Almeria, the land of cinema
by Daniel Moreno
Do you remember Sean Connery and Harrison Ford escaping from Nazis in “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade”? Are you a fan of “Game of Thrones”? What would cinema be like without Sergio Leone’s Spaghetti Western? Have you seen “Lawrence of Arabia”, “Marco Antonio and Cleopatra” or “Never say never”?
Do you know what these and many other productions have in common? Well, they have all been recorded in my native province, Almeria. Located in South eastern of Spain, Almeria stood out in the 60s and 70s as a reference for the genre of Western and many other productions like “Conan, the Barbarian”, “Patton”, “The Adventures of Baron Munchausen” and “The Neverending Story” among many others. At present, actors like Christian Bale, Joseph Fiennes, Michael Fassbender, the team of Game of Thrones and many more have come to Almeria. One of these actors, Aaron Paul (“Breaking Bad”, “Exodus”) fell in love with Almeria. After returning to United States after filming, he published several posts on his Twitter account thanking the city for all the love that Almeria’s citizens showed him during his stay… He even bought the house he had rented during the shoot together with his partner!
One of the biggest attractions of Almeria for the film industry is that it has the only desert in Europe (The Desert of Tabernas) and you can still visit the sets of western films that were recorded there. The legend also tells that Clint Eastwood used the same poncho in all the scenes of the “The Dollars Trilogy”, without washing it even once!
The city Vaes Dothrak of Game of Thrones was recorded in the Desert of Tabernas as well. The whole city wanted to participate in the shooting of the TV show, but the casting agency asked only for people with dark skin, black hair and strong build. On the day of the casting, thousands of blond, red, overweight and skinny Almerienses collapsed the access to the casting building in such a way that one of the attendants, megaphone in hand, went to the door and shouted to the crowd: “Only dark people and with athletic complexion! The others please, GET OUT!”
But Almeria is not just desert and Western. One of the most famous scenes of “Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade” was recorded on one of the most famous beaches in the province: Mónsul. Here is when Sean Connery quote the famous Charlemagne’s sentence: “Let my armies be the rocks and the trees and the birds in the sky”.
And who can forget how the dragon of Daenerys lands on one of the castle of Meereen? Well, that scene is also recorded in America, more specifically in the Mácenas Tower, in Cabo de Gata.
Last but not least, the city of Almeria has one of the most important Arabian monuments in Spain: The Alcazaba of Almería. This palace-fortress has been the scene of such emblematic films as “Cleopatra”, “Conan, the barbarian”, “Patton”, “The horsemen”, “Marco Antonio and Cleopatra”, “The Wind and the Lion” and “Risen” ” among other.
If you are a lover of cinema and television, Almería is a city that you will love. If you also like good weather, Mediterranean cuisine (and its famous tapas) and natural beaches, stay tuned for my next posts.
Greetings from Spain! See you soon!
Hi all! My name is Daniel and I’m a Spanish guy who wants to become philosopher. I have a bachelor in Philosophy, a Master in Cognitive Sciences and I speak Spanish, French and English. I’ve lived in Andalucía, Basque Country, Scotland and France and I would like to live in Canada, New Zealand and somewhere else! I love sports and e-sports, reading (Fantasy, History and Philosophy mostly), travelling, cooking (and eating), rock-folk music, gaming and chilling.