12 Months, 12 Stamps - Almeria
In August, the month of holidays and beaches, the series 12 months 12 stamps 12 provinces goes to the province of Almería. Thanks to its strategic position on the Mediterranean, Almería has been home to different civilisations over history. This is easy to see if you look at the archaeological sites all over the province. The stamp shows some of the characteristic elements of the province:
The scenery and sunny climate of Almería make the province ideal for cinematography and many films have been shot here over the years, represented here with a cowboy on horseback in homage to the tradition of the Western.
Almería province offers a diverse and natural cuisine, with excellent quality ingredients from both sea and land. Peppers, and paprika made from them, are one of the traditional bases of the local dishes. Red prawns from Garrucha are Almería’s star product, with a Designation of Origin. They are bigger than normal prawns (up to 20 cm), with a more intense flavour and a distinctive red colour, intensifying in the head region to a dark violet. With 10,836 hectares of greenhouses, Almería province produces and markets more tomatoes than anywhere in Spain or indeed in Europe.
The indalo symbol has been used in Mojácar from the earliest times, when people knew it as the “Muñeco Mojaquero” or Mojácar doll. The first travellers of the Romantic era found it painted on the house fronts of Mojácar with leftover whitewash to protect them from the evil eye and from storms. Several authors have discussed its origins and name, linking the symbol with the Neolithic culture of the province, the Egyptian ankh, and the explosion of Almería’s most important cultural movement in the 1950s.
The Alcazaba of Almería can be seen from every part of the city of Almería, and is the largest Arab citadel in Spain. It was begun in 955 by Abd-ar-Rahman III and finished by Khayran, emir of the Taifa of Almería, in the 11th century. After the Christian reconquest it was remodelled by the Catholic Monarchs and Charles I. From the top of the Alcazaba walls there are wonderful views over the town and the harbour.
The red stripe along the bottom represents one of the colours of the provincial flag.
As well as films, the province has inspired many literary authors. Federico García Lorca’s "Blood Wedding" was based on real events in a cortijo in Níjar. The story was also the basis for a book by the Almería writer Carmen de Burgos, also known as "Colombine".