Roquetas de Mar (Almeria)

History of the Poniente Almeriense

Since prehistory, the Poniente of Almeria has been inhabited by different peoples thanks to its strategic location: right on the edge of the Mediterranean Sea and at the foot of the Sierra de Gador. It provides a rich history that allows us to define this region today.

The literary sources place the beginning of its history in the Neolithic, linking it to the culture of the Millares in the Bronze Age. There are numerous prehistoric findings that show a massive presence of people throughout this area, in fact, there are remains of Iberian villages and Roman ceramics that confirm the presence of both civilizations. The bibliographical references situate the foundation of the Phoenician city of Abdera (present Adra) during the second half of the 8th century BC; and the Phoenician city of Turan (current Roquetas de Mar) in the 6th century BC.
Adra (Almeria)
There are also many remains in the region from Roman times. Adra is of great importance because of its Mediterranean location that allows for the trading of fish and garum. Further, Vergi (Berja), Murgi (El Ejido) and Turaniana (Roquetas de Mar) have a strong Roman history.

The evolution of this Almeria region occurs along the rest of the province of Almeria. It begins with the Muslim arrival in the year 713 with Berber and Arab Yemeni settlers, its immediate contribution being the redesign of the landscape and agricultural work methods.
The stage of Muslim occupation was divided into two periods, marked by a brief intermediate period of Christian presence, between 1147 and 1157. This was a period in which the armies of Alfonso VII invaded the area.

These ten years are marked as a clear setback for the development of the region, resuming a second Muslim period that lasted until 1489, when the Catholic Monarchs arrived. In 1568 the rebellion of Aben Humeya took place, with the Moorish being expelled to repopulate the region of the Poniente of Almeria with Christians. Nevertheless, the Nasrid features are still present in cisterns, baths, castles, buildings, streets, traditions, gastronomy and with the urbanism in general.

During this new stage the region suffered a demographic descent and continued being attacked by Berber pirates looking for resources and riches of the area. This fact is evidenced in the presence of defensive towers around the coast.

In the 19th century, a new space of prosperity was born, seen with the development of mining in the Sierra de Gador, the “almadraba” fishing industry, the salt industry, and the exporting of Ohanes grapes.
El Ejido (Almeria)
In 1963, the first greenhouse was built in the area and the technique was extended throughout the Poniente of Almeria, mainly in the “Campo de Dalías”, an area that includes the municipalities of Berja, Dalias, El Ejido, Adra, Roquetas de Mar and La Mojonera.

This region is home of the "plastic sea", known for its large number of greenhouses. The intensive agriculture of the Poniente of Almeria is based on an advanced model of agricultural development, stemming from the rational use of water and the use of plastic greenhouses to take advantage of the environment.
This millenary land, rich in history and the meeting point between East and West, has promoted the economic progress of the whole province. Today, the Poniente of Almeria is the region with the largest population and is an economic pillar of the entire Almeria province, thanks to its developed agriculture.