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Almería

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Almería (/ˌælməˈrə/; Spanish: [almeˈɾi.a], locally [aɾmeˈɾi.a, al-]) 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).[2] 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.[3]

Almeria
Almería
Flag of AlmeriaAlmería
Flag
Official seal of AlmeriaAlmería
Seal

Motto: «Muy noble, muy leal y decidida por la libertad: ciudad de Almería»

(Very noble, very loyal and determined towards freedom, city of Almeria)
AlmeriaAlmería is located in Andalusia
AlmeriaAlmería
Almeria
Almería
AlmeriaAlmería is located in Spain
AlmeriaAlmería
Almeria
Almería
Coordinates: 36°50′25″N 2°28′05″W / 36.84028°N 2.46806°W / 36.84028; -2.46806Coordinates: 36°50′25″N 2°28′05″W / 36.84028°N 2.46806°W / 36.84028; -2.46806
Country  Spain
Region  Andalusia
Province Almería
Comarca Comarca Metropolitana de Almería
Founded 955
Founded by Abd-ar-Rahman III
Government
 • Body Ayuntamiento de Almería
 • Mayor Ramón Fernández-Pacheco (PP)
Area
 • Total 296.21 km2 (114.37 sq mi)
Elevation 27 m (88,58 ft)
Population (2016)
 • Total 194,203[1]
Demonym(s) almerienses, urcitanos
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Postal code 04001-04090
Area code(s) (+34) 950
Vehicle registration AL
Website http://www.aytoalmeria.es (in Spanish)

Contents

History

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.[4]

Later, the city was refounded by Calipha Abd-ar-Rahman III of Córdoba in 955 AD. It was to be a principal harbour in his extensive domain to strengthen his Mediterranean defences.

 
Alcazaba of Almería

Its Moorish castle, the Alcazaba of Almería, is the second largest among the Muslim fortresses of Andalusia, after the Alhambra.

 
The ancient walls of Jayrán

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.

 
The statue of San Cristóbal

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.[5]

Within a decade, however, Almería had passed to the control of the puritanical Muslim Almoravid emirs,[5] 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 former train station

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.[citation needed]

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".[6] 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,[7] an absolute majority of all 279,300 registered electors was needed, and the result in Almería was just 42%. The Government impugned the result,[citation needed] and Almería remained part of the present autonomous region of Andalusia.[8]

Main sights

 
Cable Inglés, at night
  • 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.

Demographics

Almeria has the highest proportion of Muslim population of any Spanish city at 11-20%, depending on source.[9][not in citation given]

Historical population of Almería
(Source: INE (Spain))
Year 1999 2001 2003 2005 2007 2009 2011 2012 2013 2014
Population 169,027 170,994 176,727 181,702 189,798 188,810 190,349 191,443 192,697 193,251

People and culture

 
House of the Butterflies

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 Almeria in "Fiesta," a rollicking Spike Jones-flavored song on the band's third album, If I Should Fall From Grace with God.

Sports

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 2013 and CP Almería, in regional division.

Economy

 
City Hall

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.[10]

Transport

 
Dry Riverbed of Almería
 
Harbour of Almería

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.

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:

By air, Almería is served by Almería Airport, the fourth largest in Andalusia[citation needed] with domestic and international connections to Amsterdam, Madrid, Barcelona, Melilla, London, Manchester, Birmingham, Brussels, Dublin and Swiss, German and other EU airports.

Geography

Due to its arid landscape, numerous spaghetti westerns were filmed in Almería and some of the sets are still remain as a tourist attraction.[11][12] 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.

 
Panorama of the city taken from La Alcazaba

Climate

Almería
Climate chart (explanation)
J F M A M J J A S O N D
 
 
24
 
 
17
8
 
 
25
 
 
18
9
 
 
16
 
 
20
11
 
 
17
 
 
21
13
 
 
12
 
 
24
15
 
 
5
 
 
28
19
 
 
1
 
 
31
22
 
 
1
 
 
31
22
 
 
14
 
 
28
20
 
 
27
 
 
25
16
 
 
28
 
 
21
12
 
 
30
 
 
18
10
Average max. and min. temperatures in °C
Precipitation totals in mm
Source: Agencia Estatal de Meteorología

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 Almeria, from approximately Almerimar to the southwest, to Torrevieja to the northeast.[13] The nearby Faro del Cabo has the lowest annual precipitation on the European continent (156mm per year).[14]

Almeria 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.[15] 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.

During the winter, daily maximum temperatures tend to stay around 18 °C (64 °F). At night, the temperature very rarely drops below 8 °C (46 °F). 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.[16]

During the warmest months - July and August, the sky is clear and sunny and no rainfall occurs. The typical daily temperatures are around 33 °C (91 °F) during the heat of the day often rising to 38 °C (100 °F) or higher. The minimum temperatures stay around 24 °C (75 °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 43 °C (109 °F) in August 2011.[17]

Climate data for Almería (airport 21m) 1981-2010
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 24.4
(75.9)
25.2
(77.4)
32.4
(90.3)
34.2
(93.6)
34.2
(93.6)
40.8
(105.4)
41.2
(106.2)
41.1
(106)
37.6
(99.7)
34.4
(93.9)
29.0
(84.2)
27.7
(81.9)
41.2
(106.2)
Mean maximum °C (°F) 18.8
(65.8)
19.4
(66.9)
21.3
(70.3)
23.1
(73.6)
26.0
(78.8)
30.2
(86.4)
32.8
(91)
33.0
(91.4)
31.1
(88)
26.6
(79.9)
22.9
(73.2)
19.3
(66.7)
33.4
(92.1)
Average high °C (°F) 16.9
(62.4)
17.6
(63.7)
19.6
(67.3)
21.4
(70.5)
24.1
(75.4)
27.9
(82.2)
30.5
(86.9)
31.0
(87.8)
28.4
(83.1)
24.5
(76.1)
20.5
(68.9)
17.9
(64.2)
23.4
(74.1)
Daily mean °C (°F) 12.6
(54.7)
13.3
(55.9)
15.1
(59.2)
17.0
(62.6)
19.7
(67.5)
23.5
(74.3)
26.1
(79)
26.7
(80.1)
24.2
(75.6)
20.4
(68.7)
16.4
(61.5)
13.8
(56.8)
19.1
(66.4)
Average low °C (°F) 8.3
(46.9)
9.0
(48.2)
10.6
(51.1)
12.5
(54.5)
15.3
(59.5)
18.9
(66)
21.7
(71.1)
22.4
(72.3)
20.0
(68)
16.3
(61.3)
12.3
(54.1)
9.6
(49.3)
14.7
(58.5)
Mean minimum °C (°F) 5.9
(42.6)
6.5
(43.7)
8.1
(46.6)
10.5
(50.9)
12.0
(53.6)
15.7
(60.3)
19.3
(66.7)
20.0
(68)
17.2
(63)
13.5
(56.3)
10.6
(51.1)
7.6
(45.7)
5.9
(42.6)
Record low °C (°F) 0.1
(32.2)
1.0
(33.8)
1.0
(33.8)
6.0
(42.8)
8.4
(47.1)
10.4
(50.7)
12.0
(53.6)
14.8
(58.6)
10.1
(50.2)
1.6
(34.9)
3.1
(37.6)
2.0
(35.6)
0.1
(32.2)
Average precipitation mm (inches) 24
(0.94)
25
(0.98)
16
(0.63)
17
(0.67)
12
(0.47)
5
(0.2)
1
(0.04)
1
(0.04)
14
(0.55)
27
(1.06)
28
(1.1)
30
(1.18)
200
(7.87)
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[18]

Crystal cave

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.[19] 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.

List of people from Almeria

Films

See also

References

  1. ^ http://www.ideal.es/almeria/provincia-almeria/201512/27/almeria-ejido-ganan-habitantes-20151226213247.html
  2. ^ "Tourism in Almería in Almería, Spain". Spain.info. 
  3. ^ "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. 
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2008-09-08. Retrieved 2008-09-04. 
  5. ^ a b Rogers 2010, p. 36.
  6. ^ Abella, Rafael La vida cotidiana durante la guerra civil: la España republicana. p.254 Editorial Planeta 1975
  7. ^ "Referéndum de ratificación de la iniciativa autonómica de Andalucía - Constitución española". Congreso.es. Retrieved 2012-08-02. 
  8. ^ "Referéndum del Estatuto de Andalucía - La Voz Digital". Servicios.lavozdigital.es. Retrieved 2012-08-02. 
  9. ^ "Islam in Spain". 
  10. ^ "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. 
  11. ^ https://www.cabogataalmeria.com/Cabo-Gata/Actividades/Ocio/Tabernas-Hollywood-Oeste-poblados.html
  12. ^ Frayling, Christopher. "'Once Upon A Time in Italy': The Films of Sergio Leone". NPR. Retrieved 2012-08-02. 
  13. ^ http://www.aemet.es/documentos/es/conocermas/recursos_en_linea/publicaciones_y_estudios/publicaciones/Atlas-climatologico/Atlas.pdf
  14. ^ Capel Molina, J.J. (1995) Mapa pluviométrico de España Peninsular y Baleares (en el periodo internacional 1961-1990) Investigaciones Geográficas nº 13: 29-466ISSN 0213-4691 pdf Idioma: español. Acceso: 3/7/2009.
  15. ^ Agencia Estatal de Meteorología. "Almería: Almería - Valores extremos absolutos - Selector - Agencia Estatal de Meteorología - AEMET. Gobierno de España". 
  16. ^ "Extreme temperature records since 1850". 
  17. ^ "Meteo Almeria- Current weather Almería". 
  18. ^ "Valores Climatológicos Normales. Almeria & Almeria / Aeropuerto". 
  19. ^ Jonathan Amos (2000-06-12). "Giant crystal cave discovered". BBC. Retrieved 2017-11-18. 

Sources

External links