San Roque, Almeria

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Narrow, cobbled street at the bottom of San Roque, Pescadería

This morning we went on another of José Campoy’s guided walks in the old La Chanca/Pescaderia quarter of Almeria. Today we walked up from the church of San Roque to the quarry and caves of San Roque at the top of the barrio. This is one of the poorest and most neglected areas of Almeria City. At the bottom of the barrio, narrow cobbled streets are lined by old apartment buildings.

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Girl with puppy

The residents seemed to like their dogs. This little girl was sitting on her doorstep with her mother showing off her puppy.

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Man with puppy

And a little further up the barrio this man was cuddling his little bruiser.

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Vintage Seat

We were soon in the old fishermen’s and gypsy quarter. A mix of colourful houses in good repair and ruins with peeling paint. This vintage Seat looked good against the ochre of the house in front of which it was parked.

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Crumbling house

Across the street, although this building was in a ruinous state, it made an interesting photo.

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Sunday best

This old gentleman, dressed in his Sunday best, was enjoying a quiet time sitting in the shade.

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Las Canteras de San Roque

At the end of the climb we reached the old canteras (quarry) of San Roque. Stone from here was used to build the Cathedral in the city centre.

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Inside the local bar

The area was pretty neglected with litter everywhere. A small, prefab building served the locals as a bar and a grocery store.

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Caves and cottages at the top of San Roque

Many of the people here still live in caves. This gypsy woman was doing her washing outside her cottage attached to a cave.

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Cockerel in the street

Around the corner this cockerel was strutting around outside his owner’s house. Note the broken tiles decorating the walls. This is a common feature of houses in La Chanca/Pescaderia.

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Washing outside the front door

Another feature is the washing hanging outside the doors of the houses.

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The Alcazaba and La Chanca from Pescaderia

This was our third walk around La Chanca/Pescaderia. It is certainly a fascinating barrio with a lot of history, and full of colour and characters. The squalor and neglect is disturbing though. The authorities have invested a lot of money in the infrastructure of the more prosperous parts of the city. We hope they are going to spend more here.

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About Margaret Merry

I grew up in Falmouth, Cornwall, England where, after leaving Falmouth High School, I spent a year at Falmouth School of Art. Then followed three years at Hornsey College of Art in London where I obtained a Diploma in Art and Design. I then spent a post-graduate year at the West of England College of Art in Bristol where I gained an Art Teacher?s Diploma and a Certificate in Education of the University of Bristol. I lived and worked in Truro for over 30 years and became one of Cornwall's most popular artists. My paintings have been exhibited in New York, Tokyo, Paris and London and have been bought by collectors from all over the world. I have published 4 books which became local bestsellers - 'The Natural History of a Westcountry City', 'Margaret Merry's Cornish Garden Sketchbook', 'Sea & Sail' and 'Tidal Reaches'. In 2002 I moved to Spain and now live in the little coastal village of Las Negras in the heart of the Parque Natural de Cabo de Gata. I now get my inspiration from the dramatic scenery of Andalucia and its old cities, towns and villages which I usually capture in watercolour. I also enjoy figurative art, particularly nudes and dancers. For these paintings I use artists' soft pastels. I have written and illustrated 3 children's books - The Wise Old Boar, The Lonely Digger and The Adventure of Princess The Pony - which have been published in the USA.
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4 Responses to San Roque, Almeria

  1. Wow, looks pretty underground there. Not been to Almeria yet but on my list of places to visit. What the nicest place you have seen there?

    • Almeria City is not all like this. There is an historic quarter with sunny squares and a Cathedral, a bustling commercial centre around the paseo and rambla, a very long, sandy beach at El Zapillo, several museums and theatres, commercial and fishing port and the Moorish castle. Then in the province there is the beautiful Parque Natural de Cabo de Gata which stretches along the coast from San Miguel to Carboneras, the desert of Tabernas and the mountain villages of the Alpujarra Almeriense stretching into the sierra Nevada.

      • Yeah I’m sure there are a lot of nicer placer. There are a few run down parts of Sevilla, you never see them though, that’s why it was interesting to see another aspect of Almeria. Thanks for the comment.

  2. Looks very colourful if rather neglected. Good to know about the contrasts. Around here I think it is hidden behind doors when people can’t afford enough to heat their houses in the winter. Algeria is such a contrast to our wet green part of western Andalucia.

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