EIGHT Spanish neighbours have made it their duty to rescue a crumbling Gothic church in their village, and are succeeding.
Founded in the 16th century, the iconic San Lorenzo Martir church in Fuenteodra, northern Spain, is blessed with awe-inspiring architectural features, including a stylised single nave and two sections of starry vaults with stone ribs.
However, its grandeur is currently marred by patches of mould on the columns and numerous cracks that zigzag through its walls and ceiling – defects that both lend the building a haunting beauty and put it at risk of imminent collapse.
In this regard, the church is a victim of ‘Empty Spain’ – the name used to denote rural, depopulated parts of the country.
But this has not prevented the locals from taking matters into their own hands.
“We are obliged to future generations to preserve this unique legacy of our ancestors, which they raised together, with a titanic effort, more than five hundred years ago,” they write on their Crowdfunding page.
Although the villagers placed their ‘optimal goal’ at €30,000, the minimum required to initiate the first phase of restorations, 584 people have already donated a total of over €40,000, with eight days of the crowdfunding project still remaining.
Specialists have said that some €300,000 will be needed to carry out basic rescue work, but the group is optimistic that it will raise plenty more yet.
“We are all convinced that this church has a future. Being a small town with only eight neighbours and with very few resources should not be an excuse to abandon this irreplaceable piece of our heritage to its fate. We appeal, with your collaboration, to be part of this beautiful project.”