Under the imposing peaks of Sierra Nevada hides a small village of no more than 300 inhabitants whose life revolves around witches. Soportugar is a Spanish village and municipality located in the north-western part of the Alpujarra Granadina region, in the province of Granada. On the south face of the Sierra Nevada National Park. The popularly accepted etymology of the name is < place of arcades > from the Latin term < arcade >.
Located between two popular towns in the area, just over 10 minutes from Orgiva and Pampaneira, it is not lost because its detour is marked with a mural where the first witch appears. El Ojo de la Bruja cave is before you arrive, and its magic comes mainly from the fantasies of the young people of the place, who for years used the caves as a playground and a walk in the afternoons and winter nights. At the entrance of the town, gigantic and terrifying, the witch Baba Yaga awaits us. Baba Yaga has no relationship with Soportujar or with the Alpujarras. It is, in fact, a witch from Slavic mythology, but the Alpujarras has always been a place of arrival for people from all over the world, since the sixties and seventies. Baba Yaga, like those hippies who arrived decades ago, and who continue to arrive, could move from here to there thanks to his house with chicken feet that allowed him to move.
Within the urban area, between alleys and small squares, we find other places of magic and fantasy such as Hansel y Gretel chocolate house. The dream weaver spider. The bewitching viewpoint. The dragon fountain. The well of wishes. And many more...
There are two most plausible reasons to justify the nickname of sorcerer and witch to the inhabitants of Soportujar. The first, with historical documents that support it, has its origin in the remoteness of La Alpujarra " Here it took days to get to a doctor by donkey ". For this reason, women began to cure minor illnesses with herbs and natural treatments. Over time, their skills and knowledge improved, and more and more diseases were cured in this way. Herbs, plants and rosary, that was the formula, and the rosary was very important because, over time, and in order not to have problems with the Catholic Church, women learned to add something religious at the end. It is said that this method of healing has survived for so many centuries, because the Christian Church did not dare to suppress it. Before, at the time of the inquisition, Torquemada initiated two processes against two women accused of witchcraft for these matters.
The second version is that some families from rural Galicia came to this area of Granada to repopulate it after the expulsion of the Moors, the Muslims who supposedly adopted the Catholic religion to stay in Spain after the expulsion of the Arabs. It is presumed that these Galician families were the ones who brought their customs, pagan legends and of sorceresses and witches. This event took place in the 16th century during the reign of Felipe II, but it is not historically verified.