Im finally going to get a chances to pop over to Tabernas on my next trip and Im wondering if Fort Bravo and Mini Hollywood are separate attractions or actually the same place? If they are two distinct venues, which is the better one to visit?
Fort Bravo, aka ‘Texas Hollywood’, was actually built in the mid 1960s, not early 1970s as mentioned in wiki:
It’s first seen on film in ‘Death Rides a Horse’ (1967) The story is that it was built to cash in on the western boom, particularly aiming at Leone’s GBU … but apparently the owners wanted too much money to film there, so Leone filmed scenes of 4 western towns in the same place, at different angles … Mini Hollywood, now known as ‘Oasys’.
There are a lot of famous films made in both locations, but do some pre-travel research if there’s somewhere special you would like to see - also, don’t believe all the claims made in the advertising materials or bother asking help from the staff … they don’t seem to know or care, from my experience.
‘Blindman’, ‘El Condor’, ‘The Price of Power’, ‘Hannie Caulder’, ‘Cemetery Without Crosses’, are amongst the most well known (there are lots of others) partially filmed here.
Mini Hollywood is easy to get to, just off the main road. Major attraction as everyone says.
Texas Hollywood is really hard to get to.
It had been raining the day before we tried to get there, and we took the road that turns off at the bridge, concrete at first and then turns into a dirt track. Ahead of us was a camper van, stuck in the mud, with a Guardia Civil car, and some police trying to help.
I chatted with the cops, and they said this was the worse route to get there. They advised an earlier turn marked by a signpost and gate posts. But you take that and you’re going down a real steep hillside on a dirt track. The idiots need to spend money on some tarmac.
So we continued on to Mojacar, and it was the best decision we ever made, because that village in the clouds is absolutely beautiful. The only Spaghetti western connection is that Mojacar is where Yul Brynner stayed when he was making Catlow.
The other attraction is Leone Ranch, which is the ranch from OUATITW. But it’s just the farmhouse, no attractions, and a load of buildings that have been added to make it look like a town. And they charge 12 Euros each to visit. That’s a shitty dirt track too, full of rocks and bumps. It was easier when I went in 1972.
Visit both. They are so close to one another, that it would be silly not to do so.
There’s amazing SW history tied up with both.
I have to say though, that ‘Mini Hollywood’ - despite its unwanted appendages over the years (zoo etc) - is probably the one where you will instantly recognise certain features…the Bank of ‘El Paso’; the saloon where Col. Mortimer stays in ‘For a Few Dollars More’; the ‘FAFDM’ sheriff’s office etc.