Almerķa has a long history marked by the several civilisations settled down in its territory over the ages. The first city to emerge in the Metal Ages, during the Calcolithic Period, is the town of Los Millares, apart from the former existence of a number of Palaeolithic sites in the province and important cave paintings from the Neolithic Age. This town had more than one thousand inhabitants and was culturally based on copper manufacturing, which spread as an activity throughout the Iberian Peninsula over the Third Millennium B.C. In the Bronze Age, between 1700 and 1400 B. C. the Argar culture blooms around the Eastern part of the province.
Los Millares Archaeological Site
The Baria (Villaricos) and Abdera (Adra) settlements are evidence of the Phoenician presence in our lands. These people kept in contact with the Greeks and became Carthaginian at the time when the Punic civilisation spread over the South East of Spain. The clash with Rome put an end to the Carthaginians in the region, and subsequently new settlers took over. In Adra and Almerķa , remains of Roman fish-salting factories, can still be found. These remains come to show the existence of a flourishing trade, with its main outcome being garum, a fish-based sauce seasoned with herbs, which was considered a delicacy at the time.
After many years of Roman domination, Almería was taken over by the Vandals, the Visigoths and the Byzantines. However, having settled in the area for some eight centuries, the Islamic civilisation is by far, the most influential culture in the region. At the beginning of the VIII century, the Arabs, Yemen-born to a large extent, and the Berbers arrive in Almería and plant the land resulting in huge landscape transformation. In the year 955, the building of the Alcazaba (the second biggest Muslim fortress after the Alhambra on the Iberian Peninsula) was ordered by Abderraman III with the idea of holding back the threat of the Fatimi Caliphate in Mahdia ( Tunisia ). Almería, up until that moment considered the port area of Pechina, is officially born. Important commercial links are established between the Eastern Mediterranean and North Africa emerging from this newly born port town of Almería , at the time, the major port of the Caliphate of Cordoba.
The downfall of the Caliphate of Cordoba leads to the Taifa kingdom of Almería , firstly ruled by King Jairan. The Taifa kingdom lived its best days under the reign of Almotacin, also known for composing poetic works. Remains of his palace can be found in the second enclosure of the Alcazaba. The exporting of silk in the XI century is Almerķa 's main source of wealth. With the end of the Almerian Taifa Kingdom at the hands of the Almohads, the sheer extent of industrial activity is not over. That makes Almerķa a very appealing target for the Christian kingdoms. Emperor Alfonso VII , backed up by Catalans, Genoans, Pisans and Franks leads a crusade against the city and conquers it in 1147. However, Almería soon gets back to its Muslim background under the Almoravids after a short Christian domain of ten years. Still, its former grandeur was not to be regained. The XIII century sees Almería becoming part of the Nasrid Kingdom of Granada until the city is seized by the Reyes Católicos (the Catholic Monarchs) in 1489.
Interior views of the Alcazaba
Even with new Christian settlers, the Moorish population will outnumber the former in major areas of the province until the outbreak of the War of the Alpujarras in 1568. The Moorish under the command of Aben Humeya stood up against the Christian dominance. This reaction was spurred by the Moorish taking offence to the damaging clauses at the signing of the treaty known as Las Capitulaciones. The very cruel war goes beyond the borders of Las Alpujarras. Aben Humeya puts the city of Vera under siege, launches an onslaught against Cuevas de Almanzara and on his withdrawal stops over in Purchena, where he sets up and runs sports events. News of these events by Ginés Pérez de Hita, writer and officer at the service of El Marqués de Los Vélez, have served to re-establish the games today. The "King of La Alpujarra " sets up court in Laujar, and shortly after that, was killed by his own men in a domestic squabble. Juan de Austria, Felipe II 's stepbrother was sent to violently put an end to the rebellion. The Moorish are defeated and made to spread over other Spanish regions until eventually being expelled under the kingdom of Felipe III .
Even though newcomers arrive in Almería, earthquakes and continuous pirate attacks have its decadent effects on the city. Following one of the very common attacks, Yuder Pasha, a member of the Moorish community from Cuevas del Almazora is captured and taken to king Al-Malek's Palace in Marrakech. As he grew up, he moved up the scale in the Sultan's court and became the conqueror of the mythical Songai Empire. Under his command, a four-thousand-strong army crossed the Sahara desert and took the city of Tombuctu , now in Mali .
Almería remains quiet well until the XIX century. Mining and grape producing make the city a prosperous one for several decades in this century with the outcome of a flourishing bourgeoisie emerging as a result. Within this new social spectrum, Nicolás Salmerón stands out as a forward-looking local politician who later in his career becomes president of the First Republic . His open refusal to sign death sentences brought about him stepping down from office.
Emigration to Algeria and America could not be avoided with the birth of the railroad and the improvements of the port in the early XX century. During the second half of the thirties, the Civil War will leave deep scars. The most dramatic event was the bombing of the city by the German Navy.
A difficult post-war period brings along demographic draining from the fifties on. Almerian people that could have been counted by the thousands emigrated to Catalonia , France and Germany . By the end of the sixties, a new economic era takes off based on intensive greenhouse farming and tourism. Over the last years, Almería has become the promised land for North-African and Eastern European immigration in the hope for a better life.