“The empty Spain is an extensive territory that has no cities. The inhabitants of this empty Spain feel abandoned to their fate. Many (…) invent a past full of life and children and people. But the fact is that the empty Spain was never full. The imbalance, that was always very noticeable, even in centuries prior to the industrial revolution, is now insurmountable.
In more than half of the territory (53%) live 15.6% of the population, or 9.9% if we count the administrative centers. In other words, 84.4% of Spaniards live tight in 48% of the territory.
The landscape that this Great Trauma has painted (the rapid urbanization of Spain) defines the country and has left an enormous mark on its inhabitants. There is an empty Spain in which a handful of Spaniards live, but there is another empty Spain that lives in the minds and memories of millions of Spaniards. “
Fragments of La España Vacía of Sergio del Molino.
CABAÑAS DEL CASTILLO, ONE OF THE LESS INHABITED TOWNS IN SPAIN
Gloria, Julia, Jacinto, Enriqueta, Vicente, Benito, Cristina, Pedro, Maite, Andrés, Laura, Julián, Juan, Elsa and Jara. Fifteen people between 82 and 4 years of age walk day after day in the streets of Cabañas del Castillo, an Extremadura town under the shadow of a large rocky hill on which lies the ruins of an old castle. It is located in the Sierra de las Villuercas, just 110 kms away from Cáceres. They are fifteen and no one else. The rest of the houses are either abandoned or, for the most part, rebuilt as weekend houses for people from other places.
Today is a weekday, and Cabañas del Castillo is a silent town, where if you do not knock on the door of a house, it is difficult to meet someone in the streets. However if one does knock, that door opens wide to let the guest pass with enormous kindness and sympathy. They are people with a different rhythm, in constant contact with nature and with life in the countryside.
From all over the town, you can see the beautiful rock wall that protects them from the wind, and there at the top, the ruins of the castle of Muslim origin with three towers that have stood tall since the 12th century. The view from up there is unmatched, and the sunset, one of the most wonderful sunsets I have ever seen. (You can see the photo gallery of Cabañas del Castillo by clicking here).
Cabañas del Castillo is, along with thousands of other sites in Spain, a town affected by the great changes that took place in the countryside in the last century. The machines began to replace the man, the young began to travel to the big cities in search of better opportunities of studies and work, and the towns and villages started to be forgotten. The urbanization was too fast and the cities collapsed. The field began to enter a decline without return and thousands of villages were completely emptied and abandoned.
CABAÑAS DEL CASTILLO: ITS 15 INHABITANTS
But here they are, these 15 people willing not to leave their village and make it shine.
Place: Cabañas del Castillo, Cáceres, Extremadura, Spain.
Distance from Madrid: 252 kms by the A5 (without toll).