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Almeria Tourism Article

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The Almeria countryside has a very desert like appearance, which is common to this part of Andalucia, the "Costa Almeria". The city reached its zenith about one thousand years ago when it was an important Moorish port, plus a centre of learning. Then Almeria fell into decline after a series of severe earthquakes during the twelth century, it has undergone a major resurgence in recent years, helped by the flow of money earned from modern agriculture. The hosting of the 2005 Mediterranean Games also helped to put it back on the map, as it were. Now Almeria has a charming and relaxed ambience, despite the heavy town traffic.

The old town, which is on the side of the port, Rambla de Belen and the Alcazaba, is the biggest draw for tourists and visitors. Attractions in this part of the Costa Almeria include the 16th century cathedral, built on the site of a former mosque. When the cathedral was being constructed, Almeria was quite often under attack from the Moriscos, that is why strong fortifications have been incorporated into the cathedrals design. Inside the cathedral is Murillo's painting of the Immaculate Conception, and several more fine works of art. To the east of the cathedral is the Casa de los Puche, the oldest home in the city dating back to the 18th century, while further north is a memorial dedicated to a group of liberals who were executed there in 1831. Other notable attractions in the old town include the Olive Oil Museum, plus the church of Santiago, built nearly 500 hundred years ago.

Almeria's largest and most preeminent tourist attraction is the hilltop Alcazaba, surrounded by huge walls, which are nearly a mile in length. This is a fine example of Moorish defensive architecture was first constructed in the late 10th century, by order of the Caliph of Cordoba, then later expanded by the Catholic rulers Ferdinand and Isabella after they had recaptured Almeria in 1489. There are two of interesting round towers within the Christian section of this massive fortress; the Tower of Homage which contains a photograph exhibition, plus there are some superb vistas from the Gunpowder Tower towards the city's famous cave homes in the district of Barrio de la Chanca.

Almeria is not well known for its nightlife, with most of the best nightclubs found in the resorts to the west of the city. It is however well known for its tapas bars, many of which are found around the Paseo de Almeria. Specialities include Escabeche e Sardines (sardines in a hot sauce), Gachas (clam stew) and Trigo (a stew with pork and wheat grains).

Almeria's train station is to be found at Plaza de la Estacion, about half a mile from the city centre. There are direct main line train services from there to Seville and Granada. For Cordoba and Malaga, you would need to change at Bobadilla. To the north of the railway station is Almeria's bus terminal, served by several companies including Alsina Graells, who operate routes to Malaga, Granada, Seville, as well as some local services. Almeria has an international airport, around 6 miles (10km) from the city centre and there are regular buses to the airport terminal from calle Doctor Gregorio Maranon to the north-east of the town centre.
More information about Almeria and the surrounding area of the Costa Almeria, Spain can be seen at Almeria

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