Lonely Planet Writer

A Spanish village cursed by a monk in 1511, now hosts an annual witchcraft festival

A festival of witchcraft in a Spanish village that was excommunicated by the Catholic church has been given official status by the regional government, according to Spanish News Today.

Trasmoz, near Zaragoza in northern Spain, was cut off from the church in 1255 in a dispute over firewood, but the association with black magic only started in 1511. The village was involved in another altercation, this time with the monastery of Veruela over Trasmoz’s water supply, which the monks had cut off. The court came down on the side of Trasmoz, at which point the abbot placed a curse on the village. By the law of the church at the time, that curse applied to all residents and their descendants.

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Although these days Trasmoz could ask the Pope to lift the curse and excommunication, the village has decided instead to fully embrace its godless credentials. Every July its witchcraft festival Feria de la Brujería attracts 6000 visitors. The celebration recreates a medieval atmosphere, with events including a witch hunt and a witches’ Sabbath, and it has now been acknowledged by the Aragón government as an event of Regional Tourist Interest.

The village has a couple of other bizarre claims to fame. In 1980 Julio Iglesias – father of the Spanish crooner of the same name and grandfather of “Hero” hitmaker Enrique – was kidnapped there by Basque separatist group ETA. And the village also has a street called “Gol de Nayim”, named after the goal scored from 49 metres in 1995 that saw Zaragoza beat Arsenal to the European Cup Winners’ Cup.

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