A Small ‘Cursed’ Town In Zaragoza Is The Only One In Spain To Be Excommunicated By The Catholic Church

Image of Trasmoz castle in Zaragoza.

Image of Trasmoz castle in Zaragoza. Credit: Juanje 2712/Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0

LOCATED in the province of Zaragoza is the town of Trasmoz which is the only one in Spain to have been excommunicated by the Catholic Church.

According to local legends, back in the 13th century, Trasmoz was the regular site of pagan rituals and acts of witchcraft. It even allegedly had concentrations of covens meeting in the castle that sits majestically overlooking the Aragon town nestled in the foothills of the Moncayo mountain range.

In the year 1255, Andrés de Tudela, the abbot of the Veruela Monastery, was known for frequently arguing with the townspeople over the supply of wood from Monte de la Mata.

Fed up with the situation, the Catholic leaders of the day decided to excommunicate the town and thus separate it forever from the Kingdom of Heaven. Centuries later, that condition has never been revoked and only the Pope has the power to do so.

The abbot cursed the townfolk

However, the problems between the town and the Monastery of Veruela did not end there. Many years later, in 1511, Pedro Manuel Ximénez de Urrea, Lord of Trasmoz, confronted the abbot of the monastery because the monks had diverted the course of the river so that it did not reach the town.

They subsequently called the Courts of Aragó to mediate in the conflict, which agreed with Mr. Trasmoz. The abbot did not take their decision very well and he cursed the people again.

Trasmoz castle is part of the legend

At one end of Trasmoz stands its castle, the scene of a large number of acts of witchcraft, according to legend. The exact origin of the fortress is not known, but, as stated by various documentary sources, it most likely already existed in the year 1185.

This castle has always been shrouded in an aura of mystery, related to covens, which is why today part of the castle’s tower houses the ‘Museum of Witchery’.

It contains objects that were discovered during excavations that were carried out at the site and is also dedicated to the ancient traditions and superstitions that have made Trasmoz famous for centuries, as reported by 20minutos.es.

Each year, one of the townsfolk is awarded with the distinction ‘Bruja del Año’ (Witch of the Year) in recognition of their services to the community. A white plaque is then installed on the front door of the awarded person’s house so that everybody remembers who they are.

In 2016, Inka Piegsa-Quischotte wrote a fascinating article for the BBC. She visited the town of just 62 inhabitants and spoke with Lola Ruiz Diaz, a local modern-day witch who is also the castle’s custodian.

Lola explained: ‘The whole saga of witchcraft in Trasmoz starts here, at this castle’ explained. During the 13th Century, the castle occupants dedicated their time to forging fake coins’.

She continued: ‘To keep the people of Trasmoz from investigating all that scraping and hammering, they spread a rumour that witches and sorcerers were rattling chains and forging cauldrons to boil magic potions at night. It worked, and Trasmoz was forever associated with witchcraft’.

To reach Trasmoz from the city of Zaragoza, the journey by car usually takes just over an hour on the AP-68 and N-122.

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Written by

Chris King

Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at editorial@euroweeklynews.com


    • Bryony Downs

      31 August 2023 • 10:28

      We were there during August. Unfortunately a week day when everything is closed. You only know the castle is closed once you have made the very steep walk up to it’s door. There isn’t anything around the village representing their claimed to fame, except it seemed almost deserted. I suppose that is understandable when we read the census on their noticeboard only 63 inhabitants. We were very disappointed having made a special trip to visit the town.

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