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Almería

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Almería is located in Spain
Almería
Coordinates: 36°50′N 2°27′W / 36.833°N 2.45°W / 36.833; -2.45
Country  Spain
Community  Andalusia
Municipality Almería
Government
 - Mayor Luis Rogelio Rodríguez-Comendador Pérez (PP)
Area
 - Total 295 km2 (113.9 sq mi)
Elevation 23 m (76 ft)
Population (2007)
 - Total 189,798
 Density 615.9/km2 (1,595.3/sq mi)
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 - Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)

Almería is the capital of the province of Almería, Spain. It is located in southeastern Spain on the Mediterranean Sea.

Contents

History

The name "Almería" stems from Arabic المرية Al-Mariyya: "The Mirror", comparing it to the "The Mirror of the Sea".

The city was founded by caliph Abd ar-Rahman III of Cordoba, in 955, as a principal harbour in his extensive domain to strengthen his Mediterranean defenses.

Alcazaba of Almería.

Its Moorish castle, Alcazaba, is the second largest among the Muslim fortresses of Andalusia after the Alhambra.

The ancient walls of Jayrán.

In this period, the port city of Almería reached its historical peak, continuing, after the fragmentation of the Caliphate of Cordoba, under powerful local Muslim taifa emirs like Jairan, the first independent Emir of Almería and Cartagena and Almotacin, the poet emir, both fearless warriors but also patrons of the arts. A silk industry, based upon plantings of mulberry trees in the hot dry landscape supported Almería in the 11th century and made its strategic harbour an even more valuable prize. Contested by the emirs of Granada and Valencia, Almería suffered many sieges, and one especially fierce when Christians, called to the Second Crusade by Pope Eugene III, were also encouraged to fall upon the Muslim 'infidel' on a more familiar coast.

The statue of San Cristóbal.

On that occasion Alfonso VII, at the head of mixed forces of Catalans, Genoese, Pisans and Franks led a crusade against the rich city, and Almería was occupied in October 1147. Within a decade it had passed to the control of the puritanical Almoravid emirs, and though its glorious culture was diminished, not until the late 15th century did it fall permanently into Christian hands, surrendered to the Catholic Monarchs, Ferdinand and Isabella, December 26, 1489.

Antigua Estación del Ferrocarril.

The 16th century was for Almería a century of natural and human catastrophes, for there were at least four earthquakes— of which the one in 1522 was especially violent— devastating the city. The people who had remained Muslim were expelled from Almería after the War of Las Alpujarras in 1568 and scattered across Spain. Landings and attacks by Berber pirates were also frequent in that century, and continued until the early 18th century. In that time, huge iron mines were discovered and French and British companies came to settle in the area, bringing renewed prosperity and bringing Almería back to a relative importance within Spain.

During the Spanish Civil War the city was shelled by the German navy, and the front page headlines of the Diario de Almería, dated June 3, 1937, referred to the press in London and Paris carrying the news of the "criminal bombardment of Almería by German planes".[1] It and Málaga were the last Andalusian cities to surrender to Francisco Franco's "National Spain" forces.

In the second half of the 20th century, Almería witnessed spectacular economic growth due to tourism and intensive agriculture, with plants grown year-round in massive 'invernaderos' - plastic-covered "greenhouses" for intensive vegetable production.

After Franco's death and the approval of the new Spanish Constitution, the people of southern Spain were called into referendum to approve an autonomous status for the region. The province of Almería voted in favour of it and join the newly created autonomous region of Andalusia, with 118,186 votes for and 11,092 votes against.[2]

Cable Inglés, at night.

Main sights

  • The Alcazaba, a mediaeval fortress begun in the 13th century but destroyed by an earthquake in 1522. It includes a triple line of walls, a majestic maschio and large gardens. It commands a quarter in white colors, of Muslim-age aspect.
  • The Cathedral, with a fortress-like appearance due to its towers, merlons and protected paths, aimed to defend it from the Mediterranean pirates. Originated as a mosque later turned into a Christian church, it was destroyed by the 1522 earthquake. In the 16th century it was rebuilt in the Renaissance style, whilst keeping some of its defensive features.
  • Renaissance church of Santiago, built in 1533, with tower and portal decorated with reliefs.
  • Chanca, a group of houses carved within rocks.
  • Castle of San Cristobal, now in ruins. It is connected to the Alcazaba by a line of walls.
  • Museum of Almería. Includes findings from Prehistoric, Iberic, Roman, Greek ages and Muslim objects, mostly from the Alcazaba.
  • Paseo de Coches, a modern seaside walk with gardens and palms.

Demographics

Demographic evolution of Almería between 1999 and 2007

1999

2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2007

169,027

168,945 170,994 173,338 176,727 177,681 181,702 189,798

Source: INE (Spain)

People and culture

Casa de las Mariposas.

Famous natives of Almería include Nicolás Salmerón, who in 1873 was the third president of the First Spanish Republic, and several musicians, like the popular folk singer Manolo Escobar, renowned Flamenco guitar player José Tomás "Tomatito" and Grammy Award winner David Bisbal, record-breaking album seller in America and Spain. Although administratively annexed to the Autonomous Community of Andalucia, in Southern Spain, some people of the province have shown a clear desire for regional autonomy in different referendums. The island effect produced by the geographical situation has made several customs, accents and history different from the rest of the Autonomous Region of Andalucia. Almería hosted the Mediterranean Games in 2005. Almeria has 2 football teams: UD Almería plays in La Liga since 2007 and CP Almería plays in Regional Division.

Economy

Ayuntamiento of Almería.

Almería has an international airport, named Almería International Airport.

Almería has the largest naturist beach in Europe (also surrounded by naturist accommodations) called El Playazo despite current attempts to reduce the naturist extent of it. A great part of Almería's economy is based on agriculture, which is located mainly in the west part of the region. There we can find a sea of plastics, which are in fact green houses which produce tons of fruit and vegetables, more than 70% of the product is exported to the rest of Europe.

Rambla of Almería.

Transportation

By land, to Almería can be reached by the A-7 Mediterranean Highway, which connects the Mediterranean area and Spanish A-92 that unites it with the rest of Andalusia.

By sea, the port of Almería has lines to Melilla, Algeria and Morocco, also being scale of tourist cruises in the Mediterranean. Likewise also owns a marina with moorings for pleasure boats. Currently the port of Almería is being expanded with new docks also transform into a container port which make large-scale international shipping and thereby increase its freight traffic. It normally cover lines with the following destinations:

By air, Almería has Almería International Airport which is the fourth largest in Andalusia and with domestic and international flights, mainly Amsterdam, Madrid, Barcelona, Melilla, London, Manchester, Birmingham, Brussels, Dublin and cities Swiss, German and EU level.

Harbour of Almería.

Geography

Due to its arid landscape, numerous spaghetti westerns were filmed in Almería. According to Christopher Frayling, the author of Once Upon A Time in Italy: The Films of Sergio Leone, some of the sets are still there.[3] These sets are located in the desert of Tabernas. The town and region were also used by David Lean in Lawrence of Arabia (1962), John Milius in The Wind and the Lion (1975), and others. One of Almería's most famous natural spots is the Cabo de Gata-Níjar Natural Park. This park is of volcanic origin, and is the largest and most ecologically significant marine-terrestrial space in the European Western Mediterranean Sea. With one of the most beautiful and ecologically rich coasts of the western Mediterranean and an area of 380 square kilometres it is one of Spain’s natural jewels. The Cabo de Gata Natural Park runs through the municipal areas of Níjar, Almería and Carboneras. Its villages, previously dedicated to fishing, have become tourism spots for those interested in nature. One of the greatest draws of the Cabo de Gata Natural Park is its beaches.

Panorama of the coast of Almería.

Climate

Almería has one of the sunniest, warmest and driest climates in Europe. Almería enjoys about 3000 hours of sunshine annually with around 320 sunny days a year on average (6 hours of sun in January and 12 in August). Almería has an average annual temperature of around 19 °C (66 °F) and only 25-30 wet days a year on average. During the winter, daily maximum temperatures tend to stay around 14–20 °C (57–68 °F). At night, the temperature rarely drops below 8 °C (46 °F). precipitation falls in short heavy bursts. During the warmest month - August, there are clear sunny skies and no rainfall. The typical daily temperatures range from 28–34 °C (82–93 °F) and occasionally climb higher to around 40 °C (104 °F). The minimum temperatures stay well above 20 °C (68 °F). The temperature of the sea stays around 17 °C (63 °F) during the winter and 26 °C (79 °F) during the summer. This makes a swim an inviting prospect during any time of the year.

Climate data for Almeria (airport)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 16.9
(62)
17.7
(64)
19.2
(67)
21.0
(70)
23.6
(74)
27.3
(81)
30.3
(87)
30.7
(87)
28.3
(83)
24.3
(76)
20.4
(69)
17.9
(64)
23.1
(74)
Daily mean °C (°F) 12.5
(55)
13.2
(56)
14.7
(58)
16.4
(62)
19.1
(66)
22.7
(73)
25.7
(78)
26.4
(80)
24.0
(75)
20.0
(68)
16.2
(61)
13.7
(57)
18.7
(66)
Average low °C (°F) 8.2
(47)
8.8
(48)
10.1
(50)
11.9
(53)
14.6
(58)
18.2
(65)
21.1
(70)
22.0
(72)
19.6
(67)
15.7
(60)
12.0
(54)
9.4
(49)
14.3
(58)
Precipitation cm (inches) 2.3
(0.9)
2.1
(0.8)
1.5
(0.6)
2.0
(0.8)
1.4
(0.6)
1.0
(0.4)
0
(0)
0
(0)
1.2
(0.5)
2.8
(1.1)
2.8
(1.1)
2.3
(0.9)
19.6
(7.7)
Avg. precipitation days 3 3 3 3 2 1 0 0 1 3 3 3 26
Source: Agencia Estatal de Meteorología[4]
Zapillo Beach, in the coasts of Almería.

Films

List of films shot in Almería

Sister cities

Crystal Cave

In 2000, a team of geologists found a cave filled with giant gypsum crystals in an abandoned silver mine near Almería. The cavity, which measures 1.8x1.7 meters, would be the largest geode ever found. The entrance of the cave has been blocked by five tons of rocks, and is under police protection (to prevent looters from entering). According to geological models, the cave was formed during the Messinian salinity crisis 6 million years ago, when the Mediterranean sea evaporated and left thick layers of salt sediments (evaporites). The cave is currently not accessible to tourists.

Photographs

See also

References

External links

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Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Almeria
Almeria

Almeria is a city in Andalucia.

Understand

The word Almeria is an Arabic word which means mirror of the sea. Like many Andalusian cities, Almeria kept its Arabic name after it had been recaptured by the Spanish. It is a relatively small town by the sea, which includes in its region the Natural Resort (Parque Natural) area of Cabo de Gata.

Get in

By plane

Carriers serving Almeria include Monarch [1] from London Luton, Birmingham and Manchester, Ryanair from London Stansted, Air Nostrum from Barcelona, BMIBaby from East Midlands, Easyjet from London Gatwick & Jet2.com [2] from Leeds/Bradford.

By train

Almeria's train station is located on the Plaza de la Estación in the centre of the city and has services to destinations across Spain.

The Alcazaba
The Alcazaba
  • Casa de los Marqueses de Torrealta
  • Cathedral of Santa María de la Encarnación
  • John Lennon Monument [3]
  • La Alcazaba
  • Las Claras Convent
  • Museo del Aceite de Oliva
  • Palace of the Marquees of Cabra
  • Palace of the Viscounts of the Castillo de Almansa
  • Visit the great beaches of Las Salinas and La Almadrava de Monteleva.
  • Círculo Mercantil
  • Mercado Central - the central market.

Eat

There are numerous tapas bars located around the town, offering a choice of meat, fish and seafood as well as some typical tortillas and potato dishes. Tapa bars are typically visited by the locals before the night fiesta.

  • Paseo Maritimo zone. The pedestrian street by the sea offers a great number of bars de tapa, where breakfast, coffee, juices beers and tapas can be enjoyed with the view of the sea and the beautiful sunsets.  edit
  • Calle Mayor (center). Calle Mayor is a tapas-bar located between the Rambla and the paseo de Almeria near the center. If has a variety of tapas, often different than the most common choices found in most of the tapas bars in the city, some of the choices being vegetarian. The price for a caña of beer (a smaller glass than the tubo's)and a tapa is only one euro in the evenings.  edit
  • 46 (center (quatro calles)). For a different selection of tapas, 46 is an Italian tapas bar, with a variety of lasagna and pastas as an additional choice to the common tapas. Price of a tubo of beer and tapa is 2 euro.  edit

Drink

Most of the bars are located in the area known by the locals as cuatro calles (the four streets) in the very centre of the city and just under the Cathedral plaza. Depending on the day, a litre of beer could cost down to 2 euros in some bars.

  • NH Ciudad de Almeria, Jardín de Medina, +34.95.0182500 [4]. Recently built, located at the Jardín de Medina street, in the very heart of the city. A privileged location opposite the train and bus stations near the Marina and perfectly linked to the airport.

Stay safe

Almeria is generally a peaceful town. Robberies or crime is highly unlikely although the locals might advise to keep away from the gypsy neighbourhoods at night.

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1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

Almeria, a maritime province of southern Spain, formed in 1833, and comprehending the eastern territories of the ancient kingdom of Granada. Pop. (1900) 359,013; area, 3360 sq. m. Almeria is bounded on the N. by Granada and Murcia, E. and S. by Murcia and the Mediterranean Sea, and W. by Granada. It is traversed by mountain ridges, with peaks of 6000 to 8000 ft. in altitude; and it is seamed with valleys of great fertility. The chief sierras, or ranges, are those of Maria, in the north; Estancias and Oria, north of the Almanzora river; Filabres, in the middle of the province; Cabrera and Gata, along the southeast coast; Alhamilla, east of the city of Almeria; Gador in the south-west; and, in the west, some outlying ridges of the Sierra Nevada. Three small rivers, the Adra, or Rio Grande de Adra, in the west, the Almeria in the centre, and the Almanzora in the north and east, flow down from the mountains to the sea. On the south coast is the Gulf of Almeria, 25 m. wide at its entrance, and terminating, on the east, in the Cabo de Gata, the southernmost point of eastern Spain. The climate is mild, except among the higher mountains. The valleys near the sea are well adapted for agriculture; oranges, lemons, almonds and other fruit trees thrive; silk is produced in the west; and the vine is extensively cultivated, less for the production of wine than to meet the foreign demand for white Almeria grapes. Although the cost of transport is very heavy, the exportation of grapes is a flourishing industry, and more than 2,000,000 barrels are annually sent abroad. The cattle of the central districts are celebrated for size and quality. Almeria is rich in minerals, especially iron and lead; silver, copper, mercury, zinc and sulphur are also obtained. At the beginning of the 10th century the mines at work numbered more than two hundred, and proved very attractive to foreign as well as native capitalists. Garnets are found in the Sierra de Gata and in the Sierra Nevada fine marble is quarried. The development of mining was facilitated by the extension of the railway system between 1895 and 1905. The main line from Madrid to Almeria conveys much ore from Granada and Jaen to the sea; while the railway from Baza to Lorca skirts the Almanzora valley and transports the mineral products of eastern Almeria by a branch line from Huercal-Overa to the Murcian port of Aguilas. Light railways and aerial cables among the mountains supplement these lines. The chief imports comprise coal, timber, especially oak staves, and various manufactured goods. The exports are minerals, esparto, oil, grain, grapes and farm produce generally. The principal seaports are Almeria, the capital,pop.(1900)47,326, Adra (11,188), and Garrucha (4661), which, with Berja (13,224), Cuevas de Vera (20,562), Huercal-Overa (15,763) and Nijar (12,4 9 7), are described in separate articles. Other towns, important as mining or agricultural centres, are Albox (10,049), Dallas (7136), Lubrin (6593), Sorbas (7306), Tabernas (7629), Velez Blanco (6825), Velez Rubio (10,109) and Vera (8446)� Education is backward and the standard of comfort low. A constant annual loss of 2000 or 3000 emigrants to Algeria and elsewhere prevents any rapid increase of population, despite the high birth-rate and low mortality.

Almeria, the capital of the province of Almeria, and one of the principal seaports on the Mediterranean coast of southern Spain; in 36° 5' N. and 2° 32' W., on the river Almeria, at its outflow into the Gulf of Almeria, and at the terminus of a railway from Madrid. Pop. (1900) 47,326. The city occupies part of a rich alluvial valley enclosed by hills. It is an episcopal see, and possesses a Gothic cathedral, dating from 1524, and constructed with massive embattled walls and belfry so as to resemble a fortress. A dismantled castle, the Castillo de San Cristobal, overlooks the city, which contains four Moorish towers rising conspicuously above its modern streets. Two long piers shelter the harbour, and vessels drawing 25 ft. can lie against the quays. About 1400 ships, of nearly i,000,000 tons, enter the port every year, bringing fuel and timber, and taking cargoes of iron, lead, esparto and fruit. White grapes are exported in very large quantities.

Under its ancient name of Urci, Almeria was one of the chief Spanish harbours after the final conquest of Spain by the Romans in 19 B.C. It reached the summit of its prosperity in the middle ages, as the foremost seaport of the Moorish kingdom of Granada. At this time its population numbered 150,000; its cruisers preyed upon the fleets of the neighbouring Christian states; and its merchant ships traded with countries as distant as Egypt and Syria. Almeria was captured in 1147 by King Alphonso VII. of Castile and his Genoese troops, but speedily ' retaken and held by the Moors until 1489, when it was finally secured by the Spaniards.

See D. F. Margall, Almeria, (Barcelona, 1886) .


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