Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Aleteia
Monday 01 March |
home iconTravel
line break icon

Trasmoz: The only cursed, excommunicated town in Spain

TRASMOZ SPAIN

Juanje 2712 | CC

Daniel Esparza - published on 07/28/17

Legends about witches and covens have been woven around this town since the Middle Ages.

These days, only 62 people live in Trasmoz. The days in which the town was home to more than 10,000, back in the 13th century, are gone. Located in the province of Zaragoza, on the slopes of the Moncayo massif and very close to the Cistercian Monastery of Veruela, the village was officially excommunicated when the castle of Trasmoz was accused of being a safe haven for witches and wizards.

CASTLE IN TRASMOZ
Fernando | CC

The story, in fact, is a bit more complex. Some say at that time an intricate operation of counterfeiting was carried out in the castle and those who were responsible, in order to keep the curious at bay, also forged these legends about witches by brewing potions at midnight, dragging chains around the castle and lighting fires in its towers.

The whole scheme worked so well that, since then, Trasmoz has been practically synonymous with witchcraft.

Other sources make the case a complex political issue. In the 13th century Trasmoz was also an important reservoir of silver, with valuable resources of water and wood. But, moreover, it was secular territory: by royal decree, its lands were not property of the Church and the whole village was exempt from paying taxes to the Monastery of Veruela.

Stories about witchcraft in the castle only exacerbated this already tense relationship between the monastery and the neighboring village. Eventually, the archbishop of Tarazona excommunicated the entire town. However, far from settling the dispute for good, this only meant the tensions increased.

After the excommunication, the monastery began to use the waters of Trasmoz. Obviously, this did not please the Lord of Trasmoz, Pedro Manuel Ximenez de Urrea, who decided to take up arms against the monastery itself. But before there was any bloodshed, Ferdinand II ended up supporting Trasmoz.

This, of course, did not please the archbishop. With the support of Pope Julius II, Trasmoz was officially cursed, with the archbishop reciting Psalm 109 as a spiritual weapon against the village. The year was 1511. Since the curse had papal approval, only the pope can lift it.

So far, no pope has.

By 1520, curiously, things were not going well in Trasmoz. The castle was burned down, and almost completely ruined. After the expulsion of the Jews from Spain, the town went from having almost 10,000 inhabitants to only 70. Today, Trasmoz has no schools, no shops and there is only one bar-restaurant. But, of course, they do have their own witchcraft museum, in the castle’s ruins.

Tags:
HistorySpain
Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read Aleteia.org every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Top 10
1
PADRE PIO
Philip Kosloski
Padre Pio’s favorite prayer of petition
2
MADONNA
V. M. Traverso
The 9 oldest images of Mary
3
SEARCHNG PURSE
Cerith Gardiner
12 Things every Catholic woman should have in her purse
4
Jacques Fesch
Brother Silas Henderson, SDS
Meet the Death Row prisoner who discovered a ...
5
LUXOR FILM FESTIVAL
Zoe Romanowsky
20-year-old filmmaker wins award for powerful 1-minute film about...
6
CELEBRITY MARRIAGES
Cerith Gardiner
10 Celebrities whose marriages have stood the test of time
7
RECONSTRUCTED CHRIST
Lucandrea Massaro
This 3D “carbon copy” of Jesus was created using the ...
See More
Newsletter
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.