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THE REGION
IN 8 ROUTES

HOME > WHAT TO DO > ROUTES > THE REGION IN 8 ROUTES > MURCIA ROUTE

MURCIA

Located on the banks of the River Segura and flanked by the Carrascoy and Cresta del Gallo mountain ranges to the south, the regional capital Murcia offers a wide variety of cultural and leisure activities throughout the year, accompanied by year-round spring-like weather.
Sin descripción
Things to see?
The town's most important sight is undoubtedly the Cathedral(14th century-18th century), with its marvellous Baroque façade, where sculpture and architecture combine to offer us a truly astonishing work of art. TheCathedral tower is ninety-two metres high and the Chapel of Los Vélez is a veritable jewel dating from the Gothic Period. Inside the Cathedral we will find the Museum of Holy Art and, opposite, on the other side of the square, the Bishop's Palace. Other Baroque delights include the zChurch of San Juan de Dios, which houses a museum of religious imagery, and the Churches of San Nicolás and San Miguel, whose altarpieces perfectly encapsulate the unique style of the Spanish Golden Age in Murcia. The Convent of San Esteban (16th century), today the seat of the Regional Government, was the first Jesuit school in Spain, and its church, which serves as a secular building today, houses magnificent temporary exhibitions within a unique setting. Alongside the Palace of Almudí, which serves as an Art Centre and the town's Historical Archive, featuring an impressive hall of columns, we can see the ruins of the walls that formerly encircled the town (11th-12th century). Dating from the 19th century, we might highlight the Town Hall, the Romea Theatre and the Casino, with its attractive glass gallery, entrance hall, Neo-Nazarite and Pompeiian courtyards, not to mention the spectacular Louis XV ballroom.
Among the museums, we must mention the one devoted to the painter and sculpture of religious images, Francisco Salzillo, where we can admire his famous depictions of Holy Week processions and his marvellous Baroque nativity scene. Other outstanding visits include the Fine Arts Museum, the Santa Clara la Real monastery, the Archaeological Museum, which houses one of the most complete collections of Iberian artifacts in the country, the Ramón Gaya Museum, where we can admire the work of this artist who was awarded the Velázquez Prize for the Arts, the Holy Art Museum at the Cathedral, the Hydraulic Museum of Los Molinos de Río, the Science Museum and the City Museum.
The Surroundings Areas. Visitors must explore the town's surrounding areas. In the El Valle Natural Park the La Luz Visitor Centre located next to the hermitage of the same name, features an exhibition depicting the area's history from the primitive Iberian settlements up until the 20th century. From the centre there are wonderful panoramic views of the mountains, valley and Mediterranean coast. The centre also has a café-restaurant and a Nature Activities Department which organises trekking and climbing excursions throughout the year. Just a few minutes away, along the El Valle Cultural Trail is the Murcian baroque style San Antonio el Pobre hermitage, located in a privileged mountain setting close to the Santa Catalina del Monte Franciscan convent, where you can find out about the uses, life and customs of the area's hermitages. We can also admire the Shrine of La Virgen de la Fuensanta (17th century), the town's patron saint, which is located in Algezares.
The splendid Monastery of Los Jerónimos (18th century) in the district of Guadalupe, which is known as the "Murcian El Escorial" and is now home to the San Antonio Catholic University. Among the numerous archaeological remains that can be found, are those of the Castle and Small Castle and Battlements of Larache, in Monteagudo, the Early Christian Basilica of Algezares and the Early Christian Martyry of La Alberca. At the Museum of La Huerta de Alcantarilla, among other tools and objects, visitors will discover a typical barraca or thatched farmhouse, a modest peasant dwelling that has existed for over four centuries, as well as the water-wheel of Moorish origin that, alongside the Water-wheel of La Ñora, recalls the important role that water has played and continues to play in the development of this region.

Sin descripción
What To Do?
Strolling through the streets of the town today we find small "open" shopping centres, some of them reflecting the town's old guild structure: silversmiths, clothes sellers, potters and glass-workers. We can also walk along the Promenade of El Malecón, the flood barrier that was built in the 18th century and that runs between the river and the botanical gardens, and on into the meadows that surround the town.

A 15-minute trip from the town brings us to the golf-course of Altorreal, which has 18 holes, or the golf-course of Mossa Trajectum, which offers 27 holes. Tourists can follow trekking or bicycle routes through the nearby Regional Park of El Valle y Carrascoy.

Visitors can also enjoy the extensive cultural programme presented at the Auditorium and Congress Centre, as well as the Romea Theatre, not to mention a range of festivals, such as the Festival of Three Cultures, the Jazz Festival, the Mediterranean Folklore Festival and Festival of Murcia in the summer. The town's numerous art galleries and art centres contain many marvellous examples of traditional and contemporary art. Holy Week is a rich experience, featuring fiestas such as El Entierro de la Sardina ("Burial of the Sardine") and El Bando de la Huerta, as is the September Fair.
Sin descripción
Things to Buy and Eat?
Murcia makes it easy for visitors to buy a souvenir to remind them of their stay. An extensive range of shops, both traditional and new, offers visitors the most varied selection of ideas. As far as gastronomic products are concerned, it is enough to visit one of the local markets: vegetable preserves, sausage meats, paprika of certified origin (D.O.) and salted fish products such as la hueva (roe) and la mojama (dried salted tuna). As far as sweet dishes are concerned, we might mention the local meat pie or the sweet and savoury combinations of the pastel de Cierva and pastel de Salteadores.

Under the heading of handicrafts, we might mention the local products made of papier-mâché, clay and embroidery, without forgetting the typical nativity scenes, veritable works of art inspired by the unrivalled delights of Salzillo's work. All of these products can be found at both the Regional Handicrafts Centre, as well as in the shops located around the Cathedral.
Sin descripción
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