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 Clint Eastwood.

However, the site has been rapidly deteriorating following years of neglect and increasing vandalism. The bildings lie on private property and the government has had limited authority, or interest, to act to protect the site. In recent months, demonstrators have gathered at the Cortijo to call for action. Finally, last week the regional government, the Junta de Andalucia, published an order classifying the site as Bien de Interes Cultural (BIC), a protected site of cultural importance. Now plans are in the works to resore the buildings and turn the cortijo into a cultural and historial center.

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