Santa María la Real de Nieva
sanctuary of the virgin of Soterraña
Dominican church and priory
Santa María la Real de Nieva is a municipality located in the province of Segovia, Castile and León, Spain.
A brief description.
In September 1392 the Blessed Virgin appeared unto the shepherd Pedro Amador Vásquez in a small statue that he found below the earth, and informed the bishop of Segovia. He acquainted Catalina of Lancaster, king Henry III of Castilian’s wife, with this treasure, and they founded a great rural estate, named Villa Santa Maria la Real de Nieva with a priory and a church for the pilgrims, leaved in the care of the Dominicans.
In 1476 Queen Isabella decreed that the inhabitants of the Villa are exempted from imposed taxes and receive the right to graze their flocks everywhere, and to cleave wood at any place.
The Dominicans, favoured by the Kings, built a Romanesque church with priory with a wonderful cloister (claustrum) at the end of the 14th century, in late Roman style. It is decorated with 68 arches, rests on 85 columns, ornated with capitals with scenes from the life of Jesus and the blessed Virgin, like the Annunciation, and the Flight into Egypt.
Two of these capitals are issued as Christmas stamps of Spain in 1978.
Sources: Internet Segovia, Spanish Postage and others.
<<<<< The Annunciation
The Flight into Egypt >>>>>>
Spain 1978, Mi 2383-2384, Sc 2118-2119.
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