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Report - "Ghost towns" of the Spanish Pyrenees. 04/08/08 - 21/09/08 . Part 1.

Discussion in 'European and International Sites' started by Gemini, Oct 23, 2008.

  1. Gemini

    Gemini Guest
    Guest

    For the last couple of months, I have been hiking across the GR11 which is a long distance footpath stretching 500 miles from Irun on the Atlantic Spanish coast to Cap de Creus on the Mediterranean.

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    This is the Santuario do Muskilda. Day 5.

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    Inside the Font de Saluz. A large derelict church which had some kind of workshop attached to it. Day 15.

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    Estany de Monges. Day 23.

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    This is the town of Jou. Day 26. Almost every house was abandoned with only a couple being used by holiday makers. The town has a long history and a patron saint however I have been unable to find anything about it on the internet since getting home.

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    Across the valley from Jou was the town of Dorve. Day 27. This town was completely abandoned, save for one family who lived a reclusive life in the ruins. However the local authorities plan to try to revive it and were just finishing the first ever road to the town when I passed through.
    How or why the towns came to be like this is a mystery. I can only guess that as farming declined and these places were too far out of the way for tourists, they were slowly deserted.
    Most of the buildings in the towns seemed to date from the 1700’’s. The border kingdoms of Basque, Aragon, Nevarra and Catalunya were only amalgamated into Spain and France when the respective borders clashed in the Napoleonic war. For the people living here, it would have been a difficult time and could be responsible for the desertion of some of the border towns.

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    Estaon was around 50% inhabited. Most of the buildings still in use were as holiday homes. The houses next to them were then turned into make shift patios or gardens once the roofs had fallen in.

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    A few miles further along the trail was Bordes de Nibros. Day 28. This town was completely derelict and had been for several decades.:tumbleweed

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