Since August 2016, the small village of Romangordo in Caceres province has been slowly transforming its streets into an open air museum.
The project started with a single donkey, painted in a corner near the main square that was “a little ugly” and needed to be redone.
Now, 100 trompe l’oeils can be found adorning walls around the village.
Watch the video tour through the town:
“We wanted to tell Romangordo’s story,” Isabel Martín, who works at Romangordo’s tourism office, told The Local in a telephone interview. “And we wanted to decorate the streets, make them a bit more colorful.”
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The paintings represent scenes from the village’s past, as well as its present: bakers making bread, women carrying buckets of washing, old-fashioned cars, people arriving and leaving.
Several artists have participated in the project: Álvaro Quintana, a native Romangordeño who studies art in Madrid brought several of his friends from art school. Artists from around Extremadura have also participated, including Chefo Bravo, Jonatan Carranza Sojo, and Jesús Mateos Brea.
Romangordo is near Monfragüe National Park, and the murals are an environmentally-friendly way to attract visitors, Martín said.
“We didn’t have to make a big investment or damage what we have in order to do it,” she added. “It’s a sustainable way to attract tourism.”
The paintings have given the 250-person village a huge boost in tourism. “In 2019 we had almost triple the visits we had in 2018,” Martín says, nearly 46,000 visitors.
“And that’s just the people who came and registered at the tourism office.”
By Sam Harrison in Barcelona