THE GREAT ROUTE OF FILM BY ANDALUSIA
And the Oscar goes to… Andalucía

Some of the film crews who shot in Andalucía walked later along the red carpet in the Oscars ceremony and many of them went up to the stage to pick up the precious gold statuette. Blockbusters like ‘Cleopatra’ and ‘Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade’ and also Spanish productions like ‘Talk to her’ shot their scenes in Andalucía, whose natural backgrounds were seen, firstly by the members of the Academy who reward the films and later by millions of viewers all over the world.

Patton (10 nominations and 7 Oscars)
Lawrence of Arabia (10 nominations and 7 Oscars)
Doctor Zhivago (10 nominations and 5 Oscars)
Reds (12 nominations and 3 Oscars)
Nicholas and Alexandra (6 nominations and 2 Oscars)
Travels with my Aunt (4 nominations and 1 Oscar)
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (3 nominations and 1 Oscar)
Talk to her (2 nominations and 1 Oscar)

Patton Almería and Granada
Cleopatra Almería
Lawrence of Arabia Sevilla, Almería and Granada
Doctor Zhivago Granada
Reds Sevilla and Granada
Nicholas and Alexandra Almería
Travels with my Aunt Almería and Málaga
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade Almería and Granada
Talk to her Córdoba and Almería


Route for a vacation

Words of...

 

“We have looked for a land characterized for being very raw, rocky, with cannons and that kind of landscape. Certainly, Almeria offers all of them. There is nothing like Almeria in the USA”.

Steven Spielberg

“The only place I knew that could guarantee us good weather was Almeria”

Sean Connery

“We chose Rambla del Búho (Almería) because the landscape seems very much like El Guettar, where the battle with the tanks happened. I was locating there but we could not shoot because there was a road built in the middle”.

Gil Parrondo (Artistic director of ‘Patton’)

Movie Locations
Cabo de Gata
Almería

In this area of the province of Almeria you can find diverse landscapes combining dunes and stunning coves and beaches. Here you will also find Natural Park Cabo de Gata-Níjar,...

Alcazaba of Almería
Almería

This breathtaking monumental complex is the largest Arab construction in Spain. The Alcazaba we know today started construction in the 10th century and is currently the main...

Sierra Nevada
Granada

This massif, the highest one in Western Europe after the Alps, mainly runs through the province of Granada and takes up part of Almería. Its top peak is Mulhacén, the highest...

Guadix
Granada

Located at the foot of Sierra Nevada and very close to the Alpujarra, 60 kilometres far from the city of Granada, Guadix is a city with plenty of history. Occupied since...

Fishermen Quarter
Almería

El barrio de la Pescadería (Fishermen Quarter), also known as La Chanca is a popular and painteresque quarter in the city of Almeria. The streets still keep some remains of the...

Rodalquilar Mines
Almería

Rodalquilar is located in the heart of Natural Park Cabo de Gata – Níjar, 54 kilometres far from the city of Almeria, about 45 minutes by car. It is well-known for its...

Train station of Guadix
Granada

This train station in the municipality of Guadix offers medium- and long-distance services operated by Renfe. It was built in the urban area of Guadix. A small neighbourhood,...

Los Escullos
Almería

Located in the heart of the Nature Reserve of Cabo de Gata, in Níjar, the beach named Playa del Arco is 350 metres long and 40 metres wide, has fine golden sand and features a...

Beach of Algarrobico
Almería

Located in the area of Cabo de Gata Níjar Nature Reserve, 4 km to the north of Carboneras, it has an extension of 1,350 metres of golden sand. Its characteristic feature is that...

Tabernas desert
Almería

Located only 19 miles away from the capital of Almería, this protected Nature Reserve with a surface of 108 square miles, is one of the most portraited landscapes in films,...

Dunes of Cabo de Gata
Almería

These dunes drew attention for their magnificence, similar to those of the great fine-sand deserts, and their versatility to adapt to any story. Nowadays, the dunes are matted,...

Parque Nicolás Salmerón
Almería

Located in the city of Almería, between the harbour and the city, it is divided in two areas, known as the Old Park and the New Park.The Old Park, which is how the area near the...

Alfonso XIII Hotel
Sevilla

Strategically located in Puerta de Jerez, a few minutes from the Santa Cruz quarter, the Cathedral and the Alcázar de Sevilla palace, this Mudejar-style hotel is considered one...

Casa Pilatos
Sevilla

This 15th-century palace, combining both Renaissance and Mudejar styles, is the largest private palace in the city of Seville. It is owned by the Duke and Duchess of...

Casino de la Exposición and Teatro Lope de Vega Theatre
Sevilla

Built for the Ibero-American Exposition of 1929, the so-called Casino de la Exposición has a central round room crowned by a 60-feet dome. The Teatro Lope de Vega theatre,...

Plaza de América
Sevilla

This gardened area, located inside Parque de María Luisa, contains the buildings for the Archaeological Museum of Seville, the Royal Pavilion and the Museum of Popular Arts and...

Reales Alcázares of Seville
Sevilla

This Mudejar monumental complex is the most important civil building in Seville and one of the main tourist attractions in the city. Residence of Muslim and Christian kings such...

Carboneras
Almería

This village is located in the east coastline of Almeria, 63 kilometres from the city of Almeria. With 78% of its territory inside the National Park Cabo de Gata-Níjar, counts on...

Cathedral Square
Almería

Talk about Almeria Cathedral is to talk about the history of the city during the last five centuries. Also known as Catedral de la Encarnación, this building is nowadays the...

Owl’s Flat Ground (Tabernas Desert)
Almería

This stunning Natural Site covers 280 km2 and is located only 30 kilometres far from the city of Almeria. It is one of the most famous landscapes within the History of Film as a...

Salt Marshes in Cabo de Gata
Almería

Considered one of the most remarkable Andalusian ecosystems, Cabo de Gata salt mines are the only ones in industrial operation in western Andalusia. They take up approximately 400...

Lucena
Córdoba

Located in the South of the province of Córdoba, in the middle of a rich countryside filled with olive trees and vines from the Subbética region, the city of Lucena stores up a...

Barrio de la Judería
Córdoba

The Barrio de la Judería is the quarter where the Jews lived between the 10th and the 15th centuries. Situated in the northwest of the Mosque-Cathedral, it is one of the most...

Genoveses beach
Almería

With an extension of 1180 metres long, you can admire one of the most impressive beaches in the coastline of Almeria, and even the whole Mediterranean Sea. An idyllic place with a...

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Anecdotes
In Carboneras, a village of Almería that has been used as a set for several shootings, you can find Hotel El Dorado, a beautiful place built by the deceased Scottish locator Eddie Fowlie.  After the shooting of 'Lawrence of Arabia', Fowlie, considered as David Lean’s right-hand man, decided to live in Almería and opened this hotel. In the inside, you can find numerous pictures and props from some of the movies he worked in. In addition, the main gate of the hotel was used in the film 'Nicholas and Alexandra'.
Several films that have also been shot in Andalucía, despite of getting any Oscar, were at least nominated and obtained an international recognition. For example: 'Empire of the Sun' (6 nominations), shot in Trebujena (Cádiz); 'The Adventures of Baron Münchausen' (4 nominations) and 'El Cid' (3), shot in Almeria; 'That Obscure Object of Desire', with two nominations, and 'Star Wars. The Clone Wars', with one, both shot in Sevilla.
The parking of the Hotel Parador in Mojácar (Almería) was used as an airport runway for a plane in some scenes in 'Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade'.
In the shooting of 'Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade' in Almería, every extra of the 175 who took part in the film earned 8,000 pesetas (48 euros) per shooting day. This tax beard the following costs: 5,000 pesetas (30€) appeared as mandatory in the contract, adding other concepts (1,000 pesetas – 6€- as ‘plus for the costume’: to dress in an unusual way; 800 pesetas (4,8€) for playing with the head shaved…).
Carlo Ponti, producer of 'Doctor Zhivago', wanted to shoot in the old USSR, but the government declined his request. After visiting Yugoslavia, Finland and Sweden, he finally decided to shoot most of the film in Spain, because it gathered every need of the production perfectly: trains with steam locomotives, horses, horsemen, many extras, cinematographic studios close to the landscapes… Nevertheless, some scenes were shot in Finland, Canada and Cinecittá Studios in Roma.
During the shooting of 'Patton', a unit moved to the village of Enix (Almeria) to shoot a tank stop in the village square. To take the tanks there it was necessary to wide and rebuild a few bridges.
The shooting of the sequence of the Battle of El Guettar, in 'Patton', in Rambla del Búho (Tabernas), lasted 4 days and required the participation of 50 tanks, some artillery pieces, six German Heinkel airplanes, six jet fighters of the American Forces, around 2,000 extras with their corresponding uniform from one side or the other, and numerous stuntmen who were shot by seven cameras divided into two shooting units.
The shooting of 'Patton', in the sequence where the army enters in Messina, required the participation of 21 tanks, some trucks and jeeps, 700 extras, who cheered the troops, and 400 soldiers, who joined the army unit, plus a few Heinkel airplanes that flew over the square and a helicopter.
The producers of 'Patton' built a road to access Tabernas’ Castle and during the works a Neolithic and a Medieval villages were discovered.
Half of the budget of 'Patton' was spent hiring soldiers and teams of the Spanish Army.
During the shooting of 'Cleopatra' in Almeria, all the hotels, pensions and houses with available rooms in the city of Almeria and the surrounding area were fully booked. In addition, a few Animal Protection Associations claimed for the death of 11 horses during the shooting in the area.
For 'Cleopatra' a set was built in San Antón Square in Almeria to represent the façade of Caesar’s Palace, although at the end the shooting never happened.
In the shooting of the Battle of Fersalia for 'Cleopatra', shot in Cabo de Gata and Tabernas, almost one thousand horses and extras were hired. The shooting took place in February 1963 and lasted 16 days.
To shoot the speech pronounced by John Reed in 'Reds', which took place in the Reales Alcázares de Sevilla, a special licence had to be required to the current authority so the extras could sing ‘The Internationale’ with no fear of retaliations.
During the shooting of 'Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade' in Guadix, in the scene where Marcus start running through the streets in Iskenderun, you can see a local, with his hat, his sash and his jacket, that may slip into the shooting. The same character appears in the scene where Sallah and Marcus met and started a fight with two Nazis. The local is among the group of Arabs who gathered around them. The strange thing is that nobody notices him.
During the shooting of 'Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade' at Guadix Station, the Cinematography Director, Douglas Slocombe, repeatedly changed some elements of the set to adapt the scene to the sunlight changes.
In 'Cleopatra', Almeria represented the Roman Legions in North Africa. It was chosen as a set by the producers because the economic cost of bringing the shooting to Egypt again was very high.
At the Rambla 'El Cautivo' in Tabernas, an oasis was built with trees and big palm trees brought from Alicante. This place still exists and, ever since, it has been frequently used by many production companies for outdoor shooting. The constructor of the oasis was the producer Eddie Fowlie, who fell in love with Almería to such a breadth that he settled there for good. Until his death in 2014, Fowlie was the owner of Hotel El Dorado, in Carboneras.
In the scene in which General Allenby enters Damascus (Plaza de España in Seville), there were more than 2,000 people, many of which were Romanies who signed up as extras to play Arabs.
‘Lawrence of Arabia’ was the first shooting of a great magnitude that was carried out in Almería. A total of 1,000 extras, 750 horses and 159 camels brought from the Spanish Sahara were involved in the film. The technical crew was comprised of around 400 people, 250 of which were Spanish, and the artistic crew were more than 150 people.
The shooting in Seville started on 18 December 1961 and went on for three months. It continued in Almería, where the shooting commenced on 21 March 1961 and ended three months and a half later, on 7 July.
The first day of shooting in Almería, in a pass near Tabernas, a sudden storm caused a flood which nearly destroyed the shooting set, inundated David Lean’s caravan and forced many actors and extras to run uphill.
During the shooting in Casa Pilatos, a wire got tangled up one of the ancient Roman statues that filled the building from 1516 and the statue lost her head. The Duchess of Medinaceli, owner of the house, minimised the mishap and stated that “it was only Roman”.
During the shooting in the dunes of Cabo de Gata, around 30 horsemen had to cross them riding the corresponding number of sorrel horses. However, while the scene was being shot, the director and the crew witnessed how the horsemen went past the hill and disappeared. They are still waiting for them to come back…
During the shooting in Nicolás Salmerón Park, the director of the second unit, Noel Howard (the director David Lean had already left the shooting), suffered an accident. The camera crane that captured the arrival of the tramway had to be removed so the latter could pass underneath, but there was not enough time and it was hit by the vehicle. As a consequence of the crash, Howard sustained a severe 6-inch injury on his right thigh.
Almost as famous as the shooting were the night binges that, nearly every day, involved the leading actors, Peter O’Toole and Omar Sharif. Some of these parties lasted up to four days or ended when O’Toole lost consciousness.
Since the hundreds of extras hired were not sufficiently motivated for the scene in Plaza de España in which they had to acclaim Lawrence of Arabia, the director, David Lean, suggested telling them to applaud him as if he were Charles Dickens. But since nobody knew him, the extras coordinator motivated them by telling them to cheer for him as if he were the bullfighter Antonio Ordóñez. It actually worked.
For the complicated scene of the train explosion, shot in the dunes of Cabo de Gata, a 1-mile railway stretch was built, and more than 60 workers prepared the terrain on which such railway was built. Additionally, they built a special road going through Cabo de Gata. The production company bought from the Spanish train network RENFE two full trains from Almería, Alhama and Santa Fe, which were dismantled and taken to the set by lorries. 10 pounds of vertical explosives, in addition to 10 pounds of black gunpowder, were used. The engine driver set the engine at full speed and jumped out of the train seconds before the explosion. The scene was captured by seven cameras and witnessed by TVE and BBC teams, as well as journalists from various countries who had travelled to Almería to report on the event. Before this, the crew had blasted another 14-coach train containing horses and extras playing Turkish riflemen perched on the roofs of the carriages.
‘Talk to her’ was not the film selected by the Spanish Film Academy (AACCE) to represent Spain at the Oscars of that year (it preferred ‘Mondays in the Sun’). However, Almodóvar’s movie gained two nominations for the coveted Best Director and Best Original Screenplay awards, the latter of which he won; thus, it can be said that a part of that Oscar went to Córdoba and Andalucía.
'Talk to her'’s crew arrived at Lucena just a few hours after the terrorist attack on the Twin Towers in New York, on 11 September 2001. The shooting in the Nuestra Señora de Araceli chapel took place on day 12 with an entire crew totally shocked by the news, along with Pedro Almodóvar almost voiceless and terribly saddened by the second anniversary of his mother’s death, which was also on that day.