“During my 40 years in Spain, I have always found that the best thing about this country are its villages (pueblos) and its people (pueblo). Who said Spanish is confusing?
In the month of July I am going to pay tribute to several film villages in different areas of the Spanish heartland.
On July 11th I will be in Sajazarra, a jewel of a village in La Rioja where Stewart Granger, the British-born actor, shot his last film, (Fine Gold) Oro Fino, a promotional film financed by a local winery in the style of Falcon Crest.
On the 19th I will be in Ampudia, Palencia, where the first of the 4 castles in the film El Cid is located.”
Spain is full of movie towns, where the most important stars of Hollywood have taken advantage of the local charms to shoot.
These are towns that do not receive as many visits as Barcelona, Madrid, Segovia or Toledo, but are worth seeing as they all have one or more films to promote themselves.
In Atienza, Guadalajara, Katherine Hepburn shot The Trojans, while Audrey Hepburn was in Nottingham (Artajona, Navarra) to share the screen with Sean Connery in Robin and Marian.
Richard Harris turned the castle at Coca, Segovia, into Camelot, and Marlon Brando played Torquemada at the Parador de Sigüenza in Christopher Columbus: The Discovery.
A few examples among the more than 870 films shot in English in Spain.
History and English teacher Bob Yareham, located in Valencia for almost 40 years, has dedicated himself to promoting these towns with conferences in small towns such as Uclés, Cuenca, (The 4 Musketeers) or Chinchón, Madrid, (Circus World with John Wayne), encouraging the town councils to take advantage of the added value that these films contribute to the usual charms of the towns.
On this trip, accompanied by the Scottish expert John Hill, apart from the aforementioned villages, he will be in Cuenca, Navarra, Cantabria and Asturias, and with the daily collaboration of a Spanish-British newspaper The Olive Press, published in Spain, he hopes to help fill these out of the way places with northern Europeans in search of the ‘real’ Spain, of which there are many living on the Costa Blanca and the Costa del Sol.