The city of Almeria is located at the foot of a mountain range which is crowned by the magnificent Alcazaba, an Arab fortress built by the Calph of Cordoba, Abd-er Rahman III with three huge walled enclosures (in the second of which are remains of a mosque, converted to a chapel by the Catholic kings). In times of war, the Alcazaba could hold an army of more than 20,000 men. From here, there is a good view of the city's famed cave quarter, 'Barrio de la Chanca' and of the strange fortified Cathedral with its gothic style construction and renaissance facade. Dating from the 16th century, it was built during an era when the southern Mediterranean was terrorised by the raids of Barbarossa and other Turkish and North African pirate forces, its corner towers once held canons. Situated in the centre is the great altar with its wealth of priceless art work including a tabernacle dating from the 18th century, designed by Ventura Rodriguez, paintings by Alonso Canoñ; a typical Andalusian altar piece made by Araoz and the statue of St. Indaletius, the patron saint of Almeria, sculpted by Saizillo.
True historians will appreciate the Almeria Museum which contains numerous objects discovered by the well-known Belgian mining engineer, Louis Siret.
Gastronomic specialities include Gurullos (stew with pasta), Trigo (stew with grains of wheat, pork, beans and herbs), Gachas (hot and spicy clam stew) and Escabeche e Sardines (fresh sardines in hot sauce).
Almería is over 170 kilometres from Granada.
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