As Pontes de García Rodríguez is a municipality in the Comarca of Eume in northwestern Galicia.
The town principal sector was the coal power plant and the coalpit. The power plant is the largest in Spain, and its chimney, with 356 meters of height, is the higher construction in the country and the second largest tower in Europe.
The power plant generated the most employment in the region and today, almost dismantled, had a rate of unemployment of 20.34% in 2012, crazy for the region.
What I try to show with those photographs is a city which had 16,000 inhabitants in the nineties and today does not reach 10,000:
Abandoned buildings, half-built houses, an urban growth-oriented plan, decrease in purchasing power, etc
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As Pontes Lake. It is artificial,the site of the lake is the former Lignite mine operated by energy company Endesa and is the largest lake in Spain.
Now it is intended to be a tourist attraction, to try to mitigate the closure of the power plant.
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Poboado do Anguieiro.The “poboados” are As Pontes areas or neighborhoods that were built to house the mine workers.
Houses used to be cheap and often lack garages. The buildings of the photo are a series of individual garages.
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As Pontes Lake 2.
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Thermal power plant.Construction began in 1972 and it was operative in 1976.
Originally designed to consume the lignite extracted in local mining, was adapted between 1993 and 1996, now only consumes natural gas and power decreased from 2421 MW to 800 MW.
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Poboado do Barreiro
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“Fraga” in Galician means oak grove. This oak forest is located in the middle of the town and it is crosses by Eume river (one of the most important in Galicia). Here every year is celebrated “A Festa da Fraga”, celebration that consists in build huts with traditional elements and people soak themselves with wine.
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Public park of the Poboado da Fraga
This village was planned to house many people for many years, it is full of green areas and parks. Many of them are unused or abandoned by almost uninhabited areas.
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Abandoned mining machinery
When the Open-pit mine closed a lot of machinery was abandoned in the entrance area of the village. They were seeking a buyer for all this material but without success. Now it is a symbol of another era.
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Like many other buildings in As Pontes a megalithic cemetery was built thinking that the village population would increase. We now have a disproportionate construction to the existing population.
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In general in Galicia there is not much love of rugby, considering that A Coruña is the nearest province capital and has only adapted football fields for rugby it is strange that As Pontes has one.
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Chimney of the power plant.
From all the village you can see this building, for me it’s like the Eiffel Tower in Paris.
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Poboado do Carme
It is very common to see this kind of buildings. As the homes of some neighborhoods are not big they have those annexes that have the function of storage rooms. In the village they call this neighborhood “cheap homes” because they were built for poor people.
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This neighborhood was an adjoining village that was absorbed by the town many years ago. Many consider these houses with one plant as the traditional construction of the area. It is worth highlighting the slate roof and tire marks on the road. In this straight sometimes illegal races are held at night.