Almeria is another city located in the eastern part of the Autonomous Region of Andalusia, whose name comes from the Arabic Al-Mariyat, which means mirror, as in the past they called the city the Mirror of the Sea. Viewed from the Alcazaba perched on a hill above it, Almeria resembles North Africa against the backdrop of the yellow desert and the clutter of traditional flat-roofed houses intertwined with high-rise blocks.
The city was founded during the Caliphate of Cordoba by Abd al-Rahman III in 955 as the main port of his possessions, in order to strengthen its power in the Mediterranean. Today, many ferries depart from this port, transporting cars to Melia. At that time, the fortress of Alcazaba was built, considered the second largest Muslim fortress in Spain after the Alhambra in Granada and dedicated to the memory of the Moorish past of Almeria.
After the disintegration of the caliphate, Almeria became an independent kingdom, the so-called typhoon. Trade and the silk industry flourished in the city. In the following years, power over Almeria was disputed between the emirs of Granada and Valencia and became the scene of numerous sieges. In October 1147, the troops of Alfonso VII recaptured it, but only for a short time, because after 10 years it passed back into the hands of the Muslims. The Catholic monarchs Isabel I and Fernando II put an end to this domination when, on December 26, 1489, the Spaniards finally recaptured it.
But the development of the city does not continue without shocks and this time not those caused by political interests. In the 16th century, Almeria was hit by at least four major earthquakes, the strongest of which was in 1522, which devastated it. A slow renaissance began in the 18th century, when rich deposits of iron ore were discovered near Almeria. As a testament to its industrial past, Cable Ingles, an ore production line, was built.
Almeria is perhaps one of the least famous places in Spain, although tourism in the city is growing and developing, with new resorts being built to the east and west of the city. The coast is dotted with various beaches, but the interior of the city is simple, except for its lunar landscape, thanks to which Almeria was put on the world stage in 1960 by the Italian film producer who chose the city as the best scene for "spaghetti westerns".
Not that there is nothing to see in the city. On the contrary. The Nicolas Salmeron Coastal Park with its palm trees, fountains and gardens creates an amazing atmosphere. It is the most coveted place for a cup of mint tea from the Moroccan settlers in Almeria, who have settled and established their community among the fruit and vegetable fields around the city.
Paseo de Almeria, which is the main social and commercial center, gives a more European look to Almeria. Here is the decorated building of Circulo Mercantil or the Trade Guild. The city is not without a cathedral. Built in the 17th century, it catches the eye with the Sol de Portocarero - a huge sun, a symbol that reveals the favorable climate of the village. Of course, the place of honor is dedicated to the pearl of Almeria - the Arab fortress Alcazaba towering over the city. It is a testament to its rich history, built in 955 to tell the world about Spain's most prosperous port.
The city takes good care of its modern appearance, but mostly along its coast. Tourist centers, good beaches, marinas, international restaurants, hotels and sports centers color the tourist map of Almeria and are indicators of the city's progress in this regard. In the eastern corner of the city is a nature reserve with a desert landscape and rugged coastline, sweetened with small coves. These places are sparsely populated, but are a paradise for nature lovers, birds and scuba divers.
Despite the general drought in the region, Almeria does not give way to a major agricultural producer of about 250 million kilograms of flowers and crops. They are the product of huge areas with greenhouses, as over 70% of the production is exported to Europe. Almeria's greenhouse development model is an example for scientists around the world. In addition, the city has many laboratories for research and development of agriculture, where the largest companies in the sector are represented.