The New York TimesThe New York Times

This Spanish Village Has More Booksellers Than School Pupils

By Raphael Minder

21 Apr 2022 · 5 min read

Standing on a hilltop in northwestern Spain, Urueña overlooks a vast and windswept landscape of sunflower and barley fields, as well as a famous winery. The walls of some shops are built directly into the 12th-century ramparts of the village.

Despite its rugged beauty, Urueña, like many villages in the Spanish countryside, has struggled over recent decades with an aging and dwindling population that has left it stagnant at about only 100 full-time residents. There is no butcher and no baker; both retired in the past few months. The local school has just nine students.

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