Meet Mogarraz, declared one of the most beautiful villages in Spain. It is a well-deserved prize: the whole town has kept its traditional medieval architecture and walking its streets will take you back in time. The dates engraved on the doors certify their long history. In every house, the faces of its inhabitants watch you wherever you go. The water flows in its multiple fountains, while the fresh air of the mountain surrounds you: Mogarraz is located in the province of Salamanca, at the heart of the Natural Park of Batuecas and Sierra de Francia.
Mogarraz was created in Medieval times: a Christian king had just expanded his kingdom and wanted to ensure that the Muslims would not come back. He brought in people from France that had helped him in his crusade. This is why many of the local family names are French. Others were Jewish, maybe the only ones who dare to live in such a dangerous place. In the XVth century, they were forced to choose: either convert or leave. They all converted and got to stay there.
Being at the heart of a mountain, the village's traditions were kept for centuries. One of them is the "serrano" embroidery, which is unique in this area. Its colors are very rich, and it has exotic designs such as lions or Assyrian palm trees, maybe influenced by the ancient Roman style. The Silver way was not far away, and they also had gold mines nearby. As a matter of fact, another tradition, very well known, is the village's exquisite jewelry making, especially the goldwork.
In the 60s, there was a crisis in the Spanish countryside, and many people had to emigrate to other countries. At this time, a photographer made pictures of all the 388 inhabitants that had remained in Mogarraz. Today, these portraits hang on each one of their houses. They have severe faces -they were not used to being photographed!- and they are dressed up in the traditional way. At Easter, it gets a bit creepy: they turn off all the public lights, and they only lit their faces, so it looks a bit like a ghost town.
Mogarraz is known for its Iberian pork meat, of excellent quality. The wine is also superb. You have to try the local grape, the "rufete." Actually, if you go there at the right time, there is a fair that you cannot miss: you can visit all village's little wineries, and taste all the local wines!
Being at the heart of a natural park, it is always a good idea to do at least a hike. There is a circular route, “Caminos del Agua” (the water paths), where you cross rivers, you see fountains, and you can admire the wild views. It is 9kms long, so it is perfect to then come back from and gain forces with traditional food.
Do not miss this treasure village, which is so well kept between these beautiful mountains! Mogarraz is a place to relax and enjoy history, nature, good food, and good wine!
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