Deshabitada

When we were mapping where next we’d go on our trip through Northern Spain, we noticed that a lot of towns in Huesca were marked as “deshabitada” or uninhabited.  So we kept our eyes open as we drove west towards Navarre, and pulled over when we saw what appeared to be a quaint hilltop town.  A sign read “Escó.”  We started walking up a dirt road and came upon a man herding about a hundred goats, who were roaming free through what we realized were the remains of buildings.  They bleated atop piles of broken stone bricks, and in broken Spanish, we approached the man and asked him if we could keep walking into the town.  The buildings were hollowed out, no floors, no ceilings, and most of the structures still standing looked like they could topple over if the wind was strong enough. The inside of the church at the top of the town I especially wanted to explore, but its roof seemed just too unstable, so I only crossed the threshold by a few steps to take a photo or two.  When I turned back around, I couldn’t find Phillip at all, and started to look for him, recognizing just how strange it was to be in this decrepit town.  I turned down another street, and heard a big, old-man sneeze.  Sufficiently freaked out, and skittering down the road to the base of the town, I found Phillip and we continued on our way.

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When we found an internet connection, we did some research on Escó, and found that there was a lot to know about this creepy little place.  At one time, Escó was booming agricultural town, but the creation of a dam on the nearby Aragon River caused much of the valley, where crops were grown, to flood, and its inhabitants were forced to leave. We also learned that only one family chose to remain in Escó, sheepherders, one of whom we think we met when we first arrived in town.  When we left, he and his sheep were no longer anywhere in sight.

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6 thoughts on “Deshabitada

    • And I have to wonder, for the one family that still lives there, what it was like to watch everyone leave. For it to be a lively town one week, and dead just a few later! I wonder why they stayed…

  1. I wonder how the one family does it alone? It makes one worry about their health, livelihood, and so much more. Possibly they didn’t want to leave the only place they have ever known during a flood. Or couldn’t leave. Sad and a little mysterious! Thank you for sharing this.

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