Cabo de Gata: How will it inspire you?
Cabo de Gata, in Almería, Spain is by far the most unique and intriguing landscape I have encountered in recent years. Europe does not have many deserts. There are certainly some barren regions in Italy, Romania and Scandinavia, but the only sand-and-rock desert to be found is the Cabo de Gata in Almería, where annual rainfall is just 200mm. Perhaps because it is so unique, it has inspired countless artists and writers over the years.
Two bodies of work I know you will be familiar with are literary works by Federico García Lorca and the spaghetti westerns of Sergio Leone.
Rodalquilar, on the eastern coast holds the origin story of Lorca’s arguably most famous plays, Blood Wedding. In 1928 a local woman, Francisca, eloped with her true love and cousin Francisco, shortly before she was due to marry another man who she did not love. This man, Casimiro’s brother caught the runaways, murdered Francisco and severely abused poor Francisca, but it is from this tragic tale that a wonderfully dark vision of rural Spanish life was born. The combination of reality and surreality that Lorca brought to the stage made Cortijo del Fraile, the drama’s setting, synonymous with intense and elemental passions. This in fact may be what drew Italian film director, Sergio Leone, to rediscover the location in the 1960s, using it as the set for Few Dollars More (1965) and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966).
Apart from Sergio Leone's spaghetti western movie filming locations, Almeria was the backdrop for many other movies. The Desert of Tabernas was used as a Middle Eastern desert in movies such as Cleopatra (1963), and Lawrence of Arabia (1962).
Conan the Barbarian (1981) The Empire of the Sun (1987) and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989)
You can read more about the whole film history of this area here
Or plan a visit to Oasy’s mini Hollywood here
Antonio Ortiz Gacto was an influential visual artist from this area. As an architect he has shaped the Almerises landscape with his characteristic buildings, and he illustrated local life in his paintings and drawings. His unique style reflects the mountains, the sea and the sun. The church of Aguadulce is still considered as a futuristic building and one of the most beautiful churches.
and more modern explorations of local materials,
and public installations.
If you would like to get your creative juices flowing in Capo de Gata, you can find some starting points for exploration below. And if you have any information about local artists or events in the area, please message us, or leave a comment!
The nearest airport is in Almería, which is served by easyJet (0905 821 0905; www.easyJet.com), Ryanair (0871 246 0000; www.ryanair.com) and Monarch Scheduled (08700 405040; www.flymonarch.com). Rail Europe also offers routes to Almería (08708 371 371; www.raileurope.co.uk).
Cabo de Gata National Park is likely your first stop (00 34 950 380 299; www.parquecabodegata.com)
The province of Andalucia also has good information on their website: http://www.andalucia.org/en/natural-spaces/nature-park/cabo-de-gata-nijar/
Culture trip has some great museum and gallery suggestions: https://theculturetrip.com/europe/spain/articles/the-best-galleries-and-museums-in-almeria/
You can also find a complete list of cultural resources here: https://www.turismodealmeria.org/en/what-to-do/art-culture/