La Plaza Vieja, where AIRE Hotel & Ancient Baths, sits, enjoys a history that would like to share with you:
Until the year 773 in history, Abderramán I built the alarian ports, the city now known as Almeria, which at that time was called Bayyana (Mirror of the Sea)
In the 10th century, in the time of Abderramán III, in Caliphate of Córdoba, La Alcazaba was built and the port is expanded, defending and erected as the most important of the coast. Ships came from all parts of the Mediterranean to him to trade. The city had more than one thousand inns and ten thousand looms, which gives an idea of the importance that it took in its time.
During the Reconquest, Almeria was taken by the King of Castile, with the of Genoese, Catalan and French ships, but ten years later it was taken up again by the Muslims who no longer lost it until their capture by the Catholic Monarchs.
La Plaza Vieja was the main market in the city. In it was sold everything, from slaves, a farm, silk, or even precious stones. Also, they were celebrated in them during the Muslim domination and later during the Christian all type of popular celebrations, the jousting and tournaments of knights. The square was decorated for this type of celebrations, with shawls, banners and flowers.
During the 16th century, the “juegos de cañas” began to become very popular (a game shared by Christians and Muslims and in which the competitor’s skill and clothes stood out). There were also religious processions and parades, Corpus Christi and, above all, bullfights. For the authorities and guests were set up boxes and the center was surrounded by a Palenque
During the 17th century the square was reformed to accommodate it to its Office of Audience and seat of the governor. To the houses of a single plant another one was added, leaving its physiognomy very similar to the present one. The windows of both floors began to be ironed and the balconies served as boxes for the festivities, which is why these houses were much demanded by wealthy people.
During the 18th century, the houses were converted into tents on the ground floor and the square was filled with arcades.
Its current physiognomy is due by the architect of the city of Trinidad Cuertara Cassinello (1847-1912) and nowadays the town hall of the city (currently in reconstruction), the cloistered convent of Santa Clara (“Las Claras”) stands out with its plateresque façade and an important mudejar coffered ceiling in its interior, as well as the hotel’s headquarters and AIRE Hotel & Ancient Baths.
Finally, say that in the center of the square is the monument of the Heroes of Liberty, 18.5m of height, tribute of the city to “Los Coloraos”, 24 people who revolted against the absolutism of Fernando VII and in defense of the first Spanish Constitution (Cadiz, 1812) and that they were shot as soon as landed in Almeria. They wore red coats and on this basis the monument is known as that of the Coloraos. The present, work of the sculptor granadino José Castro Vilches, is retort of the one in 1868 that was destroyed during the dictatorship Franco. It is built in white Macael marble and bronze.
Professor of History Art