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Alphabe Thursday … R is for Ruin

September 20, 2012

I like to photograph ruins usually in juxtaposition to a rambling rose or a desperate daisy or a towering architectural delight or carbuncle.  Sadly no  daisy or rose survived the Spanish scorching  sun. Whether the other building is a delight or a carbuncle is not necessarily up for discussion.  However the ruins you see are the remains of a little village in the mountains of southern Spain.   Once inhabited by a community of farmers and their families; making a living on the terraces growing olives, almonds and avocados. Perhaps a herd of goats roamed the rough and rugged terrain.
There was a chapel and a school room maintained by an itinerant teacher and priest who would walk the mountains from Velez Malaga.  The houses were built of local stone and offered little comfort except shelter from the scorching sun and wind.  The facilities would have been very basic and insanitary.
Gradually the tourist trade developed on the coast;  offering work and stability to the poor inhabitants struggling to make a living in the mountains.
So the little communities died; leaving the little pockets of houses and land to ruin.
Property developers moved into areas more convenient to the ‘desirable’ amenities.
The more remote properties laid abandoned a bit longer.
This sight was ‘discovered’ by a travelling Buddhist teacher who was surprised by the local geography and its resemblance to the Himalayan foothills.  The village was renamed Karma Guen after a Tibetan Monastery he knew well.
With considerable investment; modern facilities were bought in; electricity, water and adequate drainage.  The buildings were made sound and before long a new community had moved in and the village became a Buddhist retreat.  Attracting visitors and travelling teachers from all over the world.
As the years have passed so buildings have been added using better building materials;  whilst there are  modern facilities and are much more comfortable; the buildings are essentially Spanish and remain in keeping with nearby old style Spanish dwellings.

In the Andalusian mountains overlooking the Mediterranean Sea to the south and the mountain pass called Zafarraya Gate or Lion’s Gate at the north is a small village called Aldea Alta (High Village) near Velez-Malaga now Karma Guen.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. September 20, 2012 1:12 pm

    I love how, in the last shot, the buildings are whitewashed and standing tall.

  2. October 1, 2012 11:22 pm

    I am always intriqued with ruins.

    I’ve been known to trespass a time or two myself.

    Love the imagination of these places!


    • October 2, 2012 6:27 am

      Yes! the stories they can tell oops I feel one coming on!! 🙂 xx

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