Then and Now: The Attack on Aqaba  

Compare the beach at Algarrobico on the southern coast of Spain then and now in the video clip above. The city of Aqaba was reconstructed here in 1962 for the filming of this classic scene from Lawrence of Arabia. Though nothing remains of the set today, just the hulk of an abandoned hotel project. I previously wrote about the history of this spot on this blog here.

Read More

The Attack on Aqaba  

“In May 1962, an isolated beach on the barren southeastern coast of Spain suddenly bustled with activity. Hundreds of local farm hands had been hired to construct a replica of the Red Sea port of Aqaba, circa 1917. It took them three months to build over 300 false front buildings. They planted palm trees, placed four full-size cannons on the hills above, and shipped 450 horses and 150 camels over from Morocco. Soon after, Peter O’Toole as Lawrence of Arabia would lead an army down from the hills to overtake the mock town.” From the essay accompanying the photographs. This […]

Read More

65 cinema experts choose the best movies filmed in Almería  

This summer “La Voz de Almería” conducted a survey to pick the best films shot in the area since 1961. Hundreds of films have been made in the region over the past half century and 65 local cinema experts such as film experts, actors, directors, historians, writers were asked to select their top ten best movies filmed in Almería. “Lawrence de Arabia”, “Indiana Jones and the last crusade” and “The Good, the Ugly and the Bad” occupied the top three positions of the list and were considered among the best ever made. “Vivir es fácil” was the first Spanish movie appearing […]

Read More

Fifty Years Ago: Aqaba in Almeria  

Fifty years ago, in April of 1962, the Algarrobico beach on the southeastern coast of spain was bustling with activity as two hundred local workers constructed a replica of the Red Sea port of Aqaba circa 1916 for the filming of Lawrence of Arabia. They took three months to construct 300 false-front buildings and a quarter mile sea wall. The crew planted palm trees, trucked in from Alicante, placed four full-size canons on the hills above, and brought 450 horses and 150 camels from Morocco. Hundreds of local fishermen and gypsies served as extras. In the film, British officer T.E. […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More