18 May 2011

Sant Agustí

The church at San Agustín
Sant Agustí des Vedra is a picturesque rural village situated on a hilltop overlooking San Antonio bay only ten minutes drive from San Antonio city centre. The village is wonderfully unspoiled by modern influences which makes a refreshing change from the crowds and ubiquitous overdevelopment of the San Antonio bay area. The dominant feature of the village is the iglesia (church) in the centre of the village which was constructed between 1791 and 1809 under the direction of Pedro Grolliez de Servien.

The centre of the village also features an bar, a restaurant and a small convenience store but other than these unobtrusive developments the authentic rural atmosphere remains evident all around. A short walk further up the hill provides some spectacular views in both directions, back into the village and out across San Antonio bay.

The village provided refuge for the notorious Hungarian art forger Elmyr de Hory who fled mainland Europe in the 1960s and lived there until December 1976 when he committed suicide in his Sant Augustí villa upon hearing the news that the Spanish authorities had agreed to extradite him to France to face trial.

Cactus plan colonising a derelict outbuilding.
One of the most interesting locations in San Agustín for photography is a once impressive but now ruined villa and associated outbuildings around two minutes walk from the centre of the village. It is highly unusual to find rural decay in such a prime location as most of the islands ruins suffered abandonment as their location far from utilities such as electricity, running water supplies and telecommunications lines made development economically unviable. 

The San Agustín villa lies within easy access of all of the modern utilities but the owners have let it fall into ruin when a sale to developers at the peak of the Ibiza property market could have yielded many hundreds of thousands of Euros. I'm glad that for whatever reason the owners decided to avoid cashing in on their asset as the overgrown and decaying structures make fine photography subjects.

There are still a number of working farmsteads in the village and a small orange grove behind the church. Next to the village shop is a small track leading back down the hill towards the busy  PM-803 road. A walk along it reverals some impressive cactuses, collapsing terrace walls, an old well and some abandoned and rusting vehicles.

The village is definitely worth a visit whether for a relaxing afternoon in a quiet rural location followed by a meal at the Can Berri Vell restaurant or for a hardcore rural exploration photography treck around the local area.

An old horse drawn cart lies in a derelict and collapsing shed next to the main road into the village.

1 comment:

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