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Almería - History

History


The hill where the Alcazaba currently stands was a location of the earliest occupation in prehistoric times, during a period that could have been the Bronze Age. Later in the pre-Roman era we find Phoenician artefacts and from Roman times, there are numerous ceramic remains found in the excavations. The remains of the ancient Roman road of Bayyana are preserved just outside the capital.
 
The city of Almeria was founded in the year 955 by the Arabs (Abderramán III), becoming one of the great capitals of Al-Ándalus and its main port.

The Muslim occupied Almeria became a great city and after Cordoba, it was the most influential and prosperous city of the Iberian Peninsula and one of the richest in the entire Islamic world.
 
Its splendor came with the declaration of an independent kingdom in the year 1012, creating the Taifa of Almeria. The vestiges of this Muslim era can be found throughout the city, with the Alcazaba being the main highlight, which was the largest fortress built by Muslims in Spain.

It was conquered by the Catholic monarchs in 1489, thus ending Muslim control of the city. A huge earthquake destroyed most of the city in the year 1522, including the port. This catastrophe plunged Almeria into a deep crisis that was to last almost three centuries. Part of the population left the city and, not having a port, Almeria was excluded from the prosperous business of trade with the Americas.
 

In the 19th century, economic recovery began with mining and the export of citrus fruits and grapes.

During this time several important buildings were built in the city, such as the Palaces of the “Paseo” and the English Cable.

Finally, the second half of the 20th century saw growth and improvement in the city, thanks to the two economic engines of the province: greenhouse cultivation and tourism.