The Spanish Ghost Village That Just Reappeared After 30 Years

In 1992, the village of Aceredo, located in the northwestern region of Spain, near the border of Portugal, was flooded in order to create a reservoir. About 120 residents were forced to leave the place they called home after water from behind a Portuguese hydroelectric plant slowly filled the area (via Daily Mail). About 70 houses and other buildings were submerged under the water that would become known as the Lindoso reservoir.

The flood and subsequent reservoir were the results of a deal struck by the Spanish and Portuguese governments in 1968 which would include the Alto Lindoso dam. The government tried to pay some residents of Aceredo to leave, but many did not want to go. According to El Español, half of the people living in the area accepted money to relocate, but the other half refused to leave, and they protested the reservoir with demonstrations and hunger strikes. In the end, they were not heard, and the floodgates were opened.

A drought revealed the sunken village

Some 30 years later, a drought in the area caused water levels in the reservoir to drop unusually low, revealing many structures that have survived. The water was so low that visitors could walk on what used to be the streets of Aceredo (via Daily Mail). Onlookers could even step inside some of the buildings that still remained.

Photos and drone footage revealed what was left of homes, rusted vehicles, and other structures that were separated by piles of lumber, rocks, and dirt. The Daily Mail reports that while many of the buildings were partially washed away, others seemed almost unscathed despite being underwater for 30 years.

The ghost village became something of a tourist attraction, drawing spectators from around the world. Of course, many visitors were from neighboring areas, and some were former residents of Aceredo, curious about what was left of their former lives (via Daily Mail).

Droughts have uncovered Aceredo before

This isn't the first time water levels in the reservoir have dropped to reveal parts of Aceredo, but it is the first time they have fallen so low that the entire town was visible. Data shows that at the time, Spain's reservoirs were operating at percentages below average. Aceredo gets most of the attention when water levels drop because parts of it become visible in dry spells. But it was not the only village that was flooded in 1992. The Daily Mail reports that O Bao, Buscalque, A Reloeira, and Lantemil were also flooded to make way for the reservoir.

In 2012, the water receded enough to uncover at least some parts of Aceredo. "I can see this might be interesting for visitors from elsewhere, but for those of us whose roots are there it is hard to see it like this," Francisco Villalonga told "La Región" at the time, per The Guardian.