Rodalquilar Gold Mine – Rodalquilar, Spain - Atlas Obscura

AO Edited

Rodalquilar Gold Mine

Rodalquilar, Spain

This abandoned gold mine found a second life as a post-apocalyptic film set.  


The surviving structures of the Denver mining plant hang precariously off a hillside above the town of Rodalquilar, located inside the Cabo de Gata Natural Park. The mine reached its peak during the 1950s, as the belief grew that vast deposits of gold were hidden underground. However, the state-sponsored enterprise failed to meet expectations and the mine was abandoned in 1966.

In the summer of 1985, the site was turned into a post-apocalyptic prison camp for the film Solarbabies, with Jami Gertz and Jason Patric as rebellious rollerskating teens. The painted letters, still legible on the mine’s buildings –“Dorm Block B,” and “Guard Block D”are leftovers from the film.

A few years later, the site was transformed into a snow-covered medieval England for The Reckoning, starring Willem Dafoe and Paul Bettany. A castle was constructed on top of the mine buildings, while Tudor facades were wrapped around the circular foundations at the bottom of the hill.

Visitors would never guess they were actually in the south of Spain when visiting this former mine. 

Additionally, only a few vestiges of the old mining town remain standing, a place that boosted the area’s economy thanks to the discovery of gold in these untamed and arid lands. Near the old gold mines, you can visit one of the most beautiful beaches in Almería, “El Playazo de Rodalquilar” where you can see also fossilized dunes and an old castle

Know Before You Go

Easily accessible from the town of Rodalquilar with hiking trails to explore.

Community Contributors
Edited by

January 4, 2021

Make an Edit Add Photos
In partnership with KAYAK

Plan Your Trip

From Around the Web