Almeria, Spain is the capital of the municipality of the same name in Andalusia, in southern Spain and has around 200,000 inhabitants. It is beautifully situated on the Mediterranean Sea with some 219 kilometres of sandy coast, the Costa de Almería. Almería has the most sunshine hours in all of Europe, makes the city a popular destination for sun worshipers.
But this historic city has more to offer than sun and beach. Fortresses, churches and archaeological sites are also among the sights of this unique city. Here we will briefly discuss the rich history of Almeria in Spain and its sights.
The history of Almeria, Spain, goes way back
The Arabs officially founded the city in 955, but there are indications that the city already existed in Roman times, albeit much smaller.
In the period called “the Muslim era”, the town increased and became an important trading place for products from Africa. In 1489 the city was officially taken over by the surrounding Catholic monarchies. The “Christian era” begins. In this era, the city Almeria is becoming impoverished, and people are starting to move away. Trade with America is now more critical than with Africa and Almería is not on that trade route. Moreover, the city suffers from earthquakes and invading pirates.
A new cathedral
An earthquake destroyed the city in 1522, leaving only 700 inhabitants in the city. The city built a new cathedral on the site of the old mosque, the Catedral de la Encarnición de Almería. The temple served as a fortress to protect against pirates.
Today, the diocese of Amería resides in it. The cathedral attracts Christians from the full area, but the city continues to suffer from earthquakes, droughts and piracy. In the 18th century did the city begin to flourish again, under the influence of mining activities in the area of Almeria. From 1810 to 1812 the town was occupied by France. In the time that follows, parks, squares and canals arise, and the city will be piped and drained. However, it took until after World War II to restore the city to its full glory.
This rich history ensures that there are influences from many cultures in Almeria. The Alcazaba is still in the same condition as it was in the Muslim era.
After the Alhambra in nearby Granada, this is the largest Muslim building in Spain. The fortress lays placed on a hill and overlooks the old centre of the city, the medina, where some of the original narrow streets still run.
In addition to the cathedral of Almeria, several churches bear witness to the Christian era. The covered market and the old station, both from the 19th century, are certainly also worth a visit. Furthermore, the city has several beautiful squares, theatres, museums and many statues. From the harbour, ferries go to different cities in North Africa.
Some 30km northwest of Almeria is Europe’s just desert, the Desierto Tabernas. This wild scope of sand rises, slopes and mountains is infrequently visited by downpour, and home to types of greenery that battle to exist anyplace else on the mainland. Thorny nearby inhabitants incorporate the yellow scorpion and the little yet destructive dark widow creepy crawly. Proceed cautiously.
The driest spot in Europe
The Tabernas is to a great extent liable for making Almeria the driest city in mainland Europe, with yearly precipitation of simply 200mm. It is additionally the second-hottest city on the landmass (in front of the rest of the competition goes to another Andalusian pearl, Seville), with yearly temperatures never plunging underneath 19C. As though that weren’t sufficient to allure sun addicts, a temperature underneath freezing has never been recorded in Almeria.
Wild West country
During the 1960s and 70s, the dusty, rough scene of Almeria’s Tabernas desert turned into a famous shooting objective for Hollywood. Numerous works of art of that time were shot here, most broadly the Sergio Leone westerns featuring Clint Eastwood. You can visit three of the Wild West sets that were constructed explicitly for these works of art: Little Hollywood, Fort Bravo and Western Leone.
Cabo de Gata-Nijar Natural Park
Simply 40km east along the coast from Almeria is the tremendous Cabo de Gata-Nijar Natural Park – the greatest secured nature hold on the Mediterranean coast. Here you’ll discover excellent seashores, stunning mountains and rises and over a thousand types of verdure. You can investigate its uninhabited territories by foot, bicycle or horseback, wondering as you go to the palaces from which Moors and Christians once struggled Berber privateers.