Plaza de la Constitution
by Fiona Flores Watson
Plaza de la Constitution is also called Plaza Vieja, this square in the centre of the old town is located close to the cathedral and the Alcazaba.
The square, which is narrow at one end, is enclosed by three-storey buildings - on one side is the Town Hall, an ornate Renaissance building with emblematic clock. The opposite side is arcaded, with a row of ficus trees that have grown together into a squared hedge, providing a dense block of green.
In the Muslim era, the 10th to 15th centuries, the square housed the souk (market).
Opposite the hotel is the Almeria Tourist Office, with next door the Centro de Interpretation Patrimonial. This is a modern, interactive museum explaining the history of Almeria in English and Spanish - it's a good introduction to the city for visitors to set a context for its history, and so they can get a flavour of what it has to offer.
Also in the large cloisters of the square is the boutique Plaza Vieja hotel and lounge, together with a hammam (Arab Baths) and quality Basque pintxos restaurant Taberna Joseba Añorga.
LOS COLORADOS MONUMENTIn the centre of this plaza is the white marble monument to the Martyrs of Liberty, or Los Colorados. This is a 1988 replica of the original monument, destroyed by the authorities in 1943 ahead of a visit to the city by General Franco.
The Colorados were a group of 24 liberal revolutionaries who rose up against the tyrannical King Fernando VI in 1824, demanding the 1812 Cadiz Constitution be reinstated. This group is not dissimilar from Torrijos and Boyd 1831 adventure in Malaga.
Called the Colorados (coloured ones) due to the colour of their jackets, which were British-style, having set sail from Gibraltar for Almeria, they were captured and executed on 24 August 1824.
On one side of the monument it says: 'A la memoria de las illustres victimas de la libertad sacrificadas por el feroz despotismo en Almeria el dia 24 de Agosto 1824.'
On the other: "Este monumento levantado por subscripcion popular en honor de los martires de la libertad conocidos popularmente como Los Coloraos fue destruido por la dictadura en 1943 el ayuntamiento democratico de Almeria rinde homenaje a todos hombres y mujeres que han dado su vida por LA LIBERTAD con la reconstrucion de este monumento ALMERIA POR LA LIBERTAD. 24 Agosto 1988."