Detail of a map of Spain in the hall of Hotel Pazo Santa Tecla, A Guarda, Pontevedra, Spain. From the hotel people enjoy a beautiful view of the mouth of Rio Minho (an international river that separates Spain and Portugal), of the Atlantic Ocean and of Portugal coast.

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LA RAYA (the border that never existed)

(by Diambra Mariani and Francesco Mion, 2017-ongoing)



This project is based on the book "La frontera sue nunca existiò", by Spanish journalist Alonso De La Torre, about the border between Spain and Portugal, commonly known as La Raya. It is 1292 kilometers long and it is one of the oldest borders in the world. It is considered the longest uninterrupted border within the European Union.

"One thing is "la raya" while another, very different, is "La Raya". Although the border as a dividing administrative line has never existed for the inhabitants of the frontier towns, the Raya as a region has always been there, with its legendary people, its ineffable characters, its strange businesses, its fortresses. .. A border that for them never existed, but that has marked their lives until they become characters of legend, protagonists of a magical story where dream is not well distinguished from reality, where you know very well who is who, but it is never clear where everyone is from" (Alonso de La Torre)

The captain of the ferryboat between A Guarda (Spain) and Caminha (Portugal) cross the border several times a day. He's a "time traveler", as there is a -1:0 hour time difference between Spain and Portugal, while the trip only lasts about 20 minutes.



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Brilliant little stones on the ground. Mount Santa Tecla, Galicia, Spain.

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Fog on the mouth of the Minho River, between Spain and Portugal.

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Abandoned building on Galician Coast.

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The hall of Hotel Pazo Santa Tecla, A Guarda, Pontevedra, Spain. From the hotel people enjoy a beautiful view of the mouth of Rio Minho (an international river that separates Spain and Portugal), of the Atlantic Ocean and of Portugal coast.

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Water of the River "Rio d'Onor". The river crosses the village, literally drawing the borderline between Portugal and Spain, but the inhabitants of the two countries have lived together for countless generations.

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A Guarda (Spain) by night.

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Peneda-Gerês National Park, Portugal.

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A man posing with his model aircraft at Furaventos, the aeromodelling club of Porrinho, a Spanish village very close to the border. The sky is the limit. Drone laws are different in Spain and in Portugal.

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Trees in Peneda-Gerês National Park. It's the only national park in Portugal and it's very close to the Spanish border. Here is situated Ermida, one of the lasts Portuguese community villages, where people live in communion with nature and preserve the memory of rural life, sharing the common resources.

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Trees in Peneda-Gerês National Park. It's the only national park in Portugal and it's very close to the Spanish border. Here is situated Ermida, one of the lasts Portuguese community villages, where people live in communion with nature and preserve the memory of rural life, sharing the common resources.

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naturalistic guide at the Iberian Wolf Center watching some wolves in the park, just before feeding them in order to make them get closer to the observation point.

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Peneda-Gerês National Park, Portugal.


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A wolf skull at the Iberian Wolf Center in Zamora, Spain. The center is very close to the Portuguese border.

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Fur Samples at Iberian Wolf Center in Zamora, Spain.


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The Iberian Wolf Center in Zamora, Spain.



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The hands of Maria Do Ceo, a Portuguese singer of fado who lives in Galicia (Spain). Her music is a link between different musical traditions. She has been recognized and honored as Ambassador of Galician culture in the world

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Lonely horse in Torrejoncillo, a small village in Extremadura, 40 km from the border.

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Bungalow in Alqueva, on Guadiana River. From the window of the chalet, which is 

in Spain, you can see Portugal. 

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The Guadiana River is an international river defining a long stretch of the Portugal-Spain Border, separating Extremadura and Andalusia (Spain) from Alentejo and Algarve (Portugal).

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Interior of Hotel Pazo, A Guarda, Spain

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Wilde blue Hydrangeas are very common in the area.


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