Tabernas Desert: On the set of western movies in SpainStaff Writer | October 11, 2018
The Andalusian province of Almería has staked its claim in the international film history, as a cinematic location.
Spain You really have to rub your eyes a little to believe that you are here in Europe
One of the most important venues is the desert of Tabernas, where many film sets are constructed.
Tabernas Desert, in southeastern Spain, doesn’t feel like Spain at all.
Sergio Leone and the Spaghetti Western crews realised this too, and from the 1960’s onwards, the deserts have been used for such film materpieces as “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly”, “Fistful of Dollars”, “For a Few Dollars More” and “Shalako” amongst others.
In addition epics such as “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade”, “Cleopatra” and “Lawrence of Arabia” all had location shoots in the area.
Dozens of American film stars, such as Clint Eastwood, Henry Fonda, Charlton Heston, Sophia Loren, Richard Burton, and Elizabeth Taylor made this their temporary home for months at a time while filming movies, including those that the area became most famous for: "Spaghetti Westerns."
Now the sets where movies were made have been converted into western-style cinema theme parks, where tourists can stroll through a saloon, spend time behind bars in a local jail or reenact a shoot-out in the town square.
Actors in cowboy hats and chaps put on daily stunt shows, in which western movie themes are piped through a fake town square. The First Central Bank gets robbed every day and the same gunslinging bandit is always handed over to the hangman.
There's also a zoo and water park!
Nature lovers, hikers and people who are looking for a big, exotic American-type scenery, fall in love with this wild barren landscape of eastern Andalusia.
It is considered to be the only real desert on the whole European continent and its scenery is tremendously stimulating and startling.
You really have to rub your eyes a little to believe that you are here in Europe. ■