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Santa Engracia

Set at a height of 1000 meters the village of Santa Engracia is divided into two parts.

Casa Mauri is in the main village (on the right, hidden round behind the rock outcrop), a group of 19 houses and the village church and a moorish watchtower. The other half is known as the Raval, or suburbs, with another 9 houses.

A little village history

The original inhabitants of Santa Engracia were subsistence farmers growing a little wheat to produce bread they also grew olives, grapes, vegetables, and harvested almonds and walnuts. They kept flocks of sheep to trade and a pig or two, hens and rabbits for their own consumption. A neighbour told me that money was needed only to buy shoes, sugar and chocolate though itinerant charcoal burners sold their product to the villagers for cooking. A local flour mill at Rivert took part of the flour in payment for their services.

Eventually this sort of life was no longer sustainable nor desirable to some of the sons and daughters and many left the village to live and work in Barcelona in the 1950’s, 60’s and 70’s and the village was semi-abandoned. There had been 48 families living in Santa Engracia in the first half of the 20th century. By the late 1980’s only one family plus a shepherd remained. Though a road reached Santa Engracia in the 60’s the village didn’t have a water supply until the late 1980’s. Before this the villagers took their mules with water carriers 2kms to a natural spring. In the 80’s inhabitants clubbed together to pay for a village water deposit plus tubing from a spring and tubing to all the houses.

At around the time the previous owners bought Casa Mauri in 1988 neighbours began to show an interest in returning to their family homes for weekends and holidays and most of the houses have now been modernised. In 2007 a village sewage system was installed by Tremp local authority and the ancient cobbled village street was replaced with concrete, relieved by a central decorative band of paving stones plus an attractive viewing point comprising a bench and two chairs beneath the shade of a small tree.

The village of Santa Engracia is situated 10km from the main C13 road which runs through the Tremp valley. The asphalted road winds and climbs its way up from the valley to Santa Engracia passing olive groves and vineyards. On reaching Santa Engracia you can leave your car in the main village car park. If you text about an hour before arrival then someone can be at hand to show you to the house and help with your luggage using the quad and trailer. Access to the village houses is pedestrianised.

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