Up a dirt unpaved road in the Ayllón Sierra there is place called La Vereda. This small inhabited village, is a dreamlike assemble of approximately thirty houses all built with black slate.
There aren't any full time residents, and instead the houses that have been restored, are mostly used on weekends and summer.
In the 70's La Vereda faced the threat of demolition due to reforestation in the area, but the efforts of a group of architects from Madrid and Guadalajara, stopped the project claiming the significance of this ancient village and an important legacy of black architecture. The architects founded an association that would regulate the concession of the properties, and oversee the restoration projects that the village needed with urgency.
Depopulation happened here, as it did in many rural communities throughout Spain, but this place became especially inaccessible after the dam of el Vado was built. It closed the direct routes to bigger villages and access to services in the El Vado or Tamajón, where the residents had to go get their mail, supplies and so on.
La Vereda has always lacked the comforts of modern life, and never has had running water nor electricity, making it very hard to keep its inhabitants from moving to the cities. But the lack of modernization on the grounds has allowed La Vereda to preserve its unique and dreamy charm.
Now La Vereda is a magical place, were unpaved streets defined by big stones delineate the layout of the old village and it remains beautiful and enchanted. One water fountain on the square brings water from the mountain. Inside the houses are ancient, one big room with nooks for beds, and a huge fireplace.
The black slate from the area is the main construction material on walls and roofs, adding some solid wood beams, windows, doors and fences. The whole place is seamlessly integrated with nature and the surrounding colors, and the fact that it has stayed so untouched for so long gives one hope about the preservation of places like this.