By Anna Ellis •
Published: 28 Aug 2023 • 9:51
A Glimpse into Almería's Urban Evolution: 1897 Map Unveiled. Image: Instituto de Estadística y Cartografía de Andalucía en Facebook.
Coinciding with the Virgen del Mar Fair, the Institute of Statistics and Cartography of Andalusia (IECA) has unveiled a captivating piece of history – an 1897 map crafted by architect Gabriel Pradal.
This intricate map provides a visual narrative of Almería’s urban metamorphosis as it transitioned into a provincial capital. A symbol of bourgeois expansion in the 19th century, this evolution was underpinned by the burgeoning socio-economic order.
The dynamic period of growth, which unfolded in the latter half of the century, was propelled by the planning of expansive urban development as the primary approach.
With a scale of 1:5,000, the lithograph titled “Almería 1897, Plaza de Almería map, Gabriel Pradal Ruiz” measures 75 by 82 centimetres.
This historical piece is housed in the General Military Archive of Madrid under the Institute of Military History and Culture of the Ministry of Defence.
The transformation of Almería into a provincial capital, coupled with surging population figures, novel economic ventures spanning industry, trade, and agriculture, and the ascendancy of iron and lead mining with globally significant deposits in Almagrera and Gádor mountains, collectively spurred economic dynamism.
This, in turn, propelled the imperative for urban overhaul, as well as enhancements to railway and port infrastructure.
These changes deeply influenced societal stratification. The emerging bourgeoisie and the growing labour force converged within the urban community, as illuminated by the IECA
. The pivotal demolition of the city walls in 1855 served as the catalyst for urban expansion.
This growth primarily centred on the restructured lands of expropriated convents, which had transitioned into the ownership of the bourgeoisie.
The orchestrated expansion, guided by the Municipal Ordinances of 1864, was characterized by two fundamental elements.
On one front, it introduced the notion of planned expansion areas, along with their working-class counterparts.
Concurrently, it involved interventions within the well-established historical centre, executed through the technical avenue of street alignment.
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Originally from Derbyshire, Anna has lived in the middle of nowhere on the Costa Blanca for 19 years. She is passionate about her animal family including four dogs and four horses, musicals and cooking.
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