A name with a lot of history
In the travel guide to Almería, reviewing history is key. Its name, Al-Miraya, means viewpoint or lookout tower. It was re-casted and walled in the year 995 by Caliph Abd al-Rahman III. Situated in the place where the Urci population settled in the Iberian times, and the Portus Magnus during the Roman Empire.
The place was, during the Caliph of Cordoba, the second city in the peninsula and the main port with 300 self-owned ships. The fleet admiral, second after the caliph, resided in Almería. Ibn Maymun was poisoned by the Almanzor leader due to envy of his power.
Upon forces against the zone, once the caliph disolved, the splendor continues. In hands of Almotacín (11th century), Almería was a great commercial and cultural center. Proof of this is that the population had fifteen gates. Furthermore, the urban framework consisted of an authentic labyrinth with a surface close to a million square meters. At the time, there were up to 10.000 textile mills that exported to the arabic world.
Christian medievals text, such as Romance del Conde Arnaldo, or Las Serranillas del Marqués de Santillana, talked about its splendor. Pope Eugene III promoted a crusade against the city of Almería. The most relevant personalities of that time attended this gathering, such as: Count Ramón de Berenguer of Barcelona, the kings Alfonso VII of Castile and García Ramírez IV of Navarre and Álava, as well as the great duke Guillermo VI of Montpellier. Due to trade rivalry, the genovean and pisians supported with their fleets.
In 1147 their barriers were raided. Up to 20.000 soldiers defended the fort. The majority died in the hands of the army of Alfonso VII, nicknamed “The small Sultan” by the locals. Once the city was taken over, the looting of the enormous amount of riches followed.
Among the most important treasures was the Sacro Catino, a great fountain of emeralds in which based upon tradition, it is where Jesus Christ served the lamb in the Last Supper. The Spanish monarchy even took parts of the large mosque of Almería to the monastery of las Huelgas Reales, in Burgos. The rich leather fasteners and the bronze from the Pechina gates were taken apart by the Count of Barcelona, which took them to the University of Barcelona.