Illán de Vacas, the least populated town in Spain

How many times have you heard that a town is in Danger of extinction? Surely many, since rural life is disappearing and new generations prefer to live in the city, something that has been happening in Spain for many decades.

One of the most threatened towns is Illán de Vacas, where there has been talk of that danger of extinction for more than 15 years. The truth is that it is not surprising, since it has long been the least populated town in Spain.

Only five inhabitants!

It is located in the Toledo province and it has an area that does not reach 10 square kilometers. Without a doubt, more than enough dimensions for the five people who live there.

Centuries ago there are the censuses in which it was declared that they lived more than 200 people. Now there is only one family that is starting to get tired of questions from the press, as journalists do not stop visiting Illán de Vacas for the simple fact of being the least populated town in Spain.

As you can imagine, the villagers are part of a family. The Renillas walk with pride for their main Street (the rest are dirt roads) and they do not plan to pack. Even the change of mayor, which passed from brother to brother, has not changed the thoughts of the last of the 8,125 municipalities in Spain in terms of inhabitants.

Reluctant to merge with neighboring towns

When the crisis came, the government tried to merge towns. At that time the possibility was raised that Illán de Vacas would merge with Cebolla and Los Cerrablos, who are the closest. However, that possibility disappeared because the Renillas are very clear about where they want to live.

Oddly enough, there is also a church there. They built it in honor of the Assumption of Our Lady and it serves to host the only important celebration in town. It is the Virgen de la Paz and serves to gather residents from other towns around every January 24. There is mass, procession and a snack that ends the day with the most atmosphere of the year in Illán de Vacas, where from time to time they are visited by people who were born there.

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The less populated towns of Spain (September 2023)

  • towns, Toledo
  • 1,230