La Chanca quarter
Probably the most picturesque and typical area in Almeria, together with La Joya.
This quarter is as ancient as the city, being the most improtant area in the Moorish town.
Nowadays, most inhabitants are fishermen (nearby is Pescadería, another populous quarter), many of them of gypsy ethnicity.
The quarter is more African than European. Little colourful houses stack up the mountain, always deluged by the sunlight, resembling a cubist painting.
One thousand times painted and photographed, famous Spanish novelist Juan Goytisolo wrote a striking short novel about life in these streets.
One piece of advice: visit in the mornings and try to look as less tourist as you can.
Teatro Cervantes and Círculo Mercantil
The Paseo is the most important and liveliest street in Almería. Many historical buildings from the XIX century can be seen here in this street, an ancient boulevard. The huge ficus tree in the middle of the street, the Casino Cultural, the Plaza de la Leche, the Banesto building and, particularly, the Teatro Cervantes and Círculo Mercantil (integrated in the theatre). The theatre building was started in 1888 and finished in 1921, it has an eclectic architecure with neoacademic and neobaroque elements. The Círculo Mercantil e Industrial was founded in 1899 and hosted meetings, cultural events and parties of the bourgeoisie. The sunflower bronze lamps and caoba underreliefs in the ceiling are exquisite.Related to:
- Arts and Culture
You should Try to eat tapas,...
You should Try to eat tapas, at Almeria are really big and cheap, you have to go a places like La Virgen Chica, El Crifer, Los MAnhos, El Juanfrancisco, and if you dont find this places go to La calle real, around thisstreet are good tapas bars too.Related to:
- Wine Tasting
Visit the Civil War Refugios
The 'Refugios' were a four and a half kilometre long maze of tunnels dug uner the city of Almeria in the early 30's to protect the civilian population during the Spanish Civil war. Almeria was bombed by German planes, in 1937, who supported the revolution.
The refugios were abandoned about 40 years ago and only recently discovered and reopened.
The were first opened to the public at the beginning of 2007.
For an inside into a little known aspect of the Spanish civil war this is worth a visit, although be warned the commentary and all slide shows are in Spanish.
There is even a renovated operating theatre in the original location in the tunnels.
No photography allowed so I didnt take any pics but there is a video at YouTube search for 'refugios'Related to:
- Historical Travel
Plaza Vieja y Ayuntamiento
The Plaza Vieja or Plaza de la Constitución used to be the old arab market of the Musalla quarter. It became a porticoed, closed square in the 19th century on the style of the time. The Ayuntamiento (town hall) was designed by famous architect from Almería Trinidad Cuartara at the end of the century. In the center of the square there is the Monumento a los Coloraos (see).
If you like the western movies, it's a place for you. A lot of movies had been made here, for ex.: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. It's a small village, specialy made for that movies.
The entrence is expensive: app. 17.00 euroRelated to:
- Theme Park Trips
Cargadero del Mineral (Cable Inglés)
This is a great example of the so called iron architecture from late XIX century, when new materials as iron and glass were applied to civil engineering. This loading pier was designed by a student of Gustave Eiffel and built in 1901. It´s conformed by a stone bridge and a wooden and iron pier used by the trains to transport iron ore into the ships. The pier will be restored to host a photography museum, restaurants and shops.
Plaza e Iglesia de San Pedro
This is a favourite spot in the old quarter, specially during the Cruces de Mayo celebrations, when open air stands with music, food and drinks are open all over the place. The church was built in 1800 over the ruines of the San Francisco monastery from 16th century and its style is neoclassic.
Estación de Ferrocarril
The Almería train station is one of the most beautiful in the South of Spain. Built in 1893 it´s a great example of new materials (iron and crystal) architecture so trendy in those years. Its style mixes new techniques with brick and neo-"mudéjar" decorations. It is now used as a concert hall and it will probably house a museum in the future.
Iglesia de San Juan
The church of San Juan was built over the foundations of the old great mosque, knocked down by the Catholic Kings to build the old cathedral which, in turn, colapsed with the earthquake of 1522.
Bishop Villalán ordered the construction of the new cathedral somewhere else as well as a a church to San Juan in the grounds of the old cathedral, in a Gothic style with Renaissance influences.
The mosque was the center of the most populated quarter of the moorish Almeria: the Almedina.
In the church of San Juan the old "quibla" or holy wall, and the "mihrab" oriented to Mecca can still be seen.
Main altar in jasper by Ventura Rodríguez, paintings by famous Alonso Cano and interesting choir stalls in walnut wood.
Basílica de la Virgen del Mar
Our Lady of the Sea ("Virgen del Mar") is the tutelary saint of Almeria.
The legend goes that a wooden image of the Virgin Mary appeared in the beach of Torregarcía in 1503. A chapel was built in her honour in the same beach as she was baptised as Our Lady of the Sea.
Escuela de Artes y Oficios (School of Fine Arts)
The school was created in 1886 and opened in 1887.
The building is the old cloister of the Convent of Santo Domingo (attached to the Basilica de la Virgen del Mar), rebuilt in 1728 and later on refurbished in the Historicist style.
It's been one of the most important cultural institutions in the capital city. Personalities such as Celia Viñas, García Lorca or the president of the former I Republic of Spain, Nicolás Salmeron (who was born in Almeria) attended classes here.
Nowadays it houses the Centro Andaluz de la Fotografía (Andalusian Centre of Photography), one of the most importante photo institutions in Spain, showing permanently 456 pictures of the mons renowned photographs in the Mediterranean.
Many other cultural events such as concerts and exhibitions take place here.
Some scenes of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade were shot in its patio.
Arab cisterns of Jairán (Aljibes árabes)
Built by Arab king Jairán or Hayran in 1038, this underground cisterns supplied water for the whole city. Now it´s the seat of the Peña El Taranto, the oldest flamenco club in town ( "peñas" are sports or music clubs), where concerts and exhibitions are held.
Templo de Santiago
This is the oldest church in Almería, finished in 1553 in the Renaissance style. Beautiful tower and Plateresque façade by Juan de Orea.
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