European motorhome Travel- VanlifeSpain

El Parque de los Desveladoes

I have always felt a strange attraction for “abandoned” places and its weird energy.

I don’t think places are haunted by ghosts but by desolation and decay, an imprint of sorrow maybe, the traces of life left behind.

I have a fondness for them… as if I’m a long awaited spectator of the stories they still whisper. Old houses, abandoned villages, old ruins… I can imagine their stories.

I love when they are claimed back by Nature and get covered in ivy and moss.

So thankfully for me and hopefully you. Verity’s wheel has not moved an inch,she is sill parked up safe and sound opposite the Free wine fountain

High in the hills above Estella-Lizarra, in southern Navarre, down unmarked dirt trails and through a creaking iron fence, lies a unique art installation: all over a small field and the rolling hills lie a dozen enormous skulls, alongside ruined vehicles.

The massive sculptures of distorted skulls and skeletons made by artist Luis García Vidal transform the landscape into an eerie giant’s boneyard and scattered here and there, almost as junk piles we can also find other odd creepy shrines.

The size of the sculptures is jaw dropping, it won’t leave you indifferent. They are large hollow orbits towering as fathomless wells…

The experience is rather haunting, in an enjoyable maracbe way.


Created by the artist Luis García Vidal beginning in 1971, the artist continuously added to the work, returning to the site numerous times to add more pieces, and repairing previous ones, until his death in 2008.

The park was built in two phases. The first, and the more obviously macabre phase, consisted of numerous sculptures of skulls, some large, some tall, some suspended like scarecrows on long poles, others almost hidden away in the shrubs. They are made of metal mesh, interwoven with the branches of a local plant life.


The second phase is the more recent one, and less obviously morbid but nevertheless filled with a subtext to make any viewer question their mortality. It consists of a series of vehicles, from cars to baby carriages, in varying states of destruction.

Attached to them are plaques with messages such as “Death likes cars” and “when I’m an adult I want to be a football player, destiny permitting.” The sum effect of the various works scattered throughout the park is to offer up a certain wistful meditation on the inevitability, and the surprise, of death.


Most of the older art pieces have since fallen into decay. 

Vidal dedicated the project to his brother Miguel, who died in 1991. Since the artist’s own death in 2008, it does not appear that anyone is continuing to add any work or repairing the pieces that are already there, adding a gloomy air of decay to an already eerie area.


But never the less if you seek this place and push open the crecky iron gate, you wil spend the rest of the day going WOW and probaly more importanly Why ?



2 thoughts on “El Parque de los Desveladoes

  • Katherine Clune

    I know just what you mean about the sense of tales untold. We’ve also done a fair few abandoned villages … sometimes we’ve no idea why.
    Did you read about this in a guide book?

    • ive no idea, i pinned it on my ‘might like to see’ google map so time ago so when we were heading this way – i had to go and see!


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