Yesterday morning I, Digby, went on one of Jose Campoy’s guided walks around Almeria City. This time, the group met at the Puerta de Purchena at the heart of the city.
The streets in the centre of Almeria are mostly lined with modren buildings with shops at street level and apartments above. However, in between these unremarkable, high rise edificios are some architectural gems from earlier days. All you have to do is look above the shop fronts and you will see some lovely facades like this one in the Puerta de Purchena.
The group gathered here near the statue of Nicolás Salmerón, the President of the 1st Spanish Republic who was born in Almeria in 1837. His figure is not erected on a plinth but stands on the pavement as if he were among the pedestrians.
From the Puerta de Purchena we walked down Calle de Antonio Vico towards the city walls. Along this narrow street there are other attractive buildings. I liked the facade of this tapas bar.
This house has a particularly ornate facade. The carvings would suggest it once belonged to members of the nobility but it looks quite small from the street. Single storey with just one door and window to the street.
On the opposite side of the street is another interesting building, the outside walls of which are covered in tiles.
At the top of this street we reached the city walls where the first of the old gates led into a cul de sac.
This old house is almost touching the old fortifications.
Looking back over the start of the city walls there are some good views of the modern city of Almeria. The contrast between old and new is very evident in this photo.
We walked up to the nearby the statue of San Cristóbal. As you can see it was a lovely, cloudless morning.
His statue overlooks the Mediterranean and there are dramatic views looking into the light of the city and the sea.
The city wall, Muralla de Hayrán, leads up to the castle of the Alcazaba. In this photo you can see the old gypsy quarter, La Chanca, below and to the right of the Alcazaba.
We passed through this ancient gateway to the other side of the wall.
Looking down onto the city from this side provided another stunning view into the light with the fortifications leading down to modern Almeria.
Looking back the other way one can appreciate the grandeur of these structures. During the time of the Moors, Almeria had the longest city walls in Spain.
I did not have time to stay longer with the group so I walked back to the Puerta de Purchena and then along the Rambla de Obispo Orberá to the car park in the Rambla de Bélen. There are some lovely buildings along the way. I thought this one was particularly magnificent.
I always stop at Casa Blanes along this street to buy spices, loose tea and dried fruits in the shop on the ground floor. This is another beautiful old building.
Also along this street, I was intrigued by this bodega which sold wine and sherries from the barrel and served delicious tapas.
It was obviously a popular place with the gentlemen of the city who were congregating inside the great wooden doorway. I was only in Almeria for a couple of hours but packed a lot into this short visit.