The Tourism Board organises special visits coinciding with the traditional feasts of Almeria.
Traditions, tails and legends
The Tour is very peculiar where the traditions, tails and legends of Almeria that belong to its history and are an important part of its identity are explained. There are many mysteries such as the Cervantes theatre legend referring to what happened during the representation of a play; or Cortijo Romero-Balmas during the visit of the illustrous visitor, John Lennon; the legend surrounding the Alcazaba in times of King Al-Mutasim in the XI Century concerning a romance between Galiana, favourite slave of the king and a Christian prisoner. Among the different traditions we can highlight the San Anton feast and the famous Rabico de San Anton (pigtails are auctioned) and the lost Feast-pilgrimage to the San Cristobal hill.
- Bomb Shelters
The Tour of the rehabilitated Galleries where characters from the War will talk about their experiences inside the Shelters during the attacks to save what is most dear to a human being: their lives. The characters recreate the moments lived in the Shelters during the raids their feelings, fears and worries... . The visitor will be to understand the situation of the citizens of Almeria as the City was bombed 52 times and a total of 754 bombs fell on Almeria. The City was not a battleground but suffered the consequences of the War in its historic patrimony and the City was severely damaged especially after a German fleet attacked on 31 May 1937 causing many casualties. The Shelters saved the lives of many citizens.
The mystery of the theatres: Cervantes and Apolo theatres.
Visit the Cervantes theatre, the most important theatre in Ameria, to contemplate its architectural and decorative beauty. Learn about all the problems that surrounded its process to completion, finally inaugurated in 1921. The actress born in Almeria, Concha Robles, will narrate what happened to her on the 22 January 1922 while she was working in the play “Santa Isabel de Ceres”; She was killed by her ex-husband Carlos Verdugo. The Visit continues to the Apolo theatre where a bourgeois woman will explain the privileges of her class in the cultural life of the time (end of the XIX Century and beginning of the XX Century).
Talented woman in Almeria’s history: Carmen de Burgos, Celia Viñas y Concha Robles.
The Tour follows the Old Quarter to the places that had to do with these three women. Two of them were from the same period of time and knew each other (Carmen de Burgos and Concha Robles were born in Almeria in 1887), Celia Viñas was born in Lerida in 1915, but adopted Almeria as her own.
During the Tour, Carmen de Burgos and Celia Viñas will speak to the visitores about their lives. Carmen de Burgos will narrate how she fought for equality between men and women, for the approval of divorce in Spain, women’s right to personal freedom and not having to depend on men (inspired on her own matrimonial experience) and the right to be valued in every institution of society. Carmen de Burgos was journalist, war correspondent and writer. She will also speak about gender violence in the beginning of XX Century Spain, having as example what happened to her friend Concha Robles, killed cruelly by her husband.
Celia Viñas will talk about her birth in Lerida, her youth in Palma de Mallorca, her life as a student in Barcelona and her life in Almeria in 1943, after passing her literature professorship and being given a chair at the old Secondary High School (today’s Arts and Crafts school). Celia Viñas will also tell us about her love for her students, her way of interpreting teacher-student relations, her brilliant classes based on synoptic charts, her obsession in taking her students out of class to get to know Almeria, its historic places and squares. She revolutionized teaching and was criticized for it, but she always had the support of her students. She got married with a grammar school professor in 1953, but her happiness did not last long, as her love for children took her to a surgery room to be able to conceive. She died in the operation in 1954 at the age of 39. A huge part of the citizens of Almeria assisted to her funeral, her students will never forget her. Celia Viñas was part of the Indaliano Cultural Movement, founded by Jesus de Perceval.
Films in Almeria.
The Tour follows through the history of cinema in Almeria, visiting the most important film sets used in the City for films such as Pattion, The Wind and the Lion or Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. The Visit also includes the Arts and Crafts School where scenes of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade were filmed as well the Cathedral square and the stairways at Nicolas on Salmeron park where scenes of Patton were filmed. The Tour also talks about the boom years of cinema in Almeria (1960s and 1970s), the anecdotes of so many important actors, films and a special mention will be made of the Gran Hotel Almeria, known in those days as the “hotel of the stars” because all the famous stars of the time passed by there. The Visit will be conducted by a character with many ties to the City: James Bond (Never say never again).
Promenade through Medievel Almeria
The Tour takes you through Medieval Almeria: Puerta Purchena at its original location (where the Bomb Shelter’s entrance at Manuel Perez Garcia square stands), Arab aljibes (water cisterns), Real street (previously Mar street), Constitution square (Old square) and in Arab times used as a market place, Jose Angel Valente street (of Moorish origin), The Almedina (the main street of the Medina with typical winding streets, and the defensive gate to the Alcazaba.
During the Visit, the guides will go on explaining while characters will appear as the Visit continues: Arab dancers, traders, Arab kings related to Almeria such as Abderaman III (founder of the City, Almariyya - today’s Almeria X Century), Jairan (first Taifas king, XI Century) or Almutasim (reigned in the XI Century and gave great splendor to the City and ordered a great palace to be built in the Second Enclosure of the Alcazaba). The characters will talk about Almeria in their lifetime.
The conquest of the City by the Catholic Kings (26 December 1489).
The Tour commemorates the conquest of the City by the Catholic Kings on 26 December 1489. El Zagal, last king of Almeria, surrendered the keys of the City and the Alcazaba to the Catholic Kings. These characters (El Zagal and the Catholic Kings) together with a court jester, will narrate what happened in the City since the Catholic Kings entered, until the last solemn act of conquest.
The Itinerary goes from Puerta Purchena’s previous location (today’s Santiago church), the mosque converted into Santa Maria chapel, and the first Cathedral of the City (“la Catedral de la Anunciacion” or “Catedral de la Medina”) and finally the visit goes up to the Gates of the Alcazaba where El Zagal surrenders the keys and confirming the transformation of Almeria to Christianity. This Tour usually takes place in December coinciding with the day of the conquest.
Saint Valentine in Almería.
The Tour is narrated by a woman in love, nostalgic to the fact that she had lost the love of her life. The Visit narrates the story of Saint Valentine “patron saint of the people in love” and comments the fact that the remains of the Saint that arrived in Almeria in the XVIII Century from the Catacombs of the San Ciriaco cemetery in Rome (discovered that same Century).
This Saint is one of the many pilgrims to become a martyr when teaching the doctrine of Christ. He was buried with the inscription “Valentino In Pache” (brave in peace). The Itinerary ends at Campoamor square, opposite the Palace of the Marqueses de Cabra where the Low Relief in honour of Saint Valentines made by Jesus de Perceval, was placed.