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Santa Maria la Real de Nieva

Santa María la Real de Nieva is a municipality located in the province of Segovia, Castile and León, Spain, about 30 km (18 mi) northwest of Segovia town. According to the 2010 census (INE), the municipality has a population of 1,193 inhabitants.VillagesThis municipality includes 14 villages: Aragoneses Balisa Hoyuelos Jemenuño Laguna Rodrigo Miguel Ibáñez Ochando Paradinas Pascuales Pinilla-Ambroz Santa María la Real de Nieva Santovenia Tabladillo VillosladaThe HistoryAll its villages, except Santa María la Real de Nieva village, were repopulated in the 11th century after the region’s Reconquista, during the reign of Alfonso VI of León and Castile. Santa María la Real de Nieva village was founded in 1395 by King Henry III, by the mediation of his wife Catherine of Lancaster. The town’s founding was due to the finding of a buried wooden sculpture of Mary three years before, probably hidden since muslem invasion, in a piece of open ground where the village is now. This fact was considered a miracle, and the Queen ordered the building of a sanctuary and a village around it, to the worship of this Virgin’s image, called Soterraña, an old Spanish word that means 'subterranean'. The Crown proclaimed some privileges to foster the settlement in the village on 1395 and 1407, like tax and conscription exemptions.
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