In the province of Salamanca, Spain, lies a picturesque place steeped in history that has captured the imagination of locals and visitors: the town of Mogarraz.

Known as “The Town of a Thousand Faces” - and declared a Historic-Artistic Complex in 1998, it belongs to the association of the most beautiful towns in Spain - it stands out for an atypical artistic project that has revitalized its streets and has revealed its rich cultural heritage: its facades are full of portraits.

How did Mogarraz become the town of a thousand faces?

It all began in 1967, when was established the obligation that everyone had to have a DNI. A resident of the town, who had a camera, volunteered to take photos of each of its inhabitants and thus avoid them having to travel to the city of Salamanca to take them.

The negatives ended up forgotten in a box and when years later the local plastic artist Florencio Maillo found them, they served as inspiration to recreate the black and white photographs in large-scale oil portraits as a tribute.

Each neighbor placed his portrait on the facade and the town became an open-air art gallery. This exhibition, which was initially temporary in nature and was inaugurated in 2012, was finally maintained over time and currently has 809 faces painted on the facades of Mogarraz that carefully monitor every tourist who comes to visit the town.

Each portrait is unique and is inspired by the personal history of the individual represented: from elderly people who have lived their entire lives in the town to young people who are building their future, each face reflects a part of the history and culture of this charming town in Salamanca.

In addition to admiring the works of art in the streets, visitors can enjoy the quiet and welcoming town atmosphere, explore its narrow cobblestone streets and discover its historical heritage. Its beautiful Plaza Mayor is the center nerve of town and there is the Casa de las Artesanías, an Ethnographic Museum with a free exhibition of embroidered period costumes, leather work and gold and silver jewelry made by the municipality’s master craftsmen.

The Church of Our Lady of the Snows is an architectural treasure of Renaissance style. Built in the 17th century, this church with a single nave, with a transept, dome and portico to the north, keeps inside the image of the Virgin of the Snows, patron saint of the town.

However, what makes this church even more special are the portraits that adorn its walls. Each of these portraits represents the inhabitants of the town who did not have their own home.

The faces of missing generations seem to watch over the village (with a somewhat disturbing effect), giving new life to the quiet streets and awakening the emotions of both the residents, who for them are family, friends and ancestors, and the visitors.

Mogarraz is much more than a simple town; is an inspiring example of how art can transform communities and revitalize forgotten places. Through its "Las Caras de Mogarraz" project, this town has found a unique way to preserve its identity and celebrate the diversity of its inhabitants, becoming a must-see destination for those seeking an authentic cultural experience in the heart of Spain.

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