Balneario de Fortuna. Piscina termal
The municipality of Fortuna stands out by its vast horizons and its contrast between arid landscapes and green palm trees. The history of this land, surrounded by nature protection areas, is strongly linked with a thermal spring that's been really appreciated since the Iberian and Roman periods.
CARESS OF LEANA
The Balneario de Leana (Leana Spa Resort) in Fortuna is one of the oldest spa resorts in Spain. It was reconstructed on Roman Therms. It became the most important healing centre in the Region along with the santuario de la Cueva Negra (Black Cave sanctuary), popular for its Tituluspictus (Roman inscriptions in objects). The healing nature of these waters was known among ancient cultures, such as Iberian and Greek. It's sure that its effects are great if people continue coming here to charge their batteries.
REMAINS OF THE PAST
This region keeps many historical treasures that you'll discover in your visit to the Iberian and Arabian settlements and the santuario romano de la Cueva Negra (Roman Black Cave sanctuary). The last one was a place of workship and superstition where magic and sorcery rituals were performed. And, then, drop in the ancient Roman thermal springs where, in former times, water was really abundant. Currently, it's still a tourist attraction.
IT'S YOUR TURN TO WALK
Fortuna is the ideal place to go for a walk. In the town centre, you'll find the iglesia parroquial de la Purísima (the Parish Church of La Purísima), from the 18th century, which has images from Salzillo school and a monstrance made by the Neapolitan goldsmith Carlos Zayadatt. The Casa Consistorial (the Council House) is only a few feet away and its hall is home to a rich collection of pictures that are Asset of Cultural Interest. There's also the Casa Convento (Convent House), the most emblematic Modernist building in the municipality. It's characterised by its façade, its courtyard decorated with arabesques and an old library that keeps the household furnishing that belonged to its former owners. Another interesting building to visit is the oldest hermitage in Fortuna, the St. Roque hermitage, from the 17th century.
ELEMENTARY, MY DEAR WATSON!
Knowing through mystery, that's what the night route "Misterios y Leyendas" ("Mysteries and Legends"), held in July and August, suggests you. You'll see the most symbolic places and buildings in the town centre of Fortuna with different eyes. This time we suggest you becoming a detective and tracking the things that aren't told in conventional tourist guides. You'll discover the crime history of Fortuna, the life and death of the outlaw Jaime Alfonso, a.k.a. "el Barbudo" ("the Bearded Man") or the "Cerigüelo" (a bird).
There're two different and attractive versions of natural landscape in Fortuna. The first version is the Regional Park Sierra de la Pila, declared as a Site of Community Importance. This area is perfect to hike, specially Pozos de la Nieve, with its viewpoints. The second version is Ajauque y Rambla Salada wetland, declared as a Special Protection Area for Birds due to a large population of stilts. The water of this wetland is characterised for having the highest index of salinity in Europe, including volcanic outcrops of fortunita rocks and interior salt mines, specially prepared to receive visitors. Once there, don't miss the opportunity to visit the Cortao de las Peñas, a beautiful canyon where you'll see the best panoramic views of the municipality.
A UNIQUE SYMBIOSIS
At mid-August, Fortuna is invaded by Iberian and Roman legions, nymphs, dancers, fire-eaters and mythical characters. Iberian-Romans Sodales Festivities, which are celebrated at the same time that Saint Roque Patron Festivities, reach their peak with the Kalendas of Augusto, la Búsqueda de la Lucerna (the Search of the Lucerna) and, specially, a magnificent parade that takes place the 15th August and is declared as an event of Regional Tourist Interest. Doubtlessly, you'll be astonished by the vitality and the energy of one of the latest festivities of the Region.
HAVING A REST
The best way to enjoy nature, local gastronomy and the authentic essence of the municipality is to stay in one of the district's rural residences. Most assuredly, this option will be perfect if you want to relax and break with your daily routine, as there'll be enough time to come back to the real life...
LET'S EAT SOMETHING!
One of the most typical dishes in this land are "gachasmigas" (a traditional dish made with flour, water, garlic, olive oil and salt), "empedrao" (a stew made with red beans, rice and tomato, garlic and onion), "tortilleras" (symilar to gachasmichas but made with flour, olive oil, garlic, dried ñora peppers, blood sausage and bacon) and "cocido con relleno" (stew with meatballs). Another important dish is "trigopelao" (a stew made with wheat seeds, chickpeas and beans), which is typically eaten in Maundy Thursday. It's also advisable to taste rice and rabbit with snails, accompanied by a fine regional wine. Finally, desserts are also important in Fortuna, including "buñuelos" (small dough balls made with flour, olive oil and eggs fried in hot olive oil), "paparajotes" (battered lemon leaves) and Christmas desserts such as "toñas" (buns made with almonds), "almendrados" (little cakes made with almonds, sugar, eggs, lemon and cinnamon) and "rollos de naranja o anís" (orange or anisette pastry rolls).
People from Fortuna have Holy Week in their blood. Nine brotherhoods take the streets with their statues, as a display of popular fervour that includes singular traditions such as "desfile de las pavas" (parade of women dressed in black and called "pavas" that accompany the image of Our Lady of Sorrow), "noche de Gloria" (a night of fireworks) and "juego de la bandera" (dances in Easter Sunday). One curiosity for visitors is "monumentos", plants cultivated for weeks without light to be shown completely white in the Parish Church.
THE NEVERENDING STORY: PARTIES
Fortuna has more festivities than just Holy Week. Carnival, perfect for creative people that love remaining anonymous, the "días de mona" (days where people eat together, specially buns called "monas") and KalendasAprili, that commemorate the Roman pilgrimage to the Black Cave Sanctuary after Holy Week, stand out. In mid-May, Saint Isidro Festivities are celebrated, in honour to the farming traditions of the municipality, with a parade and a tasting of typical products.
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- Costa Cálida Región de Murcia