The abandoned village

Muro de Bellos

With the weather looking cloudy over the French valleys, I decide to take the road to Spain, in order to visit the “deshabitado” (no need to translate…) village of Muro de Bellos.


A place where the smell of rosemary mingles with that of boxwood and broom.


Starting point of the hike

After leaving the car at the exit of Escalona, I walk the road (passable only in 4×4) and its four kilometers under a blazing sun. A total change of scenery after the snowshoe walk in the Néouvielle the day before: under the fir trees, the smell of rosemary mingles with that of boxwood and broom. Distracted by this atmosphere, it is the flight of a vulture a few meters above my head that brings me back to reality: my steps must have disturbed it. The observation is clear: I will not meet many people today!

I am nevertheless lucky enough to observe, after a few minutes, an impressive cricket (Egyptian?) about 5 cm long!!

A few laces higher, I finally see the village on its promontory: a modest bell tower and a large gutted building.

I continue my progress to reach the entrance to the village, overlooked on the left by the church and several dwellings, while more modest buildings are scattered along the road that threads further up the hillside. Vegetation more or less covers the terraces, remnants of past agricultural activity, at the foot of the foundations.

The view is magnificent,from Lake Mediano in the south to the Anisclo cañon in the north, at the foot of the snowy peaks.

1 hour from Saint Lary
In the family

The village

with its mysteries
And finally

The visit over, I take the road again with the bitter feeling of having witnessed the sacrifice of this village, reinforced by the impression that its position and its paradisiacal environment should have made it a living environment conducive to the well-being of its inhabitants.

Many of these “deshabitados” villages have benefited from a restoration in recent decades and are now experiencing a new life, mainly tourist, as Liguerre de Cinca, El Pueyo de Araguas, Morillo