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Saturday, November 3, 2018

Location: Tabernas - El Condor Fortress - Exterior

Part 1 of 4

The fortress of El Condor, was the central set piece for the film of the same name.  Designed by Julio Molina de Juanes and built in 1969, this set outlasted the production of the film and was used heavily throughout the 1970's, and sporadically thereafter, as the set deteriorated over time.  Most of El Condor is gone now, but there is much left that is recognizable from the film.

I visited this location in 2015 and 2018, and the photos showcased are over both trips.

Located very close to the Sweetwater ranch from Once Upon a Time in the West, the fortress took up a large amount of space in the desert.  Despite the appearance of stone, the set itself was made primarily of wood, bamboo, and plaster.  Nearly all of the outer walls are now gone, leaving only a few internal structures intact.

Wide shot of the fallen walls (click to enlarge)

comparison of changes to the terrain

LVC even returned to this location 4 years later for The Stranger & The Gunfighter as seen in the comparison photo below-

Some shots of how it appeared in El Condor-

Below is a gallery of the perimeter of what was once the walls of El Condor as it appears today-

Finally some shots of the exterior from other films-

 A Reason to Live, A Reason to Die (1972)

 A Man Called Noon (1973)

Conan The Barbarian (1981)


Additional reporting will include; the courtyard, interiors, and finale sequence from El Condor.

1 comment:

  1. Very fascinating. El Condor is one of Lee's better films after he became a leading man. I saw it the first day it was released in America in 1970. And it was shot entirely in Spain and was listed by National General pictures as a U.S. film. I guess the first big picture shot in that part of Spain was Lawrence of Arabia.