Spain, a star destination
James Bond, Indiana Jones, Anakin Skywalker, Lawrence of Arabia, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly… All these characters have been to Spain to shoot their adventures. And they are not the only ones. Spanish cities and countryside are often the chosen as settings for international productions and renowned directors. Did you like the film? Then you are sure to love seeing the places too.
Thanks to the magic of film, there are places in Spain that have been turned into far-off worlds, the wild west or the Siberian steppe. On other occasions, the scenes are more easily recognisable. Spain's cities, monuments and countryside have often become "sets" for major international productions, as well as titles that already form part of film history. Come and discover them and you will be amazed: you will enjoy the films all the more when you see them again.
Scenes from yesteryear...
Spain's incredible wealth of monuments is a real cinematographic gold mine. The Castle in Molina de Aragón, in the province of Guadalajara, witnessed the investigations of Sean Connery in The name of the Rose. Meanwhile, the city of Soria and its surrounding countryside served to recreate the world of Doctor Zhivago. Brilliant film maker Orson Welles also made for the province of Soria to shoot Chimes at Midnight in the village streets of Calatañazor. Furthermore, some battle scenes were filmed within the City Walls of Ávila, whose old town has the UNESCO World Heritage designation.
Charlton Heston and Sofía Loren starred in the story of El Cid, the famous medieval Spanish knight, in places such as Belmonte Castle in the province of Cuenca, Manzanares el Real in the province of Madrid, and the Mediterranean beaches of Peñíscola in Castellón, amongst other places. Another castle, Loarre in the province of Huesca, was chosen by Ridley Scott for some scenes of the film Kingdom of Heaven. Cabo de Gata Nature Reserve, in Almería, and Plaza de España Square, in Seville, were used in the classic film, Lawrence of Arabia. Clint Eastwood took his first steps in the famous spaghetti western genre in Almería: films such as For a fist full of dollars, For a few dollars more and The good, the Bad and the Ugly were shot in the Tabernas desert. Some of the sets and western towns that were built back then can still be visited to this day.
And scenes of today...
Some of the biggest box-office hits of recent times have also found ideal locations in Spain. It was in Cabo de Gata, on Mónsul Beach, in fact, that Steven Spielberg shot the scene in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade where Sean Connery frightens some seagulls with an umbrella to bring down a German plane. In Attack of the clones, the second episode of Star Wars, Plaza de España Square in Seville is the palace of queen Amidala, located on the planet Naboo. James Bond films can be found here too: the Guggenheim Bilbao Museum, and its surroundings, were the setting for the opening sequence of The world is not enough, while in Die another day, the famous spy can be seen strolling through the streets of Cadiz. In Cantabria, meanwhile, in the village of Las Fraguas you will find Los Hornillos Palace, where Nicole Kidman had a few frights in The Others.
Furthermore, two major Spanish cities, Madrid and Barcelona, are often the setting for film shoots. In Barcelona, the streets of the Gothic Quarter, Plaza Real Square, the Pueblo Español attraction and Horta Maze park provide settings for the cinematographic adaptation of the novel Perfume. The most emblematic places in Madrid such as Plaza Mayor Square, the Gran Vía, the Fine Arts Academy or Paseo del Prado Avenue have all also been chosen for productions such as The Tourist, with Ewan McGregor and Hugh Jackman, or The Bourne Ultimatum, with Matt Damon. They are also frequent locations in the films of Pedro Almodóvar, one of Spain's most international directors. If you visit Castile-La Mancha, the Spanish Region that Almodóvar comes from, you can go on a route that takes in the different settings of the film Volver. In Andalusia you can also go on an itinerary based on The way of the English, directed by well known Spanish actor Antonio Banderas.
These are just some of the places in Spain to have experienced the magic of Hollywood. Don't forget, furthermore, that you can enjoy the best cinema at the international film festivals held each year in Spain, including San Sebastián, Sitges and the Seminci de Valladolid. In Spain, film will allow you to discover a host of emotions: come and see for yourself.
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