Category: Once Upon a Time in Almería

Preserving the Cortijo del Fraile  

Federico Garcia Lorca’s drama Blood Wedding was inpsired by a true story that appeared in a Spanish newspaper in 1928. A bride-to-be ran off with another man (her cousin) the night before the wedding, but the groom’s brother discovered the couple and shot and killed the lover. The bride-to-be lived on a farm known as El Fraile. Over 75 years later, the ruins of the farm remain in the remote countryside of Nijar in Almeria, accessible only by a poorly marked, unpaved road. The site also appeared in Sergio Leone’s 1966 film The Good, The Bad and The Ugly, starring […]

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Save the Cortijo del Fraile  

Federico Garcia Lorca’s Bodas de Sangre was inspired by a true story that appeared in a Spanish newspaper in 1928. A bride-to-be ran off with another man (her cousin) the night before the wedding, but the groom’s brother discovered the couple and shot and killed the lover. The bride-to-be lived on a farm called El Fraile. Over 75 years later, the ruins of the farm remain in the remote countryside of Nijar in Almeria, accessible only by a poorly marked, unpaved road. Unfortunately, after years of neglect, the site is now rapidly deteriorating. This state of decay makes for compelling […]

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Lawrence of Arabia and an Illegal Hotel  

Almost half a century ago ago this barren section of the Almeria coastline in southern Spain was bustling with the activity of a small metropolis. Workers were constructing a replica of the city of Aqaba for the filming of the famous battle scene in Lawrence of Arabia. After the shoot, the entire set was dismantled, leaving the rocky coastline exactly as it had been before. The site now lies within the borders of the protected natural park of Cabo de Gata. A few years ago, a developer began construction on a mega-resort complex alongside the Algarrobico beach, a few hundred […]

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Ghost Houses of Cabo de Gata  

                      The landscape of Cabo de Gata, along the coast of Almeria, is dotted with architectural remains — eighteenth century fortifications, abandoned mining operations, and empty cortijos. These vacant structures, fixed in the arid desert landscape for decades or centuries, seem timeless. They could have been abandoned fifteen years ago, or 150 years ago. It’s often hard to tell, as the stillness of the desert masks any signs of life. However, these architectural relics are, in fact, products of human history and have some intriguing stories to tell. The Cortijo […]

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It was 40 Years Ago Today …  

1966 was a tumultuous year for the Beatles. They had endured the kicks and punches of angry mobs during their disastrous visit to the Philippines and the outcry over John’s offhanded “more popular than Jesus” remark. It was the year the group renounced performing live after more than four years of relentless touring around the world. George made his first trip to India, Paul bought a manor house and traveled to East Africa, and John decided to have a try at acting. Lennon had been given the role of Private Gripweed in Richard Lester’s black comedy How I Won the […]

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Cortijo Del Fraile  

Federico Garcia Lorca’s Blood Wedding was inspired by a true story that appeared in a Spanish newspaper in 1928. A bride-to-be ran off with another man (her cousin) the night before the wedding, but the groom’s brother discovered the couple and shot and killed the lover. The bride-to-be lived on a farm called El Fraile. Over 75 years later, the ruins of the farm remain in the remote countryside of Nijar in Almeria, accessible only by a poorly marked, unpaved road. These images show part of the chapel building on the property.

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