Φωτογραφίες

Photographer's Note

Las Hurdes in the north of Extremadura gained notoriety in Luis Bunuel’s 1933 acclaimed but highly controversial short film Tierra Sin Pan (Land Without Bread). In this ‘documentary’ the region’s indigenous people are represented as living in squalor and ignorance, refusing to eat any of the other farm animals except disease-infested swine.

Deep in the heartland of the Iberian peninsula, this remote area used to be one of the poorest of Europe. Surrounded by steep and barren mountains Las Hurdes has a cool climate and heavy annual rainfall. Its meagre economy is based upon stock raising (goats) and subsistence farming (olives, potatoes and cereals).

Until the 16th century, the three parallel valleys of Las Hurdes were legendary as a home of evil spirits and savage peoples. In fact, many villages are said to have remained ‘undiscovered’ until well after the more famous Spanish conquests in America. The Hurdanos who inhabit the region are often thought to have originally been political or religious refugees. Also in the middle of the 20th century the areas remoteness is said to have attracted many political dissidents.

Since the 20th century, attempts to foster economic and social improvements in the region have been undertaken and recently tourism, especially in the larger towns, has increased considerably.

This picture was taken in the almost abandoned village of Riomalo de Arriba, which – if my Spanish is adequate – translates as ‘bad river of above’. According to the excellent website Todohurdes there are 25 people still living there. When we visited this village in 2003, I think we met four of them. Most houses seemed to have been abandonned for quite some time. A very interesting, but also somewhat eerie place to go for a walk...

Quite a contrast with my “alpujarra white”...

frieda, patshoo, johannes68, coco, Charo, basithry, kiks, nszeretlek έχουν(ει) επιλέξει αυτή τη σημείωση ως χρήσιμη

Photo Information
Viewed: 2892
Points: 23
Discussions
Additional Photos by Benny Verbercht (BennyV) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2813 W: 35 N: 5734] (30600)
View More Pictures
explore TREKEARTH