been organized on 16 September every seven years since 1639, when the Virgin miraculously ended a long period of drought. The pilgrimage route (17 km) connects the sanctuary of Tejeda la Vieja (presentation) to the ruins of the citadel of Moya, crossing the towns of Garaballa, Landete and Mora. The last pilgrimage was organized 16 September 2018.
During a former edition of the pilgrimage, in 2011, "a minority led by the Mayor of Garaballa" decided to add a wig to the statue of the Virgin of Tejada, without the consent of the religious authorities. This ornamentation, indeed prescribed by an Ordinance of the Municipal Council, stirred up a violent dispute that could be settled only with the intervention of the Civil Guard. The priest of the Tejada sanctuary eventually accepted the wig, "to prevent the reiteration of such unpleasant situations".
[ABC, 7 September 2011; Periodista Digital, 8 September 2011]

Ivan Sache, 1 July 2019