Tiermas is a Spanish abandoned village in Aragón in
a region of Zaragoza known as Jacetania. This place is located next to
the Yesa dam, that was built in the late 50s to provide irrigation and
drinking water to this area. Very close to this very water reservoir we
can also find another of my favourite deserted locations, Escó that I
will cover maybe in another moment, as I spent one magical night
stargazing and watching a meteor shower so it deserves its own post.
Those two villages are very close one from another so you can visit them both in one hike. My partner Héctor knows I have a weakness for ruins and desolate locations and they are less than hour drive from where I live now, so we have visited them both through the years and been myself spectator of their decay. I cannot help to feel a pang when I see them falling apart. Some places transcend beautifully when returning to Nature, but there is a sad ghostly quality in Tiermas, futures truncated, homes confiscated from their families, life taken away from a place.
In the case of Tiermas most of the village was flooded in 1959 and
it is now underwater. Only part of it remained uncovered, isolated and
safe on top of a hill. More than 1500 people lost their homes and crops
and had to leave the village, which remained isolated and surrounded by
water. In the 90s there were claims by former owners to try to restore
the remains of the village but these plans were not taken into account
as there are intentions to make the reservoir bigger (engulfing other
locations like Escó that are also abandoned). Well technically Escó has 1
inhabitant (a single person that visits the place and keeps his dogs
and cattle in it). I know because I met him once and talked with him
though there are even legends he’s a “ghost”. Again, that is another
The old Thermal Baths rises from the waters once a year
Above: ruins of the thermal baths rising from underwater once a year
The place was once well known for the thermal baths and Hot Springs with hot sulfurous waters. The ruins of this former Health resort rises once a year around September when the water reservoir is rather low. People still gather to take baths when these rise from the waters and it remains known to have “healing properties”. Even though laying down on the spontaneous pools that are formed among the scattered ruins every season is not safe, and one wonder if they can collapse on top of your head, the place is crowded even at night as hikers tend to set up their tents and sing songs while enjoying the thermal hot waters. The ruins return underwater when rain fills the dam again. It is rumored that they intend to use pipes to build brand new Health Resort eventually on top of the hill for what this old village with so much History would need to be wiped out from existence.
And meanwhile it’s vanishing slowly into forgetfulness.
Abandoned into Oblivion
But today Tiermas it is just a rumble of houses covered in vines. At least emerged on top of the hill. From up above on clear days sometimes you can see the ruins of the rest of the village underwater. I wonder how it may look down there if diving were allowed. I have never seen footage of it and apparently currents make it dangerous. Just curiosity… As a sunk ship wreckage.
On top of the Hill the abandoned village decays each year, each
season one or two houses crumble down. The overgrown vegetation has
engulfed everything. The thorns of blackberry bushes have cut the access
to many of the old streets unless you want to leave a few drops of
blood making a way through.
An abandoned Church in an abandoned village
One of the highlights is the Church. Some graffiti and painting have
vandalized the romantic decadence of this place. Some are of poor
taste, especially the ones around the church which makes me sad.
These pictures are old rather old, two years ago the vault collapsed
and is gone. So my entry photo doesn’t exist anymore as it is shown in
Both Esco and Tiermas were used as “sceneries” for the recent movie
“Guernica” (that was bombed in the Civil War) as they both look like a
reenactment of villages destroyed by war.
The Witches Portal
The “Witches Portal” was built in the XIII century by order of the King Pedro II of Aragon
as this was the frontier of the Kingdom of Navarre. It is the only door
that remains out of the three that were part of the “fortification” of
the village. At the edge of the abandoned Tiermas it offers an
excellent aerial view.
Final Thoughts… Let’s not forget
Last time I visited the place oddly a brand new road has been made to
reach the location, yet there are no plans for its conservation and all
it’s left to fall down. A ghost of a town. It is obviously sad that brand new “Spa” might be built in the near future, wiping out Tiermas history and story.
So this place as it is on these pictures is NO MORE… the arches of the church remain but the vault collapsed… some constructions are barely held by vines… Others have still belongings and objects scattered around… One cannot help to imagine it when it was flourishing and full of life. Both Tiermas and Escó are doomed to oblivion, even if their origins date them on the XII century as towns and even as “settlements” in the Bronze Era. So much History and legacy… falling down and becoming a part entangled by ivy.
Let’s remember it…
This place has shifted and will be no more soon…
But let’s not forget…
Tiermas, Zaragoza, Spain
All pictures (c) to Priscilla Hernandez. The ones I appear in taken in collaboration with my partner Héctor Corcín.
Do you like abandoned places? Share your thoughts!
9th of April was Unicorn day and though I am a little bit late for the Unicorns party, I have taken this celebration as an encouragement to write this article. So I am sharing some Unicorn photography, my own version of “The Last Unicorn” soundtrack main theme (one of my favourite movies ever) as well as my Unicorn books, movies, thoughts and musings.
Nature can transform everything… even an industrial munition
factory into a fantasy scenery… A little imagination can wipe out the
ugliness and transform it into an enchanted location.
As I mentioned in my recent article, I have a fondness for ruins and
abandoned places. I find them very eerie but melancholic and romantic…
I think places are haunted by desolation and disuse but in some cases
they are transformed into something magical when overgrown Nature claims
them back and this is the case of Orbaizeta.
Above: me as “Autumn” dress and crown made by myself 🙂
Autumn is my favourite of all seasons :). I honestly love them all
but I grew in a tropical island where “The Fall” would never take place.
Even then I had already written “I steal the leaves” one of the first
songs I ever shared online (I steal the leaves but I´ll bring them back
in Spring…) and first time I saw the leaves changing colours I was
amazed. So that bright, colourful period where all colours shift infuse
my spirit with magic… 🙂 I always have loved Nature 🙂 but for a while
I lived in a big city and some years ago I returned to a quieter life
closer to the healing Mother. I hike a lot, and as you all know I love
fantasy (music, literature, costumes) and I love to dress up a lot :)…
I upload fantasy pictures regularly to my instagram account