Tired of the Bustle of Modern Life? Virtually Visit This Eco-Village.
“I felt like a continental explorer in the mid-19th century—finding my way through the forest, following painted rainbow symbols on rocks,” says photographer Kevin Faingnaert, recounting his trek through Bierzo, a mountainous region in León, Spain. “From far away, I could see a bright yellow dome pop up out of the forest. I knew it was Matavenero.”
That dome, a whimsical landmark in a sweeping landscape, is the social center of the isolated eco-village Matavenero. The geometric structure is where the 60-some inhabitants hold meetings and celebrations. Other amenities include a small school, a shop that sells some basic necessities, a bakery, a bar, a library, and, my personal favorite, a communal sauna.
Many of Matavenero’s original inhabitants worked in mining,