Almeria, a city washed in sunlight
Located in Southern Spain, Almeria is one of the eight provinces that comprises the Autonomous Region of Andalusia. The city of Almeria was founded in 955 by Abd al-Rahman III, an Arab Emir and Caliph of Cordoba who also founded its citadel (the Alcazaba) and gave the city its name: Al-Mari’yah (المريّة, the Watchtower). During the tenth and eleventh centuries, Almeria became one of the most important seaports of the Caliphate of Cordoba.
Besieged by Christian armies during the following centuries, the city surrendered to Ferdinand and Isabella, the Catholic Monarchs, in 1489. The city suffered human disasters and four earthquakes, of which that of 1522, devastated the city. In subsequent centuries, the city and its province were attacked by Berber pirates which, as a result, prompted the construction of coastal defensive watchtowers. The discovery of important iron mines drew commercial activity as French and British companies set up their business in the area.
During the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939), the city was bombed by the German Navy in retaliation for the sinking of the German cruiser Deutschland by the Spanish Republican Air Force. Almeria was the last capital of Andalusia to fall to Francoist forces in 1939.
For further information about historical landmarks, please click here.
During the 1950s, the province of Almeria became one of Europe’s most important movie sets. Its varied landscape, secluded beaches, Tabernas Desert, Cabo de Gata-Nijar Natural Park, made this province a worldwide film reference. Lawrence of Arabia (1962), A Fistful of Dollars (1964, starred by Clint Eastwood), How I Won the War (1967, starred by John Lennon), Patton (1970), Conan the Barbarian (1982, starred by Arnold Schwarzenegger), Steven Spielberg’s Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989, starred by Harrison Ford and Sean Connery) and, most recently, Ridley Scott’s Exodus (2014), Kevin Reynolds’s Risen (2016, starred by Joseph Fiennes), Game of Thrones (2016, season 6), and Terminator: Dark Fate (2019, starred by Arnold Schwarzenegger) rank amongst the most best-known films shot in the province.