The last abandoned village

Excursion to an abandoned village

In this excursion we showed three different abandoned sites: two former industrial colonies and an abandoned village due to rural crisis in the last decades. This report will focus on the visit of this former site. As always, the definite name and localization of the village will not be published, as it is not an aim of this web to spread the names of abandoned sites with a rich heritage that could be stolen or destroyed. If you are interested in knowing more about it, please contact us.
This village is located a few kilometers from Teruel, province’s capital. This village had 180 inhabitants in the 50’s. People living there use to work in cattle and irrigated agriculture (there are fertile soils close to the village thanks to a river that passes just a few meters away) where many vegetables and fruits were grown, especially lucerne and barley. The area is very rich in soils, fauna, flora and minerals (in the nearby there were sulfur mines), nevertheless, as the vast majority of the province, it suffered a very deep rural crisis due to emigration to urban agglomerations. 

The process usually begins with the emigration of young girls, as the boys were who inherited the land, the basis of rural economy. They looked for a job in the city and  a different life with more freedom. In the case of this village, the proximity of Teruel, the only city in the province, exacerbated emigration. After, youngsters follow, attracted with new opportunities of the city, not only in employment, but also in life quality (basic things in the urban world of today, such immediate access to electricity,  clean water, education, health and today internet is not always found in many rural areas still today). Afterwards are whole families who leave for better chances in the city, and it ends up with the total abandonment of it, as it was the case of this village.

The village was abandoned around 2004, something which shows us, that these processes are still operating in some rural areas in Spain, though the wide range of spatial plans, rural policies and funds that the government and the EU has been developing in such areas since the 80’s. In the case of this village, some families went to Teruel and others to the coastal industry town of Puerto de Sagunto, which was until the 90’s an important steel industry center. Many of the inhabitants used to come back to the village in summer, but slowly most of them died and their children preferred to stay in the city, where their roots are. Until a few years ago, still a couple was living there, but after the death of the husband, the wife decided to leave the village for ever.

A sad story in a very scenery and rich environment: wild mountains, rivers, poplar groves and  an interesting badland landscape

 Two views of the main street, today covered with thickets and bushes. Some of the houses do not exist anymore. The village has a main street with 20 houses, most of them dilapidated. In Autumn 2011, three  of the houses collapsed after a heavy storm, destroying all the house appliances, furniture and memories of the generations that lived there. Apart from that, the village had a school and a church (the only building to have been restored).

View of the church, recently restored but remains locked.

The main classroom of the school, in a three-storey building that had other two smaller rooms, which shows us that some time ago, a lot of children lived and learned here.

A table in one of the houses with a letter, buttons, a hank and other domestic items.

One sleeping room, still with clothes, medicines, furniture and even letters and photographs of the former owners.

Another view of the past, the house in front of collapsed in Autumn 2011.

A fireplace in a kitchen, the former chimney or kitchen has been stolen

The team of explorers who participated in this interesting excursion.

Exploring abandoned places always implies some risks and adventure, here our car stuck on the mug after a heavy rain, in the middle of nowhere.