The less inhabited towns in Spain: Cabañas del Castillo

“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.

Cabañas del Castillo

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

CABAÑAS DEL CASTILLO: ITS 15 INHABITANTS

But here they are, these 15 people willing not to leave their village and make it shine.

Cabañas del Castillo

Pedro, 50 years old. An agent of the Natural Environment in the Monfragüe National Park. Photographer specializing in wildlife photography. He lives in Cabañas since 1995. Originally from Valladolid.

Cabañas del Castillo

Gloria, 82 years old. Housewife. She was born in Cabañas and lives in the same house where his great-great-grandfather, great-grandfather, grandfather and father were born. She has two children and four grandchildren. She has been a widow for 20 years.

 

Cabañas del Castillo

Julia, 75 years old. Field Worker. She has lived all her life in Cabañas. She says, “I’m going to work in the fields until I die.”

 

 

Cabañas del Castillo

Maite (48), dedicated to tourism and living in Cabañas for 18 years, and Andres (45), teacher, in Cabañas for 11 years, along with their children Juan (9), Elsa (7) and Jara (4).

 

Cabañas del Castillo

Benito, 70 years old. Farmworker. He moved to the village 40 years ago.

 

Cabañas del Castillo

Jacinto, 75 years old. Ex Military. He lived many years between France and Switzerland. Married to Julia.

 

 

Cabañas del Castillo

Enriqueta, 71 years old. She has worked in the field all her life and never left her hometown, beyond the daily visits to the neighboring region where her family lives.

 

 

Cabañas del Castillo

Vicente, 72 years old, worker in the field. Has been living in Cabañas for 22 years.

 

 

Cabañas del Castillo

Cristina, 52 years old. Environmental Agent in the region. She bought and remodeled her house in Cabañas with Pedro in 1995.

 

 

Cabañas del Castillo

Julian, 14 years old. He was born in Plasencia and two months later he moved to Cabañas. He is the son of Cristina and Pedro.

 

 

Cabañas del Castillo

Laura, 32 years old. Biologist, specialized in ornithology. Born in Barcelona, she moved to Cabañas two years ago.

 

Place: Cabañas del Castillo, Cáceres, Extremadura, Spain.
Distance from Madrid: 252 kms by the A5 (without toll).

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The less inhabited towns in Spain

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Written by Pie & Pata
Happy is he/she who enjoys family travel.