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Culture and Sports

Associations in the Municipality

The associations in these towns bring together many specific sectors of the population, but do no limit their activities to members. Therefore, there are associations for children, youths, housewives, parents and retirees.

A detailed description of each association that is currently active in the municipality would be much to long, but the following table gives a general view of the current situation:

Towns Name of the Association Date Legalized Activities
Santa María la Real de Nieva Cultural Association "Santa Mª 92" 1989 Local magazine, historical research, conferences, exhibitions, theatre, video projections, etc.
Historical commemorations.
Ladies Consumer Association
"Virgen de la Soterraña"
1984 Reaches 17 towns in the area.
Information for Women. Consumer information.
Cultural excursions
Youth organization
"El Claustro"
1991 Sports, recreation and social activities, mostly for local feast day celebrations
Parent Assoc.
Pre-Sch. and Primary School
1988 Coexistence, excursions, school work etc.
Parent Assoc. "Catalina Lancaster"
Secondary Sch.
1991 Coexistence, excursions, school work etc.
Aragoneses Cultural Association
"Sto. Domingo de Silos"
Balisa Cultural Association
"Virgen del Otero"
Hoyuelos Cultural Association
"Santa Catalina"
Jemenuño Cultural Association
"Santa Marina"
Laguna Rodrigo Cultural Association
"La Cruz"
Miguel-Ibáñez Cultural Association
"Miguel Ibáñez"
Youth Organization
"El Minotauro"
Property Owners Association
Ochando Cultural Association
"Somingo de Soto"
Paradinas Cultural Association
"Fray Esteban de las Monjas"
1992 Cultural, sports and social activities, culture week, Museum and Library. Environmental Conservation and Historical Preservation
Santovenia Cultural Association
"31 de Agosto"
Villoslada Cultural Association
"La Encina Gorda"

Traditions and Legends

Many tales of miracles of the Virgen de Soterraña have been handed down by tradition. Since the beginning, she was invoked as the “protector against flash and lightening.” She “protects against epidemics, hail and large dangers, heals the lame, the crippled and the gravely ill, brings joy to women giving birth, resurrects the dead, puts out fires, halts the sun and gives health to the many with the earth from the cave and the oils of the lamps in the sanctuary.” The writings of Father Yuramí and of Fernández de Monjaraz record more than 50 miracles, and include testimonies and information of a legal nature. One of the reported miracles took place in 1617, when large axes and a wax candle that had burned before the figure of the Virgin gained in weight.

One of best-known tales is about a giant snake whose skin was filled with hay and is preserved in the church of Santa María la Real de Nieva:

A shepherd who was feeding the serpent with milk was drafted to the army, where he remained for two years; when he returned the snake did not recognize him and attacked him. The shepherd asked for help from a hunter, ensuring him that he needed to kill a rabbit. Upon seeing the snake, the hunter appealed to the Virgin, who interceded and killed the snake with a single shot.

The church also preserves the corpse of a man in a wood and glass urn. It is the shepherd Pedro Amador, to whom the Dominican monks entrusted to care for the altar of the Virgin. Later, he was buried at her feet. She was then transferred to the alcove where she is currently held. They say that in 1566, when the procession was about to leave the church, it was detained by greater forces before the tomb of the shepherd. The tomb opened to reveal the uncorrupted body of the shepherd. For this reason, the tomb was transferred to the chancel and then to the Virgin´s alcove, where it remains today. There is another tale, this time about a woman from Segovia named doña María de Peñalosa, who when she tried to cut off a piece of the taffeta that covers the body of the shepherd, her scissors broke in two.

Also, according to tradition, in 1428 the image of the Virgin was transferred from the spot where she appeared to the main altar. The next day, she was found to have abandoned her new place to return to her former spot. Consequently, a new figure was carved and placed at the original spot, and the original figure was once again placed on the main altar.

Another that has been handed down through oral tradition is about the Virgen de Matamala in Santovenia. Some shepherds where tending to their flock when a storm struck and they were forced to take shelter in the shrine. At one point, they noticed that the wind had changed direction, and the shepherds started to move to another spot; lightening then struck the spot where they had been standing. Another version of the story says that the lightening caused a brick to fall and strike the heart of the Virgin, thereby saving the shepherds who had sought refuge there.

The "Botón de Balisa"

Lastly, we would like to briefly tell the story that is told about the rock known as the “Botón de Balisa”, which we have already mentioned in the Art and Architecture section of this website.

According to Tomás Marugán, "Baltasar", the family of his grandfather Sotero Arribas, "Los Panzas" was travelling with donkeys from Nava de la Asunción to the hillsides of Villoslada and Balisa to gather the stones that señora Ramona Romana, Emilia and other women were breaking and that would then be incrusted in the threshers that were made in Ochando from sawed wood and later sold in Peñaranda de Bracamonte and the province of Toledo. On these trips, someone made the comment that the stone in Balisa would make a good button for the “buttonhole,” or two hollows that had formed in the Navaverde field in Nava de la Asunción. This last story was confirmed by Julia Jiménez who remembers that as a child, her father, Rufino, and her mother, Emilia Ajo, broke stones that were then sold to the threshers of Cantalejo, and also how the bells tolled in Balisa on the night of All Saints.