Couto Mixto: The 700-Year-Old Independent Galician Microstate

Dani Keral in Traveler.es on what might have been the first democratic territory in Europe (Spanish):

Couto Mixto was something incredible for its time, almost unexplainable. Formed by the towns of Meaus, Santiago and Rubiás [now located in the present-day municipalities of Calvos de Randín and Baltar], the territory of just 30 square kilometers began to be governed independently of both crowns.

In the Couto, no kings of feudal lords ruled, it was the townspeople themselves — the heads of the family — who elected a judge or political chief every three winters, who was assisted by three men from each village, os homes do acordo.

Check out the Wikipedia for more Couto Mixto in English.

Slim Pickings in Galicia

Winter is coming.

Finding a rental was already tough in this area of Spain. Most spare home owners or people who’ve inherited something would rather sell than maintain a place well enough for a tenant be interested.

With Spanish people still reeling from a difficult quarantine, the continued teletrabajo ability for the truly lucky ones, and current second wave of coronavirus after the summer, it seems it’s even harder to find anything.

We’re taking a pause on looking to buy something for the moment. Thinking nearer future, we realize that while our current house is fantastic for the fall, spring, and summer, it was pretty uncomfortable here this winter. But our landlady is unwilling to replace the drafty window and door, or install an actual floor on the bottom level, to make the space more livable. The rent is cheap, but she’s even balked at the thought of us paying more to do these necessary improvements.

“When you two leave, I’m locking the house up and turning off the utilities. Ay, muchos gastos!

In winter, the only warm area is the kitchen/my workspace with a pellet heater. This leaves Patricia’s workshop/our living room extremely frigid. We reluctantly used an electric space heater that my folks were gracious enough to buy when they visited (also for their own self-preservation last December), but it doesn’t fix the problem.

We’ve been here before. So once again, we’re scouring idealista and milanuncios everyday.