Can you imagine walking through the streets of a small town in Extremadura and suddenly finding yourself with an impressive mannequin challenge? Something similar happens in Romangordo, a small town of just under 300 inhabitants that For a few years now, it has poured a whole cast of pictorial art onto its facades and doors..
Next, we travel to this small town to show you a bit of his identity through his varied and exciting trompe l’oeil. Without a doubt, it is the best option to visit an open-air museum.
Romangordo, between hills and meadows
This small town, located to the east in the province of Cáceres, occupies a location well connected by the Autovía del Suroeste (A-5). Geographically, the environment in which it is located is privileged, since it is in the transition between different natural regions. To the north, the Tagus River and the Torrejón-Tajo reservoir give continuity to the Arañuelo Field, which separates the Tagus and Tiétar rivers.
On the other hand, to the southeast extend the first elevations of the Sierra de Las Villuercas, which characterize the region of Los Ibores. To the west is the picturesque landscape of the nearby Monfragüe National Park, from the Sierra de Piatones and the Sierra de la Moheda.
In its historical aspect, Romangordo originates from the ancient Makhada Albalat, an important Muslim settlement that was fortified in the 10th century. and that in the 12th century it was already mentioned as one of the most important towns in the area.
Rural life brought to painting
Truly, the fabulous idea of this town to show the world its charms is remarkable to say the least. At the time of “rural depopulation”, of “la España emptied” and other clichés referring to the progressive disappearance of the rich and varied rural heritage, the way in which this municipality has known how to bet to safeguard what is its own is exciting.
As soon as we enter the town we find a large mural against gender violence that overwhelms by its realism. It shows a woman, said to be the author’s mother, holding a paper dove and the words “brave, equal, and free” written on it.
This is the first of the trompe l’oeil of almost a hundred scattered throughout its streets and that shine on facades and doors. They are joined by others with phrases from local poets and great writers such as Antonio Machado or Federico García Lorca.
Walking through the town is to learn what life is like in the countryside, taste their typical sweets and try their pitarra wines in their successful painting of the bar. And be careful! Because if we don’t pay attention, we can end up asking directions to one of our neighbors portrayed sewing «al fresco», because, in effect, these trompe l’oeil mischievously deceive the eye.
Trades and traditions with history in Romangordo
In Romangordo there is no corner where a trade is not portrayed, many of them located in the same place where their protagonists used to be located. Among them, the telephone operator, the shoemaker or even the teacher, painted with his students in what was the old school.
«Door to door, we will paint our life and our history», says one of the mottos of Romangordo’s urban art. And what’s right then all you have to do is take a walk through its streets to discover trades and traditions that one day marked the work of this town.
You will be surprised by a woman making cheese, a man dedicated to cork, animals in their stables, the traditional scenes of agriculture, the shoemaker, the blacksmith, the hives, the baker, the laundresses… And, on the other hand, the older ones, a source of local knowledge, also have their own murals in the municipal nursing home.
“Come to get excited”
With this phrase he invites the town of Romangordo to go through its past and its present, because in a few years this town has gone from 6,000 visits a year to 47,000 registered in 2019. All this taking into account only those that are formally registered in the “Casa de los Aromas”, the tourist office of Romangordo.
With these figures, it is clear that trompe l’oeil has put Romangordo on the tourist map of visitors arrived from all latitudes. With this, other places of interest are made known that are also worth a visit on your trip through Extremadura.