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The abandoned, (new), town, near Abades, Tenerife.

New Town

The Leper Colony of Arico, was what it was to be called, a new town built exclusively for people suffering from Leprosy, but it was never used or actually completed.  The town was built in a remote area of the island as most of the population lived in the north, (the hundreds of hotels for holiday sun-roasters in the south of the island was still decades away from being built).  In about 1943, (I think), a drug was discovered that changed the treatment of people suffering from Leprosy, and so the town was no longer needed, and was abandoned.

The town had housing, a hospital, a crematorium, (a great improvement as they used to just through the bodies into the ocean), a school, and a church. Some buildings were half finished, abandoned as is when the new treatment for Leprosy began.

There is an erie feeling about the place, if you let your imagination run wild you would probably leave the place quickly all the while looking over your shoulder, making sure that you weren’t being followed.  But there’s a distinct feeling of sadness when you stop to think about the reason that this town was built, all those people who were abandoned, cast out, made to live in isolation for the remainder of their lives.

I was there this past Tuesday, and my young nephews and niece followed me.  Far from being frightened, they found it fascinating, and were eager to explore the buildings, (I didn’t let them though, I wasn’t sure about the safety of the structures).  The youngest said he thought it looked like a Minecraft village, (and later that day I saw him starting to recreated it in Minecraft).

New Town

P.S.  As strange as this place may appear it’s not nearly as odd as the new settlement, town, or holiday villas, (or whatever it’s meant to be), that lay next to the abandoned town.  It looks like part of a suburb was plucked from another town and laid to rest in the middle of nowhere.