The Galician village of A Barca is being given away by the local council to anyone prepared to restore it, which could cost as much as a million Euros.
A Barca, on the banks of the Minho river in the Galician province of Orense, is one of an estimated 3,000 villages in Spain that has been abandoned as a consequence of rural depopulation.
A Barca used to be an important “centre of communications” with a strategic position at a river crossing on the Royal Road to Castilla (Camino Real a Castilla), claims the website of Cortegada, the municipality to which A Barca belongs.
“The Charming Village Barca”
“Type people, direferentes trades and guilds, with their goods had to pass through this point to cross the Minho, which meant that the people had a transient flow that contributed to the same economic and cultural vitality, giving a vitality unusual environment,” explains the webpage marketing in the abandoned village, in a very bad translation of the original Spanish text (but you get the idea).
A Barca’s fortunes went into a tailspin in the ‘50s, after a dam was built, and a new bridge over the river at another point meant all the traffic on which the village thrived went elsewhere. With their economic livelihood good, the residents had to abandon ship.
“This village, with stone houses remains important, fountains, bridges …, is today in a state of neglect, it is therefore proposed rehabilitation to create a village environment, a new farm tourism and leisure,” explains the official webpage. One has to assume that the town council will be only to happy to facilitate planning permission to any investor prepared to take on the project.
There are a total of twelve stone buildings still standing in various states of ruin. The only problem is that it will take an estimated one million Euros to restore the village, according to Rafael Canales, a broker who specialises in abandoned Spanish villages. For that kind of money you can get a prime property in some of Spain’s most sought after destinations, not to mention an abandoned village in much better shape.