Almeria, the only desert in Europe that became a Hollywood star
Updated: Mar 31, 2021
Almeria. How did the Andalusian desert become a movie star?
Almost everyone has seen this movie, but few know where it was filmed. Several popular films such as Lawrence of Arabia, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade are set in eastern Andalusia, in the remarkable landscape of Almería. With a total rainfall of less than 240 mm and more than 3,000 hours of sunshine a year, it is the only desert in Europe.
The variety of rock formations makes the local landscapes comparable to those in Africa or America.
The scenes for "Lawrence of Arabia" were shot here - last but crucial. The earlier ones were made in Jordan and it was important that the scenery looked the same throughout the movie.
The outdoor shooting for the movie "Kingdom of Heaven" was shot in two Mediterranean countries. The scenes that took place in 12th-century France were shot in Spain, and those in the Holy Land in Morocco.
Ridley Scott knows both countries very well. In Spain, he made the film "1492 - The Conquest of Paradise", and in Morocco he made fragments of "Gladiator" and "Black Hawk Down".
In both cases, attractive locations allowed him to enrich the visual side of the film.
Initially, a team of 436 people joined Scott for the picture-taking that took place in Almeria. Additional 443 people joined the crew when the scenes were shot in Morocco.
A total of 25,000 to 30,000 extras took part in the implementation of some of the scenes. The crew’s efforts were supported by the Moroccan army. “Moroccan soldiers are well-trained and great at riding,” says Scott. – “Without the help of the Palace of His Majesty Mohammed VI, we would never have made this movie.”