Whirling Dervishes on stilts

Click to see the video

How to whirl downhill on a cobbled street and on stilts. Sounds impossible but in the fiestas of Anguiano a village in La Rioja they do it. The Danza de los Zancos is performed for the day of Patrona Santa María Magdalena 22nd of July. It is an old Spanish religious ritual dance.
The skill which is needed to perform this dance comes in that it takes place half a metre above ground, on 45 cm wooden stilts fastened on at the knees. It’s a tradition, passed on from generation to generation, which is known to date back to at least the early 17th century but is believed to have existed as long ago as pre-Christian times. Some say it owes its origins to the stilts which were once used to cross the area’s flooded and snowy terrain.


Tabernas Almeria Spaghetti western

Tabernas (link to video) is a village that nestles between the Sierra de Alhamilla and Sierra de Filabres in Almeria. The area is probably best known for featuring in many spaghetti westerns over the years. It was during the 1960’s that the area reached its peak in fame with more than 100 films being shot here due to the fact that it is the only European desert. Films such as “A Fistful of Dollars“, “The Good, The Bad And The Ugly” and “The Magnificent Seven” all used this landscape. For anyone interested in film there are various film sets built in the nature reserve of the Tabernas Desert, three of these are now theme parks, Mini Hollywood, Texas Hollywood and Western Leone.
The climate in this area can reach the extremes. In the summer it is quite common to reach 45 degrees and it rarely rains. In the winter zero degrees is not uncommon. The sunshine is so plentiful that since 1979 there has been a solar energy research station located here.  

Tabernas sits within an arid desert area and boasts some interesting buildings. There is a ruined Moorish fort dating back to the 11th century and an elegant parish church, dating from the 16th and 17th century. The Town Hall was built in the 18th and 19th century.


Festivals in Tabernas include St.Sebastian on the 20th January and the Night of the Donkeys on Easter Sunday.

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