Murcia is the capital and most populated city of one of the smaller region’s in Spain, the Autonomous Community of Murcia.
Although Murcia has been inhabited for more than 2,000 years, the capital, Murcia, was not founded until 831. It was then that the Moorish region of Mursiya started to gain importance, until it became part of the Kingdom of Castile in the 13th century. Some important architectural remains are the Almunia Real or the second residence of the Moorish monarchs.
The old town is situated next to the Segura River, with historical streets that keep the names of the guilds that used to work there, such as the commercial names of Platería (silversmith’s), Trapería (drapers) and Vidrieros (glaziers). In Plaza Cardenal Belluga there are two architectural gems – the Episcopal Palace (18th century) and the Cathedral.
The construction of the Cathedral began at the end of the 14th century and its superimposed styles stands out: the unique Baroque façade with rich sculptural details, the formidable 92-metre high tower, the interior Vélez Chapel with its flamboyant Gothic.
Some of the most relevant 19th-century buildings are also worth visiting in Murcia, like the City Hall, the Romea Theatre and the Casino, the latter with a Neoclassical façade and beautiful interior courtyard with Moorish influence. The neighbourhoods of San Pedro, Santa Catalina and the surrounding area of the Plaza de las Flores offer some of the most picturesque corners of the capital of Murcia.
A chain of mountains surrounds the plain which Murcia sits upon and the city is closely linked to the fertile lands or huertas around the river Segura. The Region of Murcia serves authentic Mediterranean cooking: cereals, vegetables and olive oil are the base of this cuisine, which finds its source of inspiration in the market garden. The roasts, salted fish, fish and shellfish from the Mar Menor are equally appreciated.
The gastronomy of Murcia is based on excellent fruit and vegetables that come from the huertas. Casseroles and typical dishes are made with these raw materials, such as pisto huertano (fried vegetables, with pepper, onion and tomato), chickpea and Swiss chard stew and zarangollo (courgette, egg and onion). And to accompany our meal, you can choose any of the Murcia wines with Designation of Origin label: Bullas, Yecla and Jumilla.
Cover image via www.turismodemurcia.es where find out more information and plan your trip.