Almeria City Attractions include: the Alcazaba, Cathedral, Wells of Jayrán, Air-Raid Shelters, Cinema Museum, Archaeological Museum, Olive Oil Museum, Mueseum Art Centre School of Arts and many Churches: Lets stroll around the city like a local:
photography by Jose Ruiz Hernández
Entry Fees: 2,00€
Schools of Arts
Air Raid Shelters
Wells of Jayrán
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Sun-soaked Almeria City lies in a desirable spot on the south-eastern coast of Spain.
Nestling at the foothills of the Sierra de Gador mountain range, and crowned by a magnificent Moorish fortress, its shores are lapped by the cool Mediterranean waters as the sun beats down for 320 glorious days of the year. Small wonder then that many civilizations, including the Roman, Phoenicians and Moors, once called this place home; and their influences and footprints still resonate in some of the city’s customs, cultures and buildings.
In fact Almeria’s name stems from the Arabic phrase Al-Mariyat, meaning “the mirror of the sea”. Today, this thriving modern metropolis offers incredible beaches, fabulous shops, beautiful historic monuments and some of the best tapas that will ever pass your lips.
La Alcazaba, built in the tenth century by Caliph Abd- ar-Rhaman III dominates the skyline, and can be seen from any part of the city. This formidable military fortification has three huge walled enclosures.
The first compound is the largest of the three and was originally designed as a military camp and a place for refuge for the public when the city came under siege. A well in the centre could draw water from a depth of 70 metres. Today the area has been transformed into a lush garden.
The second compound was once the heart of the structure and housed Moorish kings, when resident in the city. It contained public baths, a mosque, homes and a palace. The third and highest compound was adapted after the reconquista by the Catholic monarchs. It’s built on a triangular ground plan and is guarded by three semi-circular towers, including the impressive Tower of Homage.
La Alcazaba is easily reached by climbing any of the narrow streets west of the cathedral, and from the top of its walls your eyes will widen at the stunning views of the city and port.
Almeria City is not short of other impressive structures such as the 16th century Cathedral of the Incarnation, which is found in the old part of the city.
Built after an earthquake destroyed the first cathedral in 1522 it’s situated on the site of the great mosque and is a combination of Gothic and Renaissance styles.
The fortress-like appearance was no accident as it was designed to help the city repel frequent pirate attacks. The muskets and cannonballs have long gone, and what awaits today’s visitors is a spacious and beguiling interior distinguished by a Gothic ribbed ceiling and beautifully carved choir stalls. The main altar is a baroque masterpiece, behind which is a small chapel that contains the tomb of Bishop Villalan, the founder of the cathedral.
More fascinating discoveries lie in wait under your feet. Beneath Almeria’s streets is a labyrinth of subterranean shelters that provided sanctuary during the Civil War when the city was frequently bombed. Los Refugios de la Guerra Civil (The Civil War Shelters) has reclaimed 1km of the original 4.5 km that could house up to 40,000 people. In addition to the shelters you can see food and storage facilities, operating rooms, kitchen areas, and a museum that tells the story of one of the darkest chapters in Spain’s history.
To get for from the madding crowds Plaza Vieja is your own secret hideaway; a beautiful pedestrian square that is off most tourist radars, largely because of the restricted entrance. It contains the Ayuntamiento (town hall), a building with a lurid pink façade that is a monument to the citizens who opposed Fernando VII and were executed by firing squad in 1824.
Almeria City is also a working port and the Ore dock is well worth a look. Called the ‘Cable Ingles’ (English Cable) it’s an eye-catching and dramatic piece of iron architecture. It is situated on Almadrabillas beach next to the Levante dock and is linked to the train station by a railway bridge.
One of Almeria City ’s more curious attractions is the bronze life-size statue of John Lennon, sometimes situated in the city centre and sometimes in storage. It has had to be removed and repaired on several occasions after being defaced vandals. The Beatles legend is honoured by the city as he composed Strawberry Fields Forever during a six-week stay in 1966 whilst filming How I Won the War.
The house that he stayed in, Casa Santa Isabel is now a film museum, Casa del Cine. The 19th century mansion pays homage to Almeria’s golden movie making past as the nearby areas of Tabernas and Cabo de Gata were the backdrops to numerous films shot in the area such as The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, A Fistful of Dollars, and Lawrence of Arabia. There are exhibits from more than 200 movies.
Almeria City has a variety of great places to eat and drink, and most of the best options can be found around the Puerta de Purchena, the main square in the centre of the city, and in the streets between the cathedral and the Paseo de Almeria. A wide selection of tapas dishes are on offer all over Almeria, but some of the most popular spots can be found around the fishing port area, San Sebastian Square and La Rambla. If seafood gets you licking your lips there are a number of good eateries in the old fishing quarter, the Barrio de los Pescadores.
On the nightlife front, Almeria City is not the country’s hottest spot, but you can let your hair down at the numerous late night music bars, a handful of nightclubs and in the summer there are late night marquees on the beach. A good way to start your evening is to take a stroll through the Puerta de Purchena where hundreds of Almerienses come out to see and be seen.
There’s some exquisite shopping to be had in Almeria as well. In addition to the usual department stores and their big name brands are shops selling textiles and unique handmade arts and crafts creations. The nearby town of Nijar is famous for its wide selection of inexpensive handcrafted pottery, rugs, carpets and ceramics.
And let’s not forget that Almeria is in the sunniest region of Spain and nearby there are beaches aplenty to soak up a few rays and plunge into the sea. The beaches of the Cabo de Gata-Nijar Natural Park are amongst the best and most varied in Spain, but don’t overlook some of the city’s fabulous stretches of coastline.
I have cherry-picked some Hotels from 4star to 2star (there is no 5star Hotel in Almeria capital).
Telf: +34 609 776 427
c/Fructuoso Pérez, 14
Telf: +34 950 234 545
Telf: +34 950 142 814
crta. Nacional 340 km 436
Telf: +34 950 238 427
Telf: +34 950 086 113
calle Jovellanos 7, next to Plaza Vieja
Telf: +34 950 231 530
Rueda López, 14
Telf: +34 950 272 912
Telf: +34 950 265 606
c/Ribera de las Almadrabillas, s/n, 04007
Telf: +34 950 235 048
Telf: +34 950 150 805
c/Marin, 16, 04003
Telf: +34 950 273 429
c/Padre Alfonso Torres, 8
Telf: +34 950 255 625
Carretera Nacional 340 km 436
Telf: +34 950 239 335
Crta/ El Ingenio, 26, Los Molinos
Telf: +34 950 221 026
c/Costa Balear nº 16, 04009
Telf: +34 950 625 500
c/Padre Alfonso Torres, 4, 04007
Telf: +34 950 268 623
Avda. Cabo de Gata
Telf: +34 950 100 081
Plaza Flores, 10, 04001
Telf: +34 950 234 399
c/Tenor Iribarne, 19, 04001
Telf: +34 950 264 475