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TOURIST INFORMATIONVISIT THE CITY25 JANUARY 2020

MURCIA

This is a splendid city of Arabic origin, whose existence is closely related to the fertile lands of the river Segura. The tower of the cathedral emerges from among its ancient streets. Sitting on the banks of the river,  this old city unfolds with its historical streets which preserve comercial names of the guilds that once occupied them, such as the well-known Platería  (Silverware), Trapería (Tatters) or Vidrieros (Tiling).

The Belluga Cardinal Square concentrates two of the main architectural jewels of Murcia: the Episcopal Palace (eighteenth century) with its rococo style facade and churrigueresque patio, and the Cathedral. This temple begun its construction in the late fourteenth century. It draws attention to its unique baroque facade of exceptional sculptural richness next to which stands the majestic 92 meters high tower, while in the inside we find the Velez Chapel, magnificent example of flamboyant Gothic style.

The Baroque in Murcia is widely represented throughout the architecture of religious buildings such as: the church of La Merced, originally fron the sixteenth century and rebuilt in the eighteenth, the convent of Santa Ana and the churches of Santo Domino, San Nicolas and San Miguel. Some of the places worth visiting are: the Town Hall, the Romea Theatre and The Royal Casino, the last one mentioned featuring a neoclassical facade and beautiful interior couryard with arabic influences.

The San Pedro and Santa Catalina neighbourhoods and the surroundings of the Plaza de las Flores square offer some of the most picturesque sights of yhe city. The route may end  with a walk on  the beautiful Paseo del Malecón which is the linking point of between the city and its fertile cultivated Huerta lands.

Murcia offers a wide range of museums and exhibitions. The Cathedral Museum highlights a spectacular processional Toledo monstrance, while Salzillo Museum contains a beautiful collection of carved processional figures by this sculptor, one of the most emblematic of the eighteenth century. In the Archaeological Museum of Murcia one can admire the remains of the different cultures that have passed through these lands such as  the Treasure of the Finca Pinta, consisting of Muslim and Christian coins. The Museum of Fine Arts houses works of Giordano and Madrazo among many others.

Other museums of interest are the Museum of Santa Clara, the City Museum, the Museum of San Juan de Dios, the Museum of Science and Water Mill Museum River, The Craft Centre and the Bullfighting Museum.

LOCAL HOLIDAYS, GASTRONOMY AND SURROUNDING AREAS

One of the most popular festivities and celebrations that take place in Murcia city is La Semana Santa (the Holy Week), during which it is worth attending the procession of the "Salzillos" on Friday morning. The acts of  el Entierro de la Sardina (the Burial of the Sardine), declared of international tourist interest is also notable  for its colorful parade of floats during the Spring Festival.

But the ultimate party In the capital of Murcia is Bando de la Huerta, which is held every Easter Tuesday for more than a century and a half. This celebration represents an exaltation of the regional cuisine and folklore, with parades, costumes, tasting of typical products and verse readings in "panocho" ( huertano language ). Another notorious festival is the pilgrimage of the Virgin of Fuensanta, in which a procession carries the virgin from the Cathedral to its sanctuary, located five kilometers away from Murcia.

The local gastronomy is based on the excellent fruits and vegetables provided by Murcia’s fertile Huerta lands. These raw materials are transformed into delicious stews and dishes like: pisto hertano (ratatouille with peppers, onions and tomatoes), potaje de garbanzos con acelgas (chickpea stew chard) or zarangollo (zucchini, egg and onion). As an accompaniment, you can choose from either of the Murcia wines with Designation of Origin: Bullas, Yecla and Jumilla.

Known as the Costa Calida,  the local coastline is one of the main attractions that Murcia has to its favor. Extended over 250 miles of shoreline, it is divided between the Mar Menor and the Mediterranean, offering a multitude of beaches where you can enjoy a wide range of water sports like: sailing, windsurfing, canoeing, water skiing, diving, etc. Aguilas and Mazarron feature some of the best scuba diving depths in the country, with transparency and visibility that allows approaching aquatic flora and fauna, in places where it is also common to find sunken wrecks. Cartagena is another tourist center where besides enjoying its coastline and monumental legacy one can visit the interesting National Museum of Underwater Archaeology.

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