Mini Hollywood

Tabernas, Spain | C.1965

Photo Credit: Jose Galera

When choosing where to film “The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly”, one of the most iconic Westerns of all time, set during the American Civil War, the obvious location to shoot was … Spain? Queue Ennio Moricone’s “The Ecstasy of Gold”.

Mini Hollywood, or Oasys, as it was recently renamed, is now a theme park outside of Tabernas, in southern Spain. The location became the set of two of Sergio Leone’s “Spaghetti Westerns” – a sub-genre accredited to popular Westerns directed by Italians like Leone – first 1965’s “For A Few Dollars More” and, the following year, “The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly”, both starring one of Hollywood’s most iconic cowboys, Clint Eastwood. After the second of Leone’s films wrapped, the extras bought the set, turning it into a tourist attraction. 

Today, the park features enough Wild West-themed bells and whistles to knock a cowboy out of his boots. Visitors can stroll through old movie sets, step foot into a saloon for a glass of whiskey, and dine on char-grilled steaks. Prefer a show? Catch the Cancan or one of several theatrical shows reenacting famous Western episodes like the Gunfight at OK Corral and including legendary characters such as Buffalo Bill, Jesse James, Wyatt Earp, Calamity Jane and Crazy Horse. It’s true that the days of the old cowboys are well and gone. But, tucked away in the arid Andalusian mountains, you can always pretend. Now, where was that gold buried?

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