Villavicencio Coat of Arms

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Searching for Villavicencio Origin

The earliest recorded use of the name "Villavicencio" occurred with Miguel Fernandez, Lord of Villavicencio." Miguel Fernandez was a vassal of the Lord VIII Alonso, King of Leon and Castille. He was a "rico-hombre", was rewarded with vast lands and given many privileges by the king in 1198. The place-name "Villavicencio de los Caballeros" located in Valladolid, Spain was where Miguel's knights and their families settled in the late 12th century. It was a village of conquerors and Miguel was the progenitor of the knights of this lineage.

"Villavicencio de los Caballeros" was the place where Miguel Fernandez, Lord of Villavicencio was given jurisdiction by Alonso VIII. At one time an ancient castle existed in the village and the Sahagun monks had a monastery there. The place was referred to as the Villavicencio Manor and owned by Garcia Fernandez Rasura, son of Miguel Fernandez. There were political problems with regards to the ownership of the villa which was being shared with the Sahagun monks.

Garcia Fernandez Rasura served the king at the Battle of Las Navas de Tolosa in 1212 as squadron leader where he fought against the Moors with great courage. Heavily wounded, he chanced upon the king and fell on his feet. The king held on to his harness and his royal hands became bloody. Thus, he ordered the addition of five bleeding fingers on their coat of arms which was blue stripes on gold in memory of the valour of Garcia. It became the coat of arms of the Knights of the Lords of the Banda Villavicencio which was instituted in Burgos by King Alonso (Alfonso) VIII in earlier years. He became known as Garcia Fernandez Rasura de Villavicencio.

In my quest to search for the origins of my family name and to discover the background of the people bearing this name, I went on a journey to Spain to fulfill my objectives. I knew that this will be a difficult endeavor because I did not speak nor understood Spanish except for the limited Spanish words I learned from my parents and the four semesters of Spanish classes I took in college. It is only now that I wished I had been serious in learing the language when I was still in school.

Luckily, my good friend Celia Teves who lives in Spain referred me to a Spanish-speaking Filipino who operated a car service. Gregorio Salvador Santos became my tourist guide, translator and chauffeur for this very important trip. We started as early as 8 a.m. from Madrid so that we could be in our destination before lunch. Google maps showed that the trip will take about 2 hours and 47 minutes or about 267 kms. From Madrid, we drove approximately 240 kms Northwest on A-6 for about 2.5 hours. It was the morning rush hour and we were delayed. We took the exit 236 off the A-6 expressway towards Palencia, driving on rural roads on CL-612 for about 7.8 kms while passing through Villalpando and Villamayor de Campos. Then we turned left on ZA-504 and travelled for about 20 kms passing through Villar de Fallaves, Castroverde de Campos, Bolanos de Campos until we reached our destination at Villavicencio de los Caballeros. There were few vehicles traversing thru these rural roads and the routes appears isolated. As one travels through this route you can see the beauty of the country with its farmlands and encounter ruins of some old village from time to time. Finally, we reached our destination a little after 11:00 a.m.

Below are pictures of the town of Villavicencio de los Caballeros:

Villavicencio de los Caballeros

At the entrance of the town of Villavicencio de los Caballeros

villavicencio map

Map of Tierra de Campos

Villavicencio de los Caballeros Map

Map showing location of Villavicencio de los Caballeros

villavicencio sign

Signpost and Historical Landmarks

Iglesia de San Pelayo

Iglesia de San Pelayo

San Pelayo Sign


San Pelayo Tower

The Moorish Tower of Iglesia de San Pelayo

San Pelayo Ruins

Ruins of Iglesia de San Pelayo

San Pelayo Ruins


Villavicencio Town 1

Background is the old town of Villavicencio de los Caballeros

Villavicencio Town 2

Back of Sahagun Monastery

Villavicencio Town 3

At the front of Iglesia de Santa Maria de la Asuncion.
This is a sixteenth century structure with baroque style.
Notice the 3 bells.

Villavicencio Town 4

Back of Iglesia de Santa Maria de la Asuncion

Villavicencio Town 5

The quiet town of Villavicencio de los Caballeros

Villavicencio Town 6

Villavicencio Town 7


Villavicencio Town 8

Ruins of buildings in the town of Villavicencio de los Caballeros

Villavicencio Town 9


Villavicencio Town 10


Villavicencio Town 11

The empty town of Villavicencio de los Caballeros

Villavicencio Town 12

Casa-Palacio de los Francos

Villavicencio Town 13

Sahagun Monastery of Benedictine nuns

Through my chauffeur/tourist guide/ interpreter, we were able to communicate with the town officials. There were only 2 people in the municipal hall, the mayor - Alberto Rueda and an officer. Salvador was able to communicate with them in Spanish and he was my translator. Unfortunately, the people we spoke to gave us only a general idea of the history of the town. They could not give details about the early settlers of the village nor how the village was named as such.

The village has become a summer retreat village where old timers come usually during the Lenten season for Easter and on other festival holidays that include the Immaculate Concepcion on December 8 and during the town fiesta, Fiestas Patronales del Santisimo Cristo de la Gracia on September 14. The town is very quiet with hardly any people except for very few old people who rarely go out of their houses. We were hoping to eat lunch at one of the local restaurants called Bodega Escudero at Calle Democracia but unfortunately it was closed.

After our meeting with the town officials and taking pictures around town, its old churches and ruins we headed back to Madrid. We stayed in the place for only about 1.5 to 2 hours. It was indeed a fruitful experience.

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