Settlers who restored abandoned village of Fraguas face prison if they can’t pay €110,000 to demolish it
The stone and slate church of Santo Domingo de Guzmán held out for almost 1,000 years before surrendering to the bullet holes that dot its walls, the brambles that twist from its masonry and the rains that hammer its last rotting roof beam.
So, too, did the ill-fated pueblo it once served.
But now Fraguas, which clings to a hillside in the Sierra Norte natural park 90 minutes north-east of Madrid, is poised to achieve the rare and unwelcome distinction of becoming the Spanish village that was destroyed three times.
Its first death came in the late 1960s, when it was expropriated by the Franco regime to make way for a huge reforestation programme; its second when it was used as an army training ground, leaving houses blown up and bullets lodged deep in the church walls.