Visiting the ancient city of Murcia


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Europe » Spain » Region of Murcia » Murcia
September 20th 2013
Published: September 21st 2013
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Charlotte & Michelle at Cafeteria Victors, SucinaCharlotte & Michelle at Cafeteria Victors, SucinaCharlotte & Michelle at Cafeteria Victors, Sucina

Where we went for a cup of coffee before heading off to Murcia; it was full of expats from the UK
The seventh largest city in Spain, Murcia was founded in 825 CE and is about 35 kms away from Hacienda Riquelme where I'm staying with Charlotte. We spent most of Friday in Murcia. It was a beautiful day with temperatures in the low 30s so we enjoyed exploring some of the old city.

After parking the car we decided just to walk around and see where we ended up. First building we came to was the Cathedral Church of Saint Mary. Originally a Moorish Mosque created in 1394 it was changed and added to in the Baroque period of Spain and is now regarded as the most important monument in Murcia. Naturally we went in; the opulence reminded me of St Peter's Basilica in Rome. There was a magnificent, and huge, organ in there; very impressive.

The beautiful 19th century Romeo Theatre was also on our walking tour and like the cathedral was situated in a large pedestrian square with cafes all around. It must be a buzz of exciting activity in the evenings when some of the many shows advertised are being performed.

Another place we enjoyed looking around was the Casino of Murcia which was first opened as a gentleman's club in 1887; there were a couple of rooms for members only but which we were allowed to go into. The second floor of the building was all for members only I think. The foyer of the casino was inspired by the Alhambra in Granada. No doubt you remember walking around there a few years ago Kev.

We also wandered around what had been the Church and Cloisters of La Merced which was completed in 1713. Now part of the university, the building currently houses the School of Law and the School of Arts & Literature. We also wandered through many other university buildings in the general area with groups of students standing around chatting.

Finally, before heading home we visited the Murcia Bull Ring - Plaza de Toros - built in 1887. We waited, along with many Spanish families carrying their picnic baskets, for the bull ring to open and were seated inside by 5pm but when we discovered that nothing started until 6.30pm we decide d to give that a miss. We THINK - from conversations in Charlotte's Spanish and my English - that it was a practise parade of some sort.

What we saw of Murcia was fascinating. In 1172 the city was captured by a North African Muslim empire, the last such empire to rule Spain. It's history is something you feel compelled to find out more about; interesting details such as the fact that in1810 Napoleon's troops looted the place, there was a major earthquake in 1829 when an estimated 6,000 people died and the River Segera has flooded the city many times!

I could go on but had better stop while I'm ahead!!


Additional photos below
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The foyer in the Murcia CasinoThe foyer in the Murcia Casino
The foyer in the Murcia Casino

First opened as a gentlemans club in 1847
Murcia Casino libraryMurcia Casino library
Murcia Casino library

A room Charlotte loved!
Murcia Casino ballroomMurcia Casino ballroom
Murcia Casino ballroom

It was just magnificent, much more so than this photo can show
Beautiful fireplace in the Murcia CasinoBeautiful fireplace in the Murcia Casino
Beautiful fireplace in the Murcia Casino

This room is now a small cafe
Murcia TheatreMurcia Theatre
Murcia Theatre

It was centrepiece in a lovely pedestrian square and had a full program advertised
Church of La MercedChurch of La Merced
Church of La Merced

Now part of the university it currently holds the School of Law and the School of Arts & Literature
Murcia Bull Ring Murcia Bull Ring
Murcia Bull Ring

Details of a forthcoming program can be seen
Charlotte inside the Bull RingCharlotte inside the Bull Ring
Charlotte inside the Bull Ring

Many Spanish families were crowding in; some sort of a parade was to be rehearsed...we think!!
Michelle...red hat...red chairs in the Bull RingMichelle...red hat...red chairs in the Bull Ring
Michelle...red hat...red chairs in the Bull Ring

Charlotte liked this photo because of all the red...red rag to a bull!!
Square close to the entrance to the car parkSquare close to the entrance to the car park
Square close to the entrance to the car park

...where Charlotte's car was parked. Goodbye Murcia!!


21st September 2013

hi
lovely blogs and information, you are like a walking encyclopedia?? I see the red hat is still going strong!!! nice warm day today after a great thunder and lightening show in the middle of the night Brian and I are planning a car rally for probus next month, so had fun doing the route yesterday, a couple of no exits which we didnt expect ,still all fun take care love Annx

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