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Posted by: Tristan Salazar (ID *****4300) Date: April 06, 2003 at 07:15:36
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According to the historian VILAR,two Salazar brothers-Galindo and Gaston(of Roncevalles fame) left the Salazar valley and headed west to finally settle in LA SIERRA DE LA TESLA in OLD CASTILLE.Several sources say that it was here that they founded the town of SALAZAR, North west of Medina da Poma. According to my great grandfather Lorenzo Salazar. one can still see many old castles and ruins belonging to the family at this small town. I have yet to visit SALAZAR and as Lorenzo was writing over 100 years ago I hope that these ruins are still there! Apparently this town lies in a valley so one has to be careful when reading about the Salazars not to confuse this valley with the orignal Salazar Valley in Navarra!

Lorenzo writes in Italian---" L'illustre casa Salazar e originaria di Castiglia la Vecchia, e nel lugo di SALAZAR essa teneva la principale sua dimora la dove si vedeano superbe torri demolite ed equiparate al suolo. Questa famiglia ando superba d'essere annoverato tra le piu nobili ed antiche della Vecchia Castiglia."

Medina Da Poma is the site of a powerful two towered castle built in the 14th C by the VELASCO family,the arch enemy and ultimately the nemesis of the Salazar Family.It is due to the VELASCO family that the Salazars lost everything they owned including 37 castles dotted all over this region.( more on this dastardly deed later!) Today this town is proud of its most famous son JUAN DE SALAZAR who went to the New World in 1547 and founded the town of ASUNCION, capital of Paraguay.

The first documented history of the Salazars begins here in Castille in the year 982 A.D. It would seem that 200 yrs after the battle of Roncevalles when the 2 brothers left Navarre the Salazars had established themselves as one of the four most powerful families in the whole of his vast region which is now made up of the modern day provinces of Cantabria, Burgos, La Rioja, Palencia, Valladolid, Segovia, Soria and Avilla. Old Castille was said to derive its name from the great number of Castles it contained which the Spanish Captains and their retainers won from the Moors, and wherein they fortified themselves, and defied the forces which garrisoned the Mussalman (Moorish) towns.According to the historian SALAZAR DE MENDOZA, a castle was emblazoned on the escutcheon of Castille as far back as the reign of Dona Urraca (1109.

The early Salazar coat of arms was a Tower or Castle similar to that of Castille, which is quite appropriate when one considers the family's obsession with building castles and towers all over this area.Certainly in early Italian documents the family were often referred to as 'Signore delle Torre de Salazar' (Lords of the Salazar Towers)It is somewhat ironic that the name SALA ZAR means Old Manor House or Castle!

So here we have these two brothers setting up one branch of the family in the town to which they gave their name. Another branch of the family headed by GONZALO MARTINEZ DE SALAZAR had its castle (SAN MARETINO) at SOMMOROSTRO just outside Bilbao.You can still see this castle today, definitely worth a visit if you are in thia part of Spain.MARTIN GALINDO DE SALAZAR, son of the afore mentioned GONZALO was a very courageous warrior who fought against the Moors and served as a mentor to the invincible Count of Castille, Fernan Gonzalez in the province of Viscaya.

"de la grande y nobilissima familia de Salazar han descendio muchos cavalleros co jurisdiciones, tierras y vassallos, con que sirvieron a los Reyes en todo tempos: han emparentado con las illustre familias de Espana; tienen muchos casa y solares en Viscaya como es la de San Martino de Sommorostro, en Quintana de Martin Galindez iunto a la Ciudad de Frias."

Tristan Salazar.

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