One of the most well-known man-made treasures within the Parque Natural de Cabo de Gata must surely be Cortijo del Fraile. Located near the pueblo of Los Albaricoques, Cortijo del Fraile has been used in many films; The Good, The Bad and The Ugly, I am the Revolution and more recently the spaghetti western spoof, Fistful of Travellers Cheques (with Rik Mayall & Adrian Edmonson) were all filmed here. On 22 July 1928 a crime of passion known as the “Crime of Níjar” took place near here which inspired Federico García Lorca’s 1932 seminal play, Bodas de Sangre (Blood Wedding). The play is also partly based on the facts contained in the novel by Carmen de Burgos entitled Puñal de Claveles (Dagger of Carnations). The nearby Cortijo el Campillo served as a hiding place for Francisca Cañadas, the real-life heroine (La Novia) of the passion play.
Cortijo del Fraile was built by the Dominican friars in the eighteenth century, hence its name (Cortijo = Farmhouse & Fraile = Friar). In 1836 as a result of the laws relating to the confiscation of property of religious orders, Cortijo del Fraile was seized by the state and sold off in a private auction.
These days the property lies in a diminishing state of disrepair that is sad to see. Every now and then there is a mumbling of some restoration work but despite all efforts to kick this into touch, nothing has happened yet. In March 2010 Cortijo del Fraile was declared a Site of Cultural Interest by the Boletín Oficial de la Junta de Andalucía.
Here is a short film by David Aguirre Duport de Pontcharra of Sensí Falan & Fafi Molina performing a beautiful song inspired by the works of Federico García Lorca and in front of the majestic Cortijo del Fraile.
To read even more about Cortijo del Fraile, please visit the Unique Almeria website.