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Orlando Bloom reigns in Spain

January 21, 2004
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The bright lights of Hollywood descended on the tiny village of Loarre, Spain – population approximately 400 – this month, as Orlando Bloom jetted in to the region to shoot his latest film, Kingdom Of Heaven.

In the Ridley Scott-directed drama, which takes place in the 12th century, a young blacksmith helps defend Jerusalem against the Crusaders. Loarre, set in the scenic foothills of the Pyrenees about 30 kilometres from Huesca in Spain's Aragon region, stands in for the Holy Land.

For the $110-million project, filmmakers constructed a medieval village alongside stunning Loarre castle, an isolated, Romanesque-style structure constructed between 1016 and 1020. Surrounded by a rocky landscape scattered with pine trees, the historic building, considered the best-conserved medieval fortress in Europe, is reached by one-lane road from the nearby village.

Fans and curiosity-seekers have flocked to quiet Loarre, which hasn’t had a taste of Tinseltown magic since Basic Instinct director Paul Verhoeven’s action flick Flesh And Blood was filmed there in 1985.

But residents all over the Mediterranean country should be preparing for the excitement brought by Orlando and his co-stars. Kingdom Of Heaven, which also stars Jeremy Irons, Liam Neeson, David Thewlis, will be shot in other picturesque Spanish locations, including Avila and Segovia, as well as the famed Andalusian cities of Cordoba, Granada and Seville.

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Photo: PA
Spain's Loarre Castle, considered one of the best-preserved buildings of its kind in Europe, is the backdrop for Orlando Bloom's latest project,
Photo: PA
Photo: PA
Filmmakers built a village around the base of the castle to bring the historic story to life

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