Los Goldines (Santiago-Pontones)

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Los Goldines (Santiago-Pontones)

The overwhelming sense of desolation in the village of Los Goldines, which is easily accessible and situated in the midst of an outstandingly beautiful landscape, can help you understand the terrible events that befell many residents in the mountains and which they still remember to this day. These events were the result of despotic decisions by a government that brooked no dissenting voices and acted with the impunity endowed upon it by Franco’s dictatorship.

The creation of the Cazorla-Segura National Hunting Reserve in 1960 required a change in the usage of large tracts of land, land that contained a number of villages and hamlets and whose residents were evicted. Los Goldines is one such village, and like the others all that remains today are the ruins of some of the expropriated houses. Silence envelops visitors to this place, who are only able to see the final chapter of a long and black story of injustice.

Los Goldines was by no means the only village in these mountains to be forcibly depopulated during the 20th century by the abusive actions of the State. During the construction of the Tranco reservoir several hamlets, such as San Miguel de Bujaraiza and El Chorreón, were wiped off the map and their inhabitants moved to other areas within the province of Jaén. The “yellow rain” of falling autumn leaves, symbolising the passage of time and the process of forgetting - and also the title of a heartbreaking novel by Julio Llamazares, in which he recounts a similar case involving a Pyrenean village in Aragon - also fell without respite on the villages of Los Centenares, Las Canalejas and Los Archites in the Segura mountains. Today these places are just rubble and names, though they shall not be forgotten.

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