Catedral de la Encarnación

Top choice in Almería

Almería’s formidable, six-towered cathedral, begun in 1525, was conceived both as a place of worship and a refuge for the population from frequent pirate raids from North Africa. It was originally Gothic-Renaissance in style, but baroque and neoclassical features were added in the 18th century. The Gothic interior, entered through a fine neoclassical cloister, is an impressive spectacle with its sinuous, ribbed ceiling, 16th-century walnut choir stalls and monumental Capilla Mayor (Chancel).

Outside, in a suite of rooms off the cloister, you can browse the cathedral's small collection of paintings, vestments and ceremonial silverware. On the building's exterior, note the cute stone lions around the northwest tower and the exuberant Sol de Portocarrero, a 16th-century relief of the sun (now serving as the city's symbol) on the cathedral's eastern end.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

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