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Almería, thanks to its strategic situation on the Mediterranean, has been home to different civilisations throughout its history. Significant traces of their presence can be seen in the archaeological remains scattered all over the province.
There is evidence of a very special prehistoric culture in Los Millares and el Argar. Phoenicians, Carthaginians and Greeks exploited its mines and traded up and down its coast. The Romans, who settled here in the 3rd century B.C., transformed it into "Porto Magnus" on the Mediterranean and dominated the area until the later arrival of the Visigoths in the 7th century. The Arabs created the current capital in the 10th century, and from here they ruled over one of the most important taifas (kingdoms) in Muslim Spain. The Arab influence was the most significant, as they remained in Spain for almost eight centuries. There are several monuments which bear witness to the fertile history of this land. The castles and fortresses provide an exceptional historic testimony for understanding the societies of the past.
Long exposed to border conflicts and the need to defend itself, the province of Almería has a large number and variety of castles which comprise a heritage known to few. The mining industry brought about an economic recovery in the 19th century.
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