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Almeria is described as one of the cities of Andalucia with the most personality. The city was born in the 10th century when Abderraman 3rd ordered the building of a fortress to defend the area from attack from Fatini of Tunisia. The fortress was called Al-Mariy-yat and was to become the biggest muslin fortress in all of Europe.
Today, Almeria presents itself to the visitor as an open and welcoming place. Rich in culture and customs the city is happy to share its history with you.
There are many things to do and see in the enchanting city, from simply strolling through its slim streets and alleyways marvelling at the beautiful facades of the building in the city historic quarter, visiting the Parque Nicolas Salmeron, to taking in the breathtaking views of the ports used for both commercial and leisure.
Relax on one of the many “terrazas” that extend along the length of Iribarne and Concepcino Arenal or better still lose yourself in the amazing gastronomic offerings of the Pescaderia, El Alquian and Cabo de Gata neighbourhoods. Make sure that you try the seafood, local produce or one of the local delicacies such as Date cake or “ajo coloroa” ( roasted garlic).
Alcazaba: This Arabic palace, was built on top of the original fortress in 955 by Abderraman 3rd, with more than 1400 metres of surrounding walls this after the Alambra is the second largest muslim construction in Spain. Built in three distinct parts, this particular part of the construction was home to the houses and spas of the people who lived here, of which today has been converted to gardens, still here however, is the “Muro de la Vela”, the “Baluarte del Saliente” and the 18th century bell of “Santa Maria la Mayor”. The second part of the construction surrounds the palaces, the most impressive of which was home to the Aljibes kings here you will also find a typical muslim home and the muslim chapel all excellently preserved. In the third part lies the remains of a castle built in the 15th century by the Catholic kings after they had conquered the city. Here it’s worth taking a visit to the Torre del Homenaje.
Catedral: Originally built as a fort against the continuous attacks from pirates, the cathedral with its thick stone walls and crowning turrets rises up impressively in the centre of the city’s old town.
An eclectic mix of gothic styling, a baroque tower and its polygonal shaping makes for a visit to an architectural marvel. Inside you are confronted by the beautiful styling of the main altar, the surrounding chapels and in the old patio you can see the circular mezzanine overhead.
Plaza Vieja: Right in the centre of the old town, this square constructed in the 19th century was once home to the typical muslim markets that you would find in the region. Today it’s home to the main City Council building.
Iglesias de Almería: The church of Santiago el Viejo with it’s 50 metre tower and splendid façade, La Iglesia de San Pedro, built on top on the site of a previous mosque and La Iglesia de San Juan also built on the site of a mosque but where you can still see some sign of the previous tenants of the land are three of the more important of the numerous churches that can be found in the city’s streets and plazas.
Cuevas de la Chanca: La chanca is the name of the neighbourhood at the foot of a steep cliff face overlooked by the Alcazaba. These colourful caves are inhabited and turned into homes over the years, not the most conventional you will ever see.
Parque Natural de Cabo de Gata-Níjar: The Parque Natural de Cabo de Gata-Nijar, an excellent choice if you have some free time, here you can marvel at the pink flamingos right here at home in the reserve sitting on top of volcanic origins. If water sport is your thing then this is the place to enjoy yourself.
Beaches: Right along the coast of Almeria you’ll find a multitude of beautiful beaches, Playa de San Miguel, Las Conchas or Playa de Nueva Almeria being the most popular.