(Sorta) Free Spanish Villages

Ever want to go away to your own countryside village? Well, if you have the money, you can do just that.

In Spain, hundreds of abandoned villages cover rural areas of the country. With the dawn of industrialization, people migrated to urban centers to seek out work. Oftentimes, the ownership records of the villages were lost.

a barca

A Barca ruins parallel Spain’s economy

The Spanish government is giving away A Barca–an abandoned village in northeast Spain comprised of a dozen stone buildings–for free, provided that you agree to restore the buildings. These restorations can cost about a million Euros (approx. 1.3 million USD). The government hopes the restoration projects will stimulate the country’s struggling economy.  

In addition to the employment that restorations require, the government sees these villages as a chance for cultural tourism.

armejun

workers restoring Armejún, a project of pueblosocial.es

One blogger believes that the restoration of rural towns could offer a look at a way of life throughout regions of Spain that marks an attempt to return to a sustainable lifestyle away from the urban centers. Another blog allows you to track the progress of the restorations of these dilapidated villages.

 

If you’re not in the mood to commit a million bucks, specialty real estate companies sell smaller villages (usually 3-5 buildings) for under $100,000. These getaways don’t require any restorations.

I think this attempt to help the economy is an interesting and exciting way to get people’s attention. The history behind these villages needs new life, as well as Spain’s economy.