Located in the south of Spain, the capital of the province of Almería has over 181,000 inhabitants. It is the city with the most hours of sunshine in all of Europe and the second in the world. In the winter the temperature of the water is warmer than the temperature of the air and the average temperature is 18,7º C. The economy of Almería functions on income out of tourism and agriculture. Almería is one of the most important agricultural areas of Europe and is also known as the “Orchard of Europe” Another notable fact about Almería is that is has been used in countless movies like the spaghetti westerns of Sergio Leone in the 60s and 70s and Indiana Jones and the last crusade. The most important celebration in the city is the feria, that takes place in August. The Holy Week in Almería is also a big celebration, and is said to be one of the best in Andalucía.
The city has played an important role for many centuries, as port for the Iberians, Fenicians and Carthagenes, but the city really came to flourish under Arab reign. Sultan Abderramán III decided to build a wall around the city, changing the aspect of the city. It became one of the most islamic cities of the peninsula and it was, after Córdoba, the most influential and prosperous city of Al-Andalus. After the fall of the califate the city prospered even more as it became an independent kingdom. In this period the finest silk was produced and exported to the entire Arab world. The commercial activities of Almería were known and famous throughout the entire medieval western Europe. Besides the production of silk Almería also was a fairly big slave trade market. Another source of income for traders was the sale of marble. In this period many pirates used Almería as their home base for their raids and they gave the city a reputation that caused fear in its enemies. But in the year 1147 pope Eugenio III ordered a crusade agaist the city and he united the Christians from the north of Spain and France. They arrived and attacked the city from twelve different points and after a short but intense resistance the city fell and was looted. Many factories were destroyed and most riches disappeared in the pockets of the conquerors. In the following years the city was the scene of many battles between Arabs and Christians. After the final reconquest in 1489 the city had lost most of its former influence and importance. A number of earthquakes almost completely leveled the city in 1522 and Almería had to be rebuilt from scratch. From the 18th century on the economic and social conditions improved and progress was made with agriculture. The city grew until the beginning of the 20th century when new urban crises surfaced, due to WWI and the Spanish civil war, but starting in the 1950s new urban development caused the city to recuperate and flourish once again.
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