Motto(s): «Muy noble, muy leal y decidida por la libertad: ciudad de Almería»(Very noble, very loyal and determined towards freedom, city of Almería)
|Comarca||Comarca Metropolitana de Almería|
|Founded by||Abd-ar-Rahman III|
|• Body||Ayuntamiento de Almería|
|• Mayor||Ramón Fernández-Pacheco (PP)|
|• Total||296.21 km2 (114.37 sq mi)|
|Elevation||27 m (88,58 ft)|
|Time zone||CET (UTC+1)|
|• Summer (DST)||CEST (UTC+2)|
|Area code(s)||(+34) 950|
|Website||http://www.aytoalmeria.es (in Spanish)|
Almería (//; Spanish: [almeˈɾi.a]) is a city in Andalusia, Spain, located in the southeast of Spain on the Mediterranean Sea, and is the capital of the province of the same name. It was Abd-ar-Rahman III who founded the Alcazaba (the Citadel), which gave this city its name: Al-Mari'yah (المريّة, the Watchtower). In the 10th and 11th centuries, it formed part of the Caliphate of Córdoba, and grew wealthy on trade and the textile industry, especially silk. It suffered many sieges and fell under Christian domination in 1489. In 1522, Almería was devastated by an earthquake and rebuilding and recovery didn't really get underway until the 19th century. During the Spanish Civil War, the city was shelled by the German Navy, and fell to Franco in 1939. It has since rebuilt its economy around vegetable production, with 100,000 acres of greenhouses, supplying much of Europe.
In the first century, Christian documents report that there was a town named Urci, possibly near the current site of Almería, in the Hispania of the Roman Empire. However, this is disputed, as there are several possible sites of the town. However, missionary Saint Indaletius is said to have evangelized Urci and become its first bishop, and is officially the patron saint of Almería.
In this period, the port city of Almería reached its historical peak. After the fragmentation of the Caliphate of Córdoba in 1031, Almería continued to be ruled by powerful local Muslim Taifa emirs like Jairan, the first independent Emir of Almería and Cartagena, and Almotacin, the poet emir. Both Jairan and Almotacin were fearless warriors, but also sophisticated patrons of the arts. A silk industry, based upon plantings of mulberry trees in the hot, dry landscape of the province, supported Almería in the 11th century and made its strategic harbour an even more valuable asset.
Contested by the emirs of Granada and Valencia, Almería experienced many sieges, including one especially fierce siege when Christians, called to the Second Crusade by Pope Eugene III, were also encouraged to attack the Muslim 'infidels' on a more familiar coast. On that occasion Alfonso VII, starting on 11 July 1147, at the head of mixed forces of Catalans, Genoese, Pisans and Franks, led a crusade against the rich city, and Almería was occupied on 17 October 1147.
Within a decade, however, Almería had passed to the control of the puritanical Muslim Almoravid emirs, and not until the late 15th century did it fall permanently into Christian hands. The city surrendered to the Catholic Monarchs, Fernando and Isabel, on December 26, 1489.
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 the 16th century, and continued until the early 18th century. At that time, huge iron mines were discovered and French and British companies set up business in the area, bringing renewed prosperity and returning Almería to a position of relative importance within Spain.
During the Spanish Civil War the city was shelled by the German Navy, with news reaching the London and Parisian press about the "criminal bombardment of Almería by German planes". Almería surrendered in 1939, being the last Andalusian capital city to fall to Francoist forces.
In the second half of the 20th century, Almería witnessed spectacular economic growth due to tourism and intensive agriculture, with crops grown year-round in massive invernaderos – plastic-covered "greenhouses" – for intensive vegetable production.
After Franco's death and popular approval of the new Spanish Constitution, the people of southern Spain were called on to approve an autonomous status for the region in a referendum. While the referendum were approved with 118,186 votes for and 11,092 votes against in Almería province, an absolute majority of all 279,300 registered electors was needed, and the result in Almería was just 42%. The Government impugned the result, and Almería remained part of the present autonomous region of Andalusia.
- The Alcazaba, a medieval fortress that was begun in the 10th century but destroyed by an earthquake in 1522. It includes a triple line of walls, a majestic keep and large gardens. It commands a city quarter with buildings dressed in pastel colors, of Muslim-age aspect.
- Almería air raid shelters, underground galleries for civilian protection during the Spanish Civil War, currently the longest in Europe open for tourists.
- The Cathedral has a fortress-like appearance due to its towers, merlons and protected paths, created to defend it from Mediterranean pirates. Originally designated as a mosque, it was later converted into a Christian church, before being destroyed in 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 into 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 promenade with gardens and palms.
Almería has the highest proportion of Muslim population of any Spanish city at 11-20%, depending on source.
People and culture
Famous natives of Almería include Nicolás Salmerón y Alonso, who in 1873 was the third president of the First Spanish Republic, as well as several musicians, including the composer José Padilla Sánchez, whose music was declared of "universal interest" by Unesco in 1989, the popular folk singer Manolo Escobar, renowned Flamenco guitar player José Tomás "Tomatito" and Grammy Award winner David Bisbal; the champion motorcyclist Antonio Maeso moved to Almería as a child.
The Irish folk-rock group The Pogues paid tribute to Almería in "Fiesta," a rollicking Spike Jones-flavored song on the band's third album, If I Should Fall From Grace with God.
Almería hosted the Mediterranean Games in 2005. The city has 2 football teams: UD Almería, which plays in the Spanish Segunda División following relegation from La Liga in 2015 and CP Almería, in División de Honor.
The economy of Almería is mostly based on agriculture, which is located mainly in the western part of the region. Numerous greenhouses mostly constructed with plasticulture produce tonnes of fruit and vegetables, more than 70% of their product being exported to the rest of Europe. These greenhouses are controversial, with allegations of cheap labor and harsh conditions. The plastic often ends up the sea, killing marine life.
By land, Almería can be reached by the A-7 Mediterranean Highway, which connects the Mediterranean area with the Spanish A-92 that unites it with the rest of Andalusia. Almería is served by Renfe Operadora with direct rail services to Granada, Seville and Madrid.
By sea, the port of Almería has connections to Melilla, Algeria, Morocco, and tourist cruises in the Mediterranean. It also has a marina with moorings for pleasure boats. Currently the port of Almería is being expanded with new docks and transformed into a container port to take large-scale international shipping and thereby increase its freight traffic. It normally connects with the following destinations:
- Acciona: Ghazaouet (Algeria), Oran (Algeria), Nador (Morocco) and Melilla.
- Comarit: Nador.
- Comanav: Nador.
By air, Almería is served by Almería Airport, the fourth largest in Andalusia with domestic and international connections to Amsterdam, Madrid, Barcelona, Melilla, London, Manchester, Birmingham, Brussels, Dublin and Swiss, German and other EU airports.
Due to its arid landscape, numerous spaghetti westerns were filmed in Almería and some of the sets are still remain as a tourist attraction. 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-Níjar Natural Park runs through the municipal areas of Níjar, Almerimar and Carboneras. Its villages, previously dedicated to fishing, have become tourism spots for those interested in nature. One of the greatest attractions of the Cabo de Gata-Níjar Natural Park is its beaches.
|Climate chart (explanation)|
With a yearly precipitation of just 200 mm (7.9 in) and with only 26 days of precipitation, Almería is the only city in Europe with a true hot desert climate (BWh) according to the Köppen climate classification, although it borders a hot semi-arid climate (BSh). Almería is the only European city with this type of climate, also being one of the driest zones on both shores of the Mediterranean coast. Almería has an annual temperature of 19.1 °C (66.4 °F)
The BWh climate is present in nearby areas of Almería province (such as the Cabo de Gata-Níjar Natural Park, the Andarax/Almanzora river valleys), the only region in Europe to have this climate. With an average annual temperature above 19.1 °C (66.4 °F), it also qualifies as the 2nd warmest city in continental Europe, after Seville, also in Andalusia, Spain. This climatic region spreads along the coastline around Almería, from approximately Almerimar to the southwest, to Torrevieja to the northeast. The nearby Faro del Cabo in the Cabo de Gata-Níjar Natural Park, has the lowest annual precipitation on the European continent (156mm per year).
Almería also experiences the warmest winters of any city on the European continent with a population over 100,000, and hot and dry summers with no precipitation between June and August. Almería enjoys about 2994 hours of sunshine annually with over 320 sunny days a year on average (6 hours of sunshine in January and 12 in July), making Almería the sunniest city in Europe.
Almería is unique, for a city in Continental Europe, for not having any registered temperature under the freezing mark in its recorded weather history. The coldest temperature recorded was 0.2 °C (32.4 °F) on 9 February 1935. The city of Almería has a very warm climate for its latitude, as it has a very similar climate to Alexandria, in Egypt, which is located further south at 31ºN latitude.
The climate of Almería is very mild as the city is sheltered by high altitude mountains. For this reason, during the winter, daily maximum temperatures tend to stay around 18 °C (64 °F). At night, the temperature stays around 10 °C (50 °F) and very rarely drops below 6 °C (43 °F). This makes Almería the 2nd city with the warmest winters in Europe, just after Cádiz. The dry season (although there is no real wet season) occurs during the hottest months, as in the Mediterranean climate. Due to the fact there is no real wet season, precipitation even during the wettest months is rare, this falls in short showers or thunderstorms, most likely due to the rain shadow effect. Inland areas of the Almería province have reached 50 °C (122 °F) in summer.
During the warmest months - July and August, the sky is clear and sunny and almost no rainfall occurs. The typical daily temperatures are around 30 °C (86 °F). During occasional heat waves, temperatures can rise to 34 °C (93 °F) or higher, although temperatures above 38 °C (100 °F) are very rare. The minimum temperatures stay around 22 °C (72 °F) during July and August. As is the case for most of coastal Iberia, heatwaves in Almería are less common than in the interior; The hottest temperature recorded was 41.2 °C (106.2 °F) in 30 July 1981.
|Climate data for Almería (airport 21m) 1981-2010. Extremes (1961-)|
|Record high °C (°F)||24.4
|Average high °C (°F)||16.9
|Daily mean °C (°F)||12.6
|Average low °C (°F)||8.3
|Record low °C (°F)||0.1
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||24
|Average precipitation days (≥ 1 mm)||2.9||2.9||2.6||2.6||1.9||0.6||0.3||0.3||1.5||2.8||3.6||3.3||25.4|
|Average relative humidity (%)||67||67||65||62||63||61||60||63||65||68||67||67||65|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||194||191||232||261||297||325||342||315||256||218||183||178||2,994|
|Source: Agencia Estatal de Meteorología|
|Climate data for Almería (airport 21m) 1981-2010 (Highest and lowest mean temperatures)|
|Mean maximum °C (°F)||18.8
|Mean minimum °C (°F)||5.9
|Source: Agencia Estatal de Meteorología|
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 8 x 1.8 x 1.7 metres, may 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.
- José Tomás "Tomatito", Flamenco guitar player.
- David Bisbal, Grammy Award winner.
- Nieves Navarro, actress.
- Juan Martínez Oliver, road bicycle racer.
- Eduardo del Pino Vicente, journalist and writer.
- "Almería: Población por municipios y sexo". Instituto Nacional de Estadística (in Spanish). 2017. Retrieved February 15, 2018.
- "Tourism in Almería in Almería, Spain". Spain.info. Retrieved February 14, 2018.
- Reporter (April 4, 2013). "Britain's vegetable garden: The sea of Spanish greenhouses as large as the Isle of Wight where the food UK eats is grown". Daily Mail. Retrieved January 8, 2017.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2008-09-08. Retrieved 2008-09-04.
- Rogers 2010, p. 36.
- Abella, Rafael La vida cotidiana durante la guerra civil: la España republicana. p.254 Editorial Planeta 1975
- "Referéndum de ratificación de la iniciativa autonómica de Andalucía - Constitución española". Congreso.es. Retrieved 2012-08-02.
- "Referéndum del Estatuto de Andalucía - La Voz Digital". Servicios.lavozdigital.es. Retrieved 2012-08-02.
- "Islam in Spain". Euro-Islam. March 8, 2010. Retrieved February 15, 2018.
- "Britain's vegetable garden: The sea of Spanish greenhouses as large as the Isle of Wight where the food UK eats is grown". Retrieved 8 January 2017.
- "Poblados del Oeste. Desierto de Tabernas". Parque Natural Cabo de Gata (in Spanish). Retrieved February 14, 2018.
- Frayling, Christopher (August 1, 2005). "'Once Upon A Time in Italy': The Films of Sergio Leone". NPR Books. Retrieved August 2, 2012.
- Atlas Climático Ibérico (PDF). Agencia Estatal de Meteorología (in Spanish). Ministerio de Medio Ambiente y Medio Rural y Marino. Gobierno de España. p. 80. ISBN 978-84-7837-079-5.
- Capel Molina, José Jaime (1995). "Mapa pluviométrico de España peninsular y Baleares (en el período internacional 1961-1990)" (PDF). Investigaciones Geográficas (in Spanish) (13): 29–46. ISSN 0213-4691. Retrieved July 3, 2009.
- "Valores extremos. Andalucía". Agencia Estatal de Meteorología. Ministerio de Medio Ambiente y Medio Rural y Marino. Gobierno de España.
- "Valores extremos. Almería Aeropuerto". Agencia Estatal de Meteorología. Ministerio de Medio Ambiente y Medio Rural y Marino. Gobierno de España.
- "Valores climatológicos normales. Almería Aeropuerto". Agencia Estatal de Meteorología. Ministerio de Medio Ambiente y Medio Rural y Marino. Gobierno de España.
- Amos, Jonathan (June 12, 2000). "Giant crystal cave discovered". BBC News. Retrieved November 18, 2017.
- Pita, Helena (June 20, 2017). "La guitarra de Tomatito". Radiotelevisión Española (in Spanish). Retrieved February 15, 2018.
- Agencias (September 4, 2003). "David Bisbal, premio al «mejor nuevo artista» en los Grammy Latino". ABC (in Spanish). Miami, EEUU.
- "Nace en Almería la actriz Nieves Navarro García". Diario de Almería (in Spanish). November 10, 2017. Retrieved February 15, 2018.
- Delgado, Pedro (April 14, 2016). Las escapadas de Perico: Rutas en bici por España. Penguin Random House Grupo Editorial España. p. 256. ISBN 9788403515000.
- "Primer Concurso de micro guiones de cine". La Voz de Almería (in Spanish). March 16, 2018. Retrieved March 22, 2018.
- Rogers, Clifford J. (2010). The Oxford Encyclopedia of Medieval Warfare and Military Technology: Vol. 1. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0195334036.
|Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Almería.|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Almería.|