Almeria is a province of southern Spain. It is bordered by
the provinces of Granada, Murcia, and the Mediterranean
Sea. Its capital is Almeria.
Its area is 8,769 km². Its population is 546,499 (2002)
with a density of 62.32/km². It contains 101
municipalities. Although administratively annexed to the
Autonomies Community of Andalucía, in Southern Spain, the
people of the province have always shown a clear desire
for regional autonomy shown in different referendums. The
island effect produced by the geographical situation has
made customs, accents and history very different from the
rest of the Autonomous Region of Andalucía.
Europe's only desert is found in Almeria, as is part of
the Parque National de Sierra Nevada (in the Sierra Nevada
mountain range), which it shares with Granada province.
The desert landscape and climate that characterizes part
of the province have made it an ideal setting for Western
films, especially during the 1960s. Because of the demand
for these locations, quite a number of Western towns were
built near the Desert of Tabernas. Films such as The Good,
the Bad and the Ugly and A Fistful of Dollars were shot
here. Years later the film of 800 Bullets was filmed in
this same amazing place. Large sections of Lawrence of
Arabia and Patton were shot there as well.
The most important economic activity is greenhouse farming.
Millions of tons of vegetables are exported to Europe and
other parts of the world each year. Tourism is also a key
sector of the economy, due to the sunny weather and
attractive areas such as Roquetas de Mar, Aguadulce,
Almerimar, Vera or Cabo de Gata.
The principal industrial activity is in the Macael (Comarca
Del Marmol) canteras marble quarrying area in the Sierra
de los Filabres region from Macael Viejo to Chercos, Lijar
and Cobdar which produce in excess of 1.3 million tons.
The Cantoria, Fines, Olula del Rio and Purchena area of
the Alto Almanzora valley is fast becoming the regional
megalopolis through high imports and exports and
employment in local, national and international marble
processing. All the tourist accommodations and
construction throughout coastal Spain has driven high
demand and brought huge modernisation. Small pueblos of
agriculturalists have given rise to computerized machining
Interesting and unique species of domestic animals native
to the Alto Almanzora are in process of extinction but the
rich customs and Fiestas of the denizens retain links deep
into the past, unto the Moors, the Romans, the Greeks, and
The German-Spanish Calar Alto Astronomical Observatory is
one of the most important observatories of Spain. France's
Michelin operates a research centre in Cabo de Gata and in
Tabernas there is a solar energy research centre, PSA.
The principal river is Rio Andarax (Andarax River), which
is located near Granada in the Alpujarras. The Beninar
pressure, which is located near Darrical, gives part of
the water needed in the production in greenhouses.
During the taifa era, it was ruled by the Slavic Banu
al-Amiri from 1012 to 1038, briefly annexed by Valencia
(1038-1041), and then given by Zaragoza to the Banu
Sumadih dynasty until its conquest by the Almoravids in
1091. Some centuries later, it became part of the kingdom