Spain is a vast large country with a lot of regions that are not very touristic or spoiled, like Extremadura (the part where I come from) or Murcia. Surprisingly, the city of Murcia, the capital of the Baroque in Spain, is not a tourist destination of reference either nationally or internationally. The most important city in the region goes unnoticed by most travelers since some people decide to visit the Costa Cálida and the fantastic city of Cartagena. Still, few give this beautiful city a chance.
Murcia is a city in south-eastern Spain, the capital of the Region of Murcia, and the seventh-largest city in Spain – it is a big enough city to capture your attention yet small enough to explore in a day. It is located on the Segura River, in the Southeast of the Iberian Peninsula, noted by a climate with hot summers, mild winters, and relatively little rain.
Murcia was first founded as an Islamic settlement by the emir of Cordoba Abd ar-Rahman II in 825 with the name Mursiyah. But nowadays, Murcia has become a city where the old and the modern blend pretty well. In my opinion, highlights for its visitors include the Cathedral of Murcia, several baroque buildings, its several bridges, its renowned local cuisine, its beautiful orchard (Huerta de Murcia), and the Holy Week processions. In this story, I am going to tell you what should not be missed on your visit to Murcia.
The city, as the capital of the comarca Huerta de Murcia, is called Europe's orchard. This is because of its long agricultural tradition and its fruit, vegetable, and flower production and exports. The city is located near the center of a low-lying fertile plain known as the Huerta of Murcia, which is probably the best known and most dominant aspect of the municipal area's landscape.
Murcia Cathedral stands on what was originally a mosque. It was first founded in 1385, although it was not considered complete until 1467. Still, after that date, various bits and bobs were added up until the 18th century – this fact explains its architectural variety, which is evident and easy to notice. The main facade (1736–1754) is considered a masterpiece of the Spanish Baroque style.
Outside the cathedral, you can find Murcia's main plaza (Plaza Cardinal Belluga), which is a great place to enjoy churros and chocolate. Inside the church, you can escape the heat in a cool interior made up of separate chapels. There is also a museum to learn more about the history of this stunning church.
Several bridges of different styles span the river Segura in Murcia. The Old Bridge- aka Puente de Los Peligros, or Bridge of Hazards- is one of them. It was built in 1742, and it is considerably older than Puente Nuevo that was finished in 1903. Its twin arches are one of Murcia's most striking sights. Stop there and enjoy the colorful and beautiful architecture on both sides of the bridge!
Visit Murcia, not a very touristic destination in Spain, enjoy its great Huerta, and learn about its old agricultural traditions. Do not also forget to check out Murcia’s Cathedral and its square, as well as the oldest bridge that spans on the Segura River, the Puente de los Peligros.
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