ALMERIA, the capital of the above province, lies on the Gulf of Almeria, on the Mediterranean, 72 miles E.S.E.
of Granada. From the strength of the port it was deemed by the Moorish kings of Granada one of the most valuable of their fortresses and their best commercial harbour. Sailing hence, their cruisers overawed the Catalans and Italians, and their merchant ships conveyed the produce of the country to Africa, Egypt, and Syria. In the time of the Moors Almeria was the seat of hordes of pirates. The walls of the town, and the Moorish fortress, or Alcazaba, overlooking it, as well as the architecture of many of the houses, still attest its Moorish origin. It is pretty well built, and has several handsome squares, although the streets are generally narrow. Almeria is the seat of a bishop, and has a cathedral and theological seminaries. Off the port there is good anchorage in 12 and 14 fathoms water ; and in addition to its landward defences the place is protected towards the sea by the forts of Trinidad and Tiro. In 1866, 46 vessels, of 21,603 tons, with cargoes, entered and cleared the port; and the annual value of the exports is about £50,000. The manufactures are trifling, but there is a good export trade in wine, soda, esparto, silk, and lead; while the imports consist chiefly of coal and manufactured goods. Here there are also some mineral springs. Population (1857), 27,036.