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Almeria City - Fascinating Fact 5

La Chanca by Miguez Martinez Gomez. Oil on Canvas 1983. La Chanca is a district of Almeria city. ©Michelle Chaplow
La Chanca by Miguel Martinez Gomez. Oil on Canvas 1983. La Chanca is a district of Almeria city.

GYPSY CAVES

La Chanca is a colourful area, both culturally and visually, located between the Alcazaba and the old town and stretching down the hill to the port. Its brightly-painted houses, begging to be photographed against the red-tiled rooves, brown hills and azure sky, are inhabited by gitanos (gypsies) and fishermen; some of the cave dwellings are still lived in.

The area is the epitome of Gerald Brenan`s description of Almeria, in South from Granada, as 'like a bucket of whitewash thrown down at the foot of a bare, greyish mountain'; it was also the subject of a book by Spanish writer Juan Goytisolo, banned under Franco for its fierce criticism of the area's grinding poverty and appalling, medieval living conditions. Don't go there alone at night, though be careful during the day too.

  • Fact 1 - In the 1880s, two Belgian engineers discovered the largest Copper Age settlement in Europe, just outside Almeria
  • Fact 2 - Almeria is rich in minerals, which brought new wealth and revived the city´s fortunes in the 19th and early 20th centuries
  • Fact 3 - John Lennon sojourned in Almeria - and wrote one of his most heartfelt, personal songs here
  • Fact 4 - In Arab times, Almeria was the richest and most important port in Andalucia
  • Fact 5 - La Chanca is the Sacromonte of Almeria, but without the cheesy flamenco tablaos
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