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Oviedo, Asturias

Ancient, enduring belief

The city of Almería crowds, like an infant around the skirts of her nanny, at the feet of the castle, or Alcazaba, that was built in the tenth century by Abderramán III.

It was during the domination of the Moors that Almería gained its strategic importance for commerce between the great Andalusian capital of Córdoba and the north of Africa and the Orient. This economic growth continued after the decline of Córdoba when it became the capital city of the taifa, or Arabic kingdom of Jairan.

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During this time it is said that there were over 10,000 carpet makers in Almería! In 1147, the city was captured and razed by the forces of Alfonso VIII of Aragón but, as occurred many times during the reconquest of Spain, it was recaptured again by the Arabs and became part of the protectorate of Granada.

It wasn’t until 1489 that the Catholic Kings, Isabella of Castilla and Ferdinand of Aragón, finally defeated the Arabs, although for many years previous to this the area was controlled by the neighbouring Christian kings in the form of punitive taxes.

Since this time, and because of its harsh climate, the city has remained on the periphery of developing Spain. It wasn’t until the twentieth century that the city experienced a huge explosion of commercial activity as its landscape underwent an agricultural revolution based on the installation of millions of greenhouses.

Almería’s rich cultural heritage includes many magnificent buildings such as the cathedral, with its flying buttresses and round towers. It was built between 1524 and 1562 and designed to hold out against the many attacks by corsairs and pirates that abounded along the Mediterranean coast during the middle ages. However, the jewel in the crown is the Alcazaba, an enormous castle splayed across the horizon.

Building of the castle was thought to have been started in 955, although it has been remodelled and rebuilt on many occasions. An earthquake in 1522 damaged the structure of this magnificent monument but restorative work and careful management by the city has ensured its future.

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