Visit Almeria, an Andalusian city
Founded by the Carthaginians, the city was also occupied by Phoenicians and Visigoths before being chosen by the Umayyad Caliph Abd Ar-Rahman III to build the Alcazaba. He named this building Al-Miriyat, the lookout tower, which gave Almería.
Then, in turn, it was the home of pirates, Muslim capital, and then had a tumultuous past until the 15th century when it passed under the control of the Catholic Kings.
The Alcazaba dominates the old town, made up of small alleys bordered by houses with whitewashed walls. With three enclosures, it is the largest of the fortresses built by Muslims in Spain.
Its port, a copy in accordance with the Magrebi ports, is a privileged transit place for people travelling to Morocco and the thousands of hectares of market gardening crops of the huerta have given it a revival of activity.
In the city centre, the Cathedral built at the beginning of the 16th century, which with its towers and crenels looks more like a stronghold than a place of worship.
Almería is also long beaches interspersed with cliffs, natural parks along its coastline including Nicolas Salmerón Park bordering the port area.
At the gates of the city, the Tabernas desert, with its landscapes strangely resembling those of the North American, African or Arab deserts, became a major location for spaghetti westerns, documentaries and series in the 1950s.
Monuments of Almeria
Alcazaba of Almeria
Built on a rocky promontory in the second half of the 10th century by Abd Er-Rahmane III to accommodate the siege of local government, the old fortress offers a magnificent view of the city, the port and the Mediterranean Sea.
Although Almería’s Alcazaba is the most important Muslim fortress built in Spain after Granada’s Alhambra, it is also the most famous building in the city.
The first two enclosures of this imposing defensive building are of Muslim origin, the third of Catholic design. It is after climbing a long staircase surrounded by vegetation that one reaches the outer enclosure through the Door of Justice. This is where the urban population first came to take refuge in case of danger.
Inside, the first enclosure housed houses and baths, a mosque and caliphal wells; nowadays exuberant gardens, fountains and ponds welcome visitors.
The first two enclosures are separated by the Muro de la Vela, the wall of the sail. Its name comes from the bell Santa María de los Dolores which was used to warn the population in case of important events or danger. This was also where the governor’s residence and servant quarters were located.
More recently, the third enclosure which was added by the Catholic King after the Reconquista is protected by three towers, moats and a drawbridge. Inside we discover the ruins of a castle built after the liberation of Almería in 1489 by the Catholics.
Access: Calla Almanzor.
Winter: Tuesday to Saturday from 9 am to 5:30 pm Sunday from 9 am to 3:30 pm. Closed on Mondays.
Summer: Tuesday to Saturday from 9 am to 3:30 pm and then from 7 pm to 10 pm. Sunday 9 am to 3:30 pm. Closed on Monday.
Admission: 1.50 € – free for EU nationals.
Cathedral of the Incarnation of Almería
The Cathedral of the Incarnation of Almería, the largest Catholic building in the city and seat of the diocese, has been classified as a place of cultural interest since 1931.
The building, whose construction was spread out from 1524 to 1562, in addition to a mixture of Gothic, Baroque and Renaissance styles, has quite special characteristics, since its spiritual role was added to that of a fortress.
Equipped with towers, crenels and thick walls, in addition to shelters for the population, the powder, muskets and other harquebuses were stored there to guarantee the incursions of Moorish pirates.
Access: Plaza de la Catedral.
Opening hours: Monday to Friday from 10 a. m. to 1 p. m. and then from 4 p. m. to 5 p. m. Saturday from 10 am to 1:30 pm. Admission: 5 €.
Museums and visits
Andalusian Centre of Photography
Created in 1992 by the Ministry of Culture of the Autonomous Government of Andalusia in order to collect and disseminate photographic funds, the Andalusian Centre for Photography inaugurated in 2007 a new building more adapted to its needs in the old Almeria High School located in the historical centre of the city.
This new space includes 600 m² of exhibitions, workshops, a photographic set, a projection and digitization room, as well as a library and a shop.
Access: Calle Pintor Díaz Molina, 9.
Opening hours: every day from 11am to 2pm / 5.30pm to 9.30pm. Free admission and accessible to people with reduced mobility.
The Almería Archaeological Museum was founded in 1933 by Louis Siret, a Belgian engineer and archaeologist, in the Carretera de Ronda near the Renfe railway station.
Built on three floors centred around a stratigraphic column, it houses permanent exhibitions on the first two levels and semi-permanent exhibitions on the third floor, of collections that have remained inaccessible to the general public for too long.
While the main collections concern prehistory and antiquity, the dating of objects, weapons, pottery and folk costumes, most of which originate in the province of Almeria, extends from the Palaeolithic to the present day.
Access: Carretera de Ronda, 91
Opening hours: June 1 to September 15: Tuesday to Saturday from 10 am to 3:30 pm. Sundays and holidays from 10 am to 5 pm. Closed on Monday.
From 16 September to 31 May: Tuesday to Saturday from 10am to 8:30pm. Sundays and public holidays from 10am to 5pm. Closed on Monday.
Admission: 1 € 50. Free for EU nationals.
The Guitar Museum “Antonio de Torres” is located in the historical old town of Almería.
More than a museum, this space of exhibitions on the Guitar allows a large audience to better understand this instrument which is at the same time the most popular, the most played and the most manufactured in the world.
The museum dedicated to” Antonio de Torres”, originating in the Cañada de San Urbano near Almería, one of the greatest Spanish luthiers and guitarists of the nineteenth century, is also intended to be a didactic cultural space within the reach of all audiences.
The ensemble, which hosts permanent and temporary exhibitions, has 10 rooms, including one dedicated to the history of the guitar. Room 7, offers the public a gallery retracing the course of the greatest Andalusian guitarists such as Tomatito or Paco de Lucia, but also Django Reinhardt, Santana, Jimi Hendrix…
Access: Ronda del Beato Diego Ventaja.
Opening hours: closed Mondays. Tuesday to Sunday from 10am to 1pm. Fridays and Saturdays from 5pm to 8pm.
From June to September: Tuesday to Sunday from 10:30 am to 1:30 pm. Fridays and Saturdays from 6pm to 9pm.
Admission: 3€. 2€ for children under 18 and over 64 years old and groups of 15 or more. Free for children under 6 years old.
Costa de Almeria
In the south-east of Spain, the Costa de Almería, which includes 200 km of the coast of this province, stretches from Adra in the west to Aguilas. The main localities are Almería, the capital of the province, Roquetas and Mojácar.
Several marinas dot this coast. In the shelter of the Gulf of Almería are the small harbour towns of Adra, Almerimar, Roquetas de Mar, Aguadulce and of course Almería; to the east of Cabo Gata: San José and Garrucha. These marinas offer many nautical activities, scuba diving, sailing, windsurfing, kayaking…
The Cabo de Gata is a beautiful advance at sea and is very attractive with its natural park Cabo de Gata-Nijar. Declared a natural park in 1987, it is the first Spanish park to be both terrestrial and maritime.
It is made up of a wild coastline, alternating impressive cliffs with beaches and coves. Protected, these coasts have become the refuge of many European fauna, including dolphins.
DESERT OF TABERNAS AND SIERRA NEVADA
CABO DE GATA AND MOJACAR
GRANADA AND ALHAMBRA AT THE START FROM ROQUETAS DE MAR