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city image or Almeria , Spain

Almeria, Spain

While there is archaeological evidence of Phoenician, Greek and Roman settlements in the Andalucían province of Almería, the city of the same name was founded by the Moorish king Abd ar-Rahman in 955. (Its Spanish name comes from its original Arabic one: Al-Mari'yah, or The Watchtower.) Strategically situated on the Mediterranean, it remained a Muslim stronghold until Christians conquered it in the 15th century. The Muslim influence can still be seen throughout the province, and especially in its capital city. The Alcazaba, a massive 10th-century Moorish palace, hovers above the town and has played a starring role in a number of films, including Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Conan the Barbarian and the James Bond movie Never Say Never Again. The city also boasts a remarkable Gothic cathedral dating from the 16th century; resembling a fortress with its towers and battlements, it served as both a place of worship and a bulwark against attacks by pirates. Nicolás Salmerón Park, a long, shady strip of green that runs along the shore, offers excellent views of the marina and port; it's bisected by Avenida de Federico García Lorca, a lively street lined with tapas bars, cafés and boutiques.