Calida International Properties

Murcia Information

Murcia is the capital city of the Autonomous Community of the Region of Murcia, located at the river Segura in south-eastern Spain. Its population is 433,850 (2008), and the population of its metropolitan area is 743,326 ranking as the twelfth-largest metropolitan area of Spain. Since 1995, the mayor has been Miguel Ángel Cámara Botía (PP).

Murcia is built nearly in the centre of a low-lying fertile plain known as the huerta (orchard or vinyard) of Murcia, which includes the valleys of the Segura and its right-hand tributary, the Guadalentín or river Sangonera. It is surrounded by the Sierra de Orihuela and Cresta de Gallo mountains. Despite the proximity of the sea, the climate is subject to great variations: the summer heat is severe while frosts are occasionally experienced in the capital during the winter.

Precipitation in Murcia is scarce with less than 200 mm (7.9 inches) registered in the hydrological year October 2004 through September 2005.

Murcia-San Javier Airport (MJV) is located on the edge of the Mar Menor close to the towns of San Javier and Santiago de la Ribera, 45 kilometres (28 mi) southeast of Murcia. The airport at Alicante is frequently used by travellers to Murcia as well.

Geography

The city extends approximately 882 square kilometres (341 sq mi) and is divided from east to west in two parts separated by a series of mountain ranges (Carrascoy, El Puerto, Villares, Columbares, Altaona, and Escalona). These two zones are called Field of Murcia and Orchard of Murcia.

The city is located at 43 m.a.s.l. in the medium alluvial plain of the Segura river (Vega Media del Segura), and the river crosses the city from west to east. It is a river with Mediterranean pluvial system, little volume but with strong swellings, like those of 1946, 1948, 1973 or 1989 that flooded the Murcian capital.

The most well-known and significant landscape of the municipal area is its orchard, which dominates in great part the municipality. It is a plain territory but with hills that surround the ample valley of the River Segura, one of the most polluted rivers in Europe, where the mountain ranges of the south (Cordillera Sur) and the steep hill of Monteagudo in the middle of the plain can be emphasized.

In addition to the orchard and urban zones, the great expanse of the municipal area is made up of different landscapes: badlands, the pine groves of Carrasco pine in the precoastal mountain ranges and, pass these towards the south, semi-steppe surroundings.

Also a part of the natural space of Carrascoy and the Valley (Carrascoy y el Valle), a Regional Park, is inside the municipality of Murcia.

Districts

The 881.86-square-kilometre (340.49 sq mi) territory of the municipality of Murcia is made up of 54 pedanías (suburban districts) and 28 barrios (city neighbourhood districts). The barrios make up the 12.86-square-kilometre (4.97 sq mi) urban section, the main city. The "centre" of the city, the old quarter, is approximately 1.5 kilometres (0.9 mi) across with approximately 3 square kilometres (1 sq mi) of area.

Climate

Given its proximity to the Mediterranean Sea, Murcia enjoys a Mediterranean climate, of semi-arid type, with smooth winters and warm summers.

It has more than 300 days of sun in the year with few days of precipitation. The water is considered very good in the region in addition to the great orchard diversity that characterizes the zone. Sometimes it undergoes heavy rainfall where the entire year's precipitation is concentrated into a few days.

The temperature fluctuates between 16°C and 4°C in January and between 29°C and 19°C in August, although 36°C is surpassed during many summers. The 20th century record high temperature for Spain was 47.2 °C (117.0 °F) in Murcia on July 4, 1994.

History

Demographic evolution Murcia was founded with the name of Medinat Mursiya in A.D. 825 by Abd ar-Rahman II, emir of Al-Andalus. The Arabs, taking advantage of the course of the river Segura, created a complex network of irrigation channels that made the town prosperous and is the predecessor of the modern irrigation system. The Arab traveller Muhammad al-Idrisi described it in the 12th century as populous and strongly fortified. After the fall of the Caliphate of Cordoba in 1031, Murcia passed successively under the rule of Almería, Toledo and Seville. In 1172 it was taken by the Almohades, and from 1223 to 1243 it became the capital of an independent kingdom.

The Castilians, led by King Alfonso X, took it at the end of this period when large numbers of immigrants from north Catalonia and Provence settled in the town; Catalan names are still not uncommon. In 1296, Murcia and the surrounding region were transferred to the Kingdom of Aragon, but in 1304, it was finally incorporated into Castile due to the Treaty of Torrellas.

Murcia flourished in the 18th century, mainly due to the boom of the silk industry. Many of its churches and monuments are from this period.

The town and surrounding area suffered badly from floods in 1651, 1879, and 1907, though the construction of a levee helped to keep the Segura within its own channel. A popular walkway, the Malecon, runs along the top of the levee. Murcia was struck by an earthquake in 1829. According to contemporary accounts, some 6,000 people died in the province.

Murcia has been the capital of the province of Murcia since 1838 and capital of the autonomous community (which includes only the province) since its creation in 1982.

Demographics

Murcia has 433,850 inhabitants (INE 2008) making it the seventh Spanish municipality by population. Nevertheless, due to Murcia's large municipal territory, its population density (472 hab./km², 760 hab./sq.mi.) is not among the highest in Spain.

When adding in the municipalities of Alcantarilla, Alguazas, Beniel, Molina de Segura, Santomera, and Las Torres de Cotillas, the metropolitan area has 564,036 inhabitants making it the twelfth most populous metropolitan area in Spain.

According to the official population data of the INE, 10% of the population of the municipality had a foreign nationality as of 2005.

Sights and monuments

Cathedral of Murcia.

The Cathedral of the Diocese of Cartagena (based in Murcia) was built between 1394 and 1465 in Castilian Gothic style. Its tower was completed in 1792 and it shows a mixture of styles. The first two stories were built in Renaissance style (1521–1546) and the third one is Baroque. The bell pavilion has Rococo and Neoclassical influences. The main façade (1736–1754) is considered a masterpiece of the Spanish Baroque style.

Other noteworthy buildings in the square in front of the Cathedral (Plaza Cardenal Belluga) are the colorful Bishop's Palace (18th century) and a controversial extension to the town hall by Rafael Moneo.

The Glorieta, next to the Segura River, has traditionally been the center of the town. This a pleasant landscaped square, built in the 18th century. The ayuntamiento (city hall) is located here.

Pedestrian areas cover most of the old town centred around Platería and Trapería Streets. Trapería goes from the Cathedral to the Plaza de Santo Domingo, the former market square. Located in Trapería is the Casino, a social club erected in 1847, with a sumptuous interior that includes a Moorish-style patio inspired by the Alhambra royal rooms.Plateria refers to plata or silver as this street was once the center of selling buying rare metals in murcia by the jewish comunity.Traperia means trapos or cloths where once the jewish community sold garments in murcia.

Other notable places are the Malecón boulevard, La Fuensanta sanctuary and El Valle regional park, Los Jerónimos monastery, the Romea theatre, Almudí Palace, Monteagudo Castle, the Salzillo Museum, and the San Juan de Dios church-museum. In the metropolitan area, you can also see the Azud de la Contraparada reservoir and the Noria de La Ñora water wheel.

Economy

Murcia serves as a major producer of agricultural products; it is common to find Murcia's tomatoes and lettuce, and especially lemons and oranges, in European supermarkets. Murcia is also a nation of wines. They devote about 100,000 acres to grape vinyards. Most of the vinyards are located in the town Jumilla. Jumilla is a plateau where the vinyards are surrounded by mountains.

These days, the economy of the region is turning towards "residential tourism" in which many people from northern European countries have a second home there.

The economy of Murcia is also supported by fairs and congresses, museums, theatres, cinemas, music, aquariums, bullfighting, restaurants, hotels, camping, sports, foreign students, and tourism.

Festivals

The Holy Week processions in the city of Murcia are famous throughout Spain. Life-sized sculptures by Francisco Salzillo (1707–1783) are taken out of museums and carried around the city in elegant processions full of flowers and, at night, candles. These finely detailed sculptures portray events leading up to and including the Crucifixion.

Possibly the most colourful celebrations are the week after Holy Week when Murcians dress in traditional huertano clothing to celebrate the Bando de la Huerta (Huerta parade) on Tuesday and fill the streets for the Entierro de la Sardina (Burial of the Sardine) parade on Saturday.

Murcia Three Cultures International Festival takes place in May and was created with the idea of overcoming the barrier of racism and xenophobia, understanding and reconciliation of the three cultures that populated the peninsula: Christians, Jews, and Muslims. Each year, the festival celebrates these three cultures through music, exhibits, symposiums, and conferences.

Healthcare

The hospitals and other public primary healthcare centers belong to the Murcian Healthcare Service. There are three public hospitals in Murcia:

  • Ciudad Sanitaria Virgen de La Arrixaca in El Palmar that includes obstetrics and paediatrics units
  • Hospital Reina Sofía
  • Hospital Morales Meseguer

Transportation

  • Bus: The transport is provided by Latbus which operates the urban bus and other interurban services
  • Tramway: Provided by Tranvimur which operates the urban tram, a little line 2 kilometres long, finished in April 2007. There are, in total, 4 lines in project
  • Train: Provided by RENFE. Murcia has two lines of Cercanías trains, to Alicante and Águilas

According to the official population data of the INE, 10% of the population of the municipality had a foreign nationality as of 2005.