Murcia, capital of the autonomous community of Murcia
Murcia is the perfect city for strolling around (and a terrible one to drive in, with very complicated one-way systems and crowded car parks). Everything worth seeing is within walking distance. The most famous commercial streets are Trapería, Platería and la Avda. Alfonso X el Sabio.
- Murcia Cathedral: The cathedral proudly presides the Cardinal Belluga Square. It is a masterpiece from the Spanish Baroque period. The Episcopal. Palace (18th century) is also located in the square.
The Cathedral of Murcia was built between 1394 and 1465 in the Castilian Gothic style. Its tower was completed in 1792 and shows a blend of architectural styles. The first two stories were built in the Renaissance style (1521–1546), while the third is Baroque. The bell pavilion exhibits both Rococo and Neoclassical influences. The main façade (1736–1754) is considered a masterpiece of the Spanish Baroque style.
- Other noteworthy buildings in the square shared by the Cathedral (Plaza Cardinal Belluga) are the colorful Bishop’s Palace (18th century) and a controversial extension to the town hall by Rafael Moneo (built in 1999).
- The Glorieta, which lies on the banks of the Segura River, has traditionally been the center of the town. It is a pleasant, landscaped city square that was constructed during the 18th century. The town hall (Ayuntamiento) of Murcia is located in this square.
- Pedestrian areas cover most of the old town of the city, which is centered around Platería and Traperia Streets. Traperia goes from the Cathedral to the Plaza de Santo Domingo, formerly a bustling market square. Located in Traperia is the Casino del XIX, A Murcian institution in the Traperia – its ballroom is decorated in the style of Luis 15th. It’s a social club erected in 1847, with a sumptuous interior that includes a Moorish-style patio inspired by the royal chambers of the Alhambra near Granada. The name Platería refers to plata (silver), as this street was the historical focus for the commerce of rare metals by Murcia’s Jewish community. The other street, Traperia, refers to trapos, or cloths, as this was once the focus for the Jewish community’s garment trade.
- Several bridges of different styles span the river Segura, from the Puente de los Peligros, eighteenth century stone bridge with a Lady chapel on one of its sides; to modern bridges designed by Santiago Calatrava or Javier Manterola; through others such as the Puente Nuevo, an iron bridge of the early twentieth century.
- Museums: the Cathedral museum, the Science museum, the City museum, The Religious Art museum (Museo de la Sangre – located in the Iglesia del Carmen), the Archeological museum, The Bellas Artes Museum, the Bullfighting museum, Almudí Palace – a historic building del 17th century, with coats of arms on its façade. On its interior there are Tuscan columns, and since 1985 it hosts the city archives and usually houses exhibitions.
Other notable places around Murcia include:
- Santa Clara monastery, Gothic and Baroque monument where is located a Museum with the Moorish palace’s remains from the 13th century, called Alcázar Seguir.
- The Malecón boulevard, a former retaining wall for the Río Segura’s floods.
- La Fuensanta sanctuary and adjacent El Valle regional park.
- Los Jerónimos monastery (18th century).
- The theatre ROMEA – (1862) still in use. (19th century). Picture of Pedro J Pacheco
- Monteagudo Castle (11th century).
- San Juan de Dios church-museum, Baroque and Rococo circular church with the remains of the Moorish palace mosque from the 12th century in the basement, calle Alcázar Nasir.
In the metropolitan area are also the Azud de la Contraparada reservoir and the Noria de La Ñora water wheel.