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Guarromán (Municipality, Andalusia, Spain)

Last modified: 2017-02-11 by ivan sache
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Flag of Guarromán - Image from the Símbolos de Jaén website, 22 January 2017

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Presentation of Guarromán

The municipality of Guarromán (2,861 inhabitants in 2016; 9,621 ha; municipal website) is located 60 km north of Jaén.

Guarromán is one of the New Settlements of Sierra Morena and Andalusia, established by Royal Letters (text) signed on 5 July 1767 in Madrid by King Charles III. The document contains "instructions and the settlement charter to be applied in those [settlements] newly established in the Sierra Morena with natives and Roman Catholic foreigners". The Preamble of the Letters states that Pablo de Olavide, Knight of the Order of St. James, "Assistant" of the king in Seville and Intendent of the Army of Andalusia, is appointed Superintendant General in charge of the direction of the new settlements to be established in Sierra Morena. The king "proposes" that Juan Gaspar de Thurriégel, of Bavarian citizenship and Roman Catholic religion, introduces 6,000 Roman Catholic, German and Flemish colonists in the kingdom.
Pablo de Olavide selected the site of the Guadarromán inn, located on the Royal road connecting Madrid to Seville. Olavide originally intended to name the new settlement Múzquizo or Muzquia, as a tribute to Miguel Múzquiz, Count of Gauda, minister of Charles III and warm supporter of the colonization project. This name, however, was used only in official documents and for a few months. The German and Spanish colonists appear to have preferred the name of the old inn, Guadarromán. Since it is common in Andalusia to skip letter "d" when placed between two vowels, it is not surprising that the name of the place was shortened toGuarromán.
A second wave of colonization was initiated in 1861, linked to an attempt of reactivation of the lead and silver mines of Sierra Morena. Immigrants mostly came from Almería (los tarantos) and of the Lower Alpujarras (los mangurrinos).

Guarrom‡n sounds quite odd in Spanish, guarro meaning "dirty-minded"; Mann means "a man" in German, the language of the first colonists of the place. Accordingly, urban legends connect the name of the town with dirty-minded people rambling along a busy road. As said above, the name of the town is indeed a shortening of Guadarromán, a toponym of Mozarab origin, formed on Wadi-r- rumman, "the river of Granada" (known today as Tamujoso).
This etymology was probably too straightforward to be admitted for such an odd name. Another spurious theory claims thatGuarromán refers to Juan Román, an alleged famous owner of the inn. Yet another, equally spurious, theory that gained a large audience is credited to the French writer Étienne-François de Lantier (1734-1826), in Voyage en Espagne du chevalier Saint-Gervais, officier français, et les divers événements de son voyage, published in 1809 in Paris. the author claims thatGuarromán is a bastardized form of Guarda Romana, alluding to a post located on the old Roman road.
[José María Suárez Gallego. Sobre el nombre deGuarromán, 30 August 2005]

The village of Zocueca, located 10 km south ofGuarromán, is the site of a Christian sanctuary known since 1150 and completely rebuilt in the 17th century. The Virgin of Zocueca is celebrated by a pilgrimage organized the last Sunday of September since 1922, the year the Virgin repelled swarms of locusts threatening the orchards of San Vicente.
The Zocueca sanctuary was proclaimed a Monument of Cultural Interest by Decree No. 191, adopted on 24 June 2003 by the Government of Andalusia and published on 25 July 2003 in the official gazette of Andalusia, No. 142, pp. 17,034-17,035 (text) and on 21 August 2003 in the Spanish official gazette, No. 200, pp. 32,291-32,292 (text).

Ivan Sache, 22 January 2017

Symbols of Guarromán

The flag ofGuarromán (photo) is horizontally divided light blue-white-green (1:2:1) with the municipal coat of arms in the middle. Neither the flag not the arms appear to have been officially registered.
The flag is, undoubtedly, derived from the flag designed in 1990 by José María Suárez Gallego for the Cultural Community of the New Settlements of Sierra Morena and Andalusia, with the substitution of the municipal arms to the emblem of the Community.

The coat of arms ofGuarromán is "Quarterly, 1. Gules a castle or, 2. Argent a lion gules crowned or, 3. Azure three fleurs-de-lis or, 4. Vert a two-arched bridge argent over waves argent and azure. The shield surmounted by a Royal crown open."

Ivan Sache, 22 January 2017