Drowned town of Beninar pays its debt

«El Pantano de Beninar» de Rafael Bailón Moreno - Trabajo propio. Disponible bajo la licencia GFDL vía Wikimedia Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:El_Pantano_de_Beninar.jpg#/media/File:El_Pantano_de_Beninar.jpg

THE Beninar reservoir takes its name from the village that now lies beneath its waters.
It disappeared when the dam was built decades ago and many of the inhabitants made new homes in Hirmes, an outlying district which is all that remains of the village.
Despite its closeness to a reservoir, paradoxically it is only now that Hirmes has running water, a milestone that has coincided with restoring its 18th century church.
For the last two years residents have retrieved relics, statues and other items removed from Beninar church before the village was flooded. These were sent to other Alpujarra churches but are now back in Hirmes.
Work was carried out without public money, either from the state or the diocese although the Bishop recently visited and blessed the restored church. “Some people donated bricks, others paint and still others gave their time. Those who moved elsewhere have helped with money,” said a former Beninar resident who now lives in Cataluña. “Between us all we have all repaid our historic debt to the place that was once our home.”

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