sierra province acres
ALMERIA, a modern province of Spain, comprehending the eastern portion of the ancient kingdom of Granada. It is bounded on the N. by Jaen and Murcia, on the E. and S. by Murcia and the Mediterranean, and on the W. by Granada ; with an area of about 3300 square miles. The province is traversed by mountain ridges, some of them of considerable elevation, with corresponding valleys and plains of great fertility. The principal sierras are those of Maria, Almahilla, Cabrera, Almagrera, Gata, and Gador, and in the W. some offshoots of the Sierra Nevada. The most considerable rivers are the Almanzora, running from west to east, with a course of about 50 miles ; the Almeria, flowing from north-west to south-east ; and the Adra from north to south, watering the fertile district between the Sierra de Gador and the Alpujarras. On the S. coast is the Gulf of Almeria, a spacious bay, 25 miles wide at the entrance, and about. 10 miles in depth. The climate of the province is mild, except in the interior, where the winter is cold. On the coast rain seldom falls, and south-west winds prevail. The inhabitants are principally engaged in mining and agriculture. Many of the proprietors farm their own land, the number of landed properties being 44,858, while the tenants are only 7365. Of the area of the province, 376,698 acres are arable and pasture land; 13,538 acres vineyards; 5360 acres olive plantations; 30,797 acres cultivated mountain and wood lands ; and 1,686,738 acres uncultivated. There are 438,357 head of live stock. All kinds of grain are raised in abundance. The common fruits are plentiful, as well as oranges, lemons, and vines. Much excellent silk is produced in the western districts ; cotton is raised to some extent along the coast, and the sugar-cane is also cultivated. Cattle are extensively bred ; those of the valley of the Almeria are especially remarkable for their size and beauty. The province is one of the richest in minerals of all Spain, the mountains yielding silver, mercury, lead, antimony, copper, and iron. The silver mines of the Sierra de Almagrera, opened in 1839, produced in 1843 nearly 1,700,000 ounces ; while the lead mines of the Sierra de Gador are computed to have yielded, from 1795 to 1841 inclusive, 11,000,000 quintals of lead, and the present annual output is from 30,000 to 40,000 tons of ore. In the Sierra de Gata, jaspers and agates are found ; in the Sierra Nevada, to the west, are the celebrated quarries of Macael marble; and the Sierra Cabrera yields antimony, malachite, gypsum, magnetic iron, &c. The manufactures of the province consist chiefly of esparto cordage, white-lead, shot, saltpetre, soap, leather, and earthenware. The principal exports are lead, esparto, barilla, and soap ; while the imports include coal and machinery from England, woollen and cotton stuffs from Catalonia, silk from Valencia and Malaga, and linen from Marseilles and Gibraltar. From the want of adequate facilities for communication, the development of the agricultural and mining resources of Almeria has not been so rapid as might have been expected. The disturbances attending the revolution of 1868 have also had a prejudicial effect. Education is in a backward state, the proportion of the population at school being only fifteen in the thousand. Crime, although great, is not excessive, offences against the person forming the greater number of the cases tried. The people generally are simple, sober, and religious. Population in 1870, • estimated at 361,553.