Region of Murcia: Wikis


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Región de Murcia
—  Autonomous Community  —
Flag of Región de Murcia
Coat-of-arms of Región de Murcia
Coat of arms
Map of Región de Murcia
Coordinates: 38°00′N 1°00′W / 38°N 1°W / 38; -1Coordinates: 38°00′N 1°00′W / 38°N 1°W / 38; -1
Capital Murcia
 - President Ramón Luis Valcárcel Siso (PP)
Area (2.2% of Spain; Ranked 9th)
 - Total 11,313 km2 (4,368 sq mi)
Population (2008)
 - Total 1,424,063
 Density 125.9/km2 (326/sq mi)
 - Pop. rank 10th
 - Percent 3.0% of Spain
ISO 3166-2 MU
Parliament Cortes Generales
Congress seats 10
Senate seats 4
Website Comunidad Autónoma de la Región de Murcia

The Autonomous Community of the Region of Murcia (Spanish: Comunidad Autónoma de la Región de Murcia) is one of Spain's seventeen autonomous communities. It is located in the southeast of the country, between Andalusia and Valencian Community, on the Mediterranean coast.

The autonomous community consists of a single province (region), unlike most autonomous communities, which have several provinces within the same region. Because of this, the autonomous community and the province are operated as one unit of government. The city of Murcia is the capital of the Region, and seat of government organs, except for the parliament (Regional Assembly), which is in Cartagena. The autonomous community and province is subdivided in municipalities.

The Region of Murcia is bordered by Andalucía (the provinces of Almería and Granada); Castilla-La Mancha (the province of Albacete), which was historically connected to Murcia until 1833; the Valencian Community (province of Alicante); and the Mediterranean Sea. The highest mountain is Revolcadores (2015 m).

The community measures 11,313 km² and has a population of 1.4 million, of whom one-third live in the capital.

The region is a major producer of fruits, vegetables, and flowers for Spain and the rest of Europe. Excellent wineries have developed near the towns of Bullas, Yecla, and Jumilla, as well as olive oil near Moratalla. Murcia is mainly a warm region which has made it very suitable for agriculture. However the precipitacion level is low and water supply is a hot subject today since, in addition to the traditional water demand for crops, there is now also a demand of water for the booming tourist developments which take advantage of the mild weather and beaches. Water is supplied by the Segura River or Río Segura and, ever since the 70's, by the Tajo transvasement, a major civil engineering which, under some environmental and sustaintibility restraints, brings water from the Tajo into the Segura.





The region is located in the eastern part of the Cordilleras Béticas mountains and it is influenced by their orthography. These mountain ranges are divided as well in the Prebética, Subbética and Penibética mountain ranges (from north to the south).

Sierra de las Moreas

Traditionally it has been considered that the peak of Revolcadores, pertaining to the bulk of the same name, was the highest point in the Region of Murcia, with a height of 2,027 meters; but in measurements of the most recent maps of the SNIG (National Service of Geographic Information of Spain), Revolcadores appears with a height of 1,999 m, and there is a mountain slightly further north of a similar altitude which is more elevated Los Obispos (The Bishops), with an altitude of 2,015 m.

Approximately 27% of the Murcian territory can be described as mountainous, 38% as intramountainous depressions and running valleys, and the remaining 35% as flat lands and plateaux.


The Region of Murcia enjoys a Mediterranean climate of semi-arid type, with mild winters (an average of 11C in December and January) and warm summers (where the daily maximum regularly exceeds 40°C). The average annual temperature is 18°C.

With little precipitation of about 300 to 350 mm per year, the region has between 120 and 150 days in the year where the sky is totally clear. April and October are the months with the most precipitation, there being frequent heavy downpours in a single day.

The distance to the sea and the relief causes thermal difference between the coast and the interior, mainly in winter. While on the coast the temperature rarely descends below 10º, in the interior regions it does not usually rise above 6º and the precipitation level is higher (up to 600 mm).

The city of Murcia holds the record temperature of the 20th century in Spain. It reached 47.2° on July 4, 1994. The winter of 2005 was the coldest in a long time, with snow even falling on the Murcian coast. [1]

Lands around Moratalla and river Alharabe.



The hydrographic network of the region is made up of the Segura river and its affluents:

  • Mundo river (which is born in Albacete), it is the one that contributes to the Segura with the greatest volume.
  • Alhárabe river and its affluent, the Benamor.
  • Mula river.
  • Guadalentín, Sangonera or Reguerón river (which is born upper before Lorca).

Due to the water supplying incapacity of the Segura river basin, contributions to this river basin are made, originated from the basin of the Tajo river, by means of the Tajo-Segura trasvasement.


Satellite view of the Mar Menor

The greatest natural lake of Spain can be found in the region: the Mar Menor (Small Sea) lagoon. It is a salt water lagoon, adjacent to the Mediterranean Sea. Its special ecological and natural characteristics make the Mar Menor a unique natural place and the largest saltwater lake in Europe. With a semicircular shape, it is separated from the Mediterranean Sea by a sand strip 22 km in length and between 100 and 1200 m wide, known as La Manga del Mar Menor (the Sleeve of the Small Sea). The lagoon has been designated by the United Nations as a Specially Protected Zone of Importance for the Mediterranean. Its coastal perimeter accounts for 73 km of coast in which beaches follow one another with crystal clear shallow water (the maximum depth does not exceed 7m). The lake has an area of 170 square kilometers.


Roman Theatre, Cartagena.

The Carthaginians established a permanent trading port on the coast at Cartagena, which the Romans called Carthago Nova. For the Carthaginian traders, the mountainous territory was merely the Iberian hinterland of their seacoast empire. During The Roman period Murcia did not exist but its actual borders could have been inside of the province of Hispania Carthaginensis. Under the Moors, who introduced the large-scale irrigation on which Murcian agriculture depends, the province was known as Todmir; it included, according to Idrisi, the 11th century Arab cartographer based in Sicily, the cities of Orihuela, Lorca, Mula and Chinchilla, Spain.

The Kingdom of Murcia became independent as a taifa centered on the Moorish city of Murcia after the fall of the Omayyad Caliphate of Córdoba (11th century). Moorish Taifa of Murcia included Albacete and part of Almería as well. After the battle of Sagrajas in 1086 the Almoravid dynasty swallowed up the taifas and reunited Islamic Spain. Ferdinand III of Castile received the submission of the Moorish king of Murcia in 1243.

Taifas of Spain.

In the usual way, the Muslims were evicted from the cities, and Ferdinand's heir Alfonso X of Castile, who benefited from rule over a largely depopulated Murcia, divided the border kingdom in three regions for administrative purposes, entrusted respectively to the concejos de realengo, to the ecclesiastical señores seculares, as a reward for their contributions to the Reconquista and to the Military Orders founded in the 11th century. Alfonso annexed the Taifa of Murcia as King of Murcia and Señorio de Cartagena outright in 1266, and it remained technically a vassal kingdom of Spain until the reforms in the liberal constitution of 1812. Murcia became an autonomous region in 1982.

The Castilian conquest of Murcia was significant because it gave the former access to the Mediterranean for the first time and ended the expansion of the Kingdom of Aragon which had been moving south along the coast.


The Region of Murcia has a population of 1,424,063 inhabitants (INE 2008, National Statistic Institute of Spain), of which almost a third (30.7%) live in the municipality of Murcia. It makes up 3.0% of the Spanish population. In addition, after Ceuta and Melilla, Murcia has the highest vegetative growth (5.52 by thousand inhabitants) and also the highest birth rate of the country.

  • Birth rate (2004): 13.00 per 1,000
  • Mortality rate (2004): 7.48 per 1,000
  • Life expectancy (2002):
    • Men: 76.01 years
    • Women: 82.00 years

In the 1991-2005 period the Murcian population grew at by 26.06%, as opposed to the national average of 11.85%. 12.35% of the inhabitants are of foreign origin, according to the INE 2005 census, which is 4% more than the Spanish average. The most notable groups of immigrants are Ecuadorians (33.71% of the total of foreigners), Moroccans (27.13%), Britons (5.95%), Bolivians (4.57%) and Colombians (3.95%).


Municipalities in Region of Murcia

The Region of Murcia comprises 46 municipalities, the most populated being Murcia, Cartagena, Lorca, and Molina de Segura.


The Spanish spoken in the region has its own accent and local words. The Murcian dialect tends to eliminate many syllable-final consonants and to emphasize regional vocabulary, much of which is derived from Aragonese and old Arabic words. The general intonation and some of the distinctive vocabulary of the Spanish dialect spoken in Murcia share several traits with the one spoken in the neighboring province of Almería, in Andalusia, and the Vega Baja del Segura in the Alicante province.

Valencian is spoken in a small area of the region known as El Carche.

Tourism in the Region of Murcia

The Murcia region is little known even within Spain, maybe that’s the reason why it continues to be relatively unspoilt compared to other more overcrowded areas of the Spanish Mediterranean coast. Nevertheless its more than 300 sunny days a year with an average temperature of 21 degrees, and the 250 km (156 miles) of beaches of the so-called Costa Cálida (Warm Coast) have attracted tourists for decades. Although little known, Murcia is being promoted as a cultural destination, in which are included several tourist dynamic projects.[citation needed] Murcia is one of the Spanish autonomous communities that has grown the most in the last years, and it has conferred it the character of an ideal destination of services, shopping and for the organization of cultural events and conventions.

Cultural Tourism

Major tourist destinations

Murcia’s Cathedral
  • Murcia, the capital city offers the facilities, equipment and services of a large city. It is the seventh largest Spanish city by population with approximately 439,000 inhabitants in 2009. Murcia is suited to a walking visit. It has some astonishing monuments including a very tall belfry and its famous Cathedral whose façade is often considered a masterpiece of Spanish baroque while its interior is mostly of gothic art.[citation needed] Murcia is also a large University town with more than 30,000 students per year. It has more than 2 million km2 of parks and gardens.Murcia has a rich history tied to the Jewish community. In and around Murcia one can visit the old ruins and synagogues from centuries ago as well as a modern growing Jewish community.
  • Cartagena, is the Region’s second largest city and one of the main Spanish naval bases. It is an open-air museum invaded by the cultural legacy of the several civilizations that have passed through the city leaving their mark there during its eventful History.

From its recently restored Roman Theatre (among its plethora of Roman remains), a number of astonishing modernist buildings made by the cream of Barcelona’s architects or its military fortifications, Cartagena is becoming a leading tourist destination.

  • Lorca, is a large medieval town at the foothills of where its famous castle stands. It is the second largest municipality of Spain by area.
  • Caravaca de la Cruz or simply Caravaca is one of the five official Holy cities for Catholicism since it’s claimed to be home of part of the Lignum Crucis, the Holy Cross. It’s blessed with beautiful scenery and architecture.

The castles itinerary

Castle of Lorca

Inland Murcia has plenty of castles and fortifications showing the importance of these frontier lands between the Christian Castile and the Muslim Andalusia.

  • Castle of Jumilla, occupied by the Arabs that turned the former Roman fortification into an Alcazaba, the Castilian Kings and the marquis of Villena who gave it its appearance of Gothic royal residence.
  • Castle of Moratalla, it is one of the largest and more impressive castles of the province and was built to defend the town of Moratalla from the Arab invaders from nearby Granada.
  • Castle of Mula, of Muslim origin, but as many castles, eventually restored and renovated.
  • Real Alcázar of Caravaca de la Cruz, where the Holy sanctuary was built, also of Arab origin, then conquered by the Christians and finally home of several noble families.
  • Concepción Castle, in Cartagena, built on one of the five hills of the old Carthagena, following the Roman taste. Now is home of the Centre for the Interpretation of Cartagena’s History.
  • The Castle of Lorca also known as the Fortress of the Sun.


Cartagena’s and Lorca’s Holy Week’s processions have been declared of International Tourist Interest, together the Murcia's "Bando de la Huerta" and "Burial of the Sardine", included in its Spring Festivities. Murcia’s Holy Week is also interesting since its processions include Salzillo’s statues. Salzillo was a famous Murcian sculptor. Cartagena’s main festivities are the Carthagineses y Romanos simulating the Punic Wars. Carthaginians and Romans were the two main civilizations that stayed in Cartagena. They have been declared of National Tourist Interest. The Águila’s Carnival is one of the most important and colourful of Spain.

Beaches and golf

La Manga del Mar Menor

This is the most developed tourist resource in Murcia. The Costa Cálida has 250 km of beaches, from el Mojón at the North near Alicante to Águilas, South West Murcia, near Almería. One of the major destinations of Murcia is the Mar Menor or Small Sea, the largest natural lake of Spain and the largest salty lagoon in Europe, located by the Mediterranean. It is separated from the mediterranean by a 22 km narrow sandy strip known as La Manga del Mar Menor or simply La Manga. It is probably the most developed and overcrowded holiday area of Murcia, despite being declared a Specially Protected Area of Mediterranean Importance (SPAMIs) by theUnited Nations.

Esther Williams called it the largest swimming pool of the world. Mar Menor's muds are famous for its therapeutic properties. Apart from Mar Menor, the Murcian coast from the historical city of Cartagena to the frontier with Andalusia, that corresponds to the Mediterranean Sea (coloquially Mar Mayor or Big Sea) alternates wild and unspoilt rocky areas with large sandy beaches, with the towns of Mazarrón and Águilas standing out.

The toursit needs have forced the area to add all kinds of facilities and services. The construction boom shows the huge amount of estates, including the controversial holiday resorts of Polaris World and second residences, as well as numerous malls. Thanks to the orography and climate of Murcia, these lands are suitable for golf courses, a fact that has been very controversial because of the need for water, which Murcia lacks being a very dry region. Some Murcians are disappointed because these resorts are so well-equipped than their owners rarely use shops and facilities outside them, so Murcia is something like just a bedroom community for those people. Other services includes charter nautical, yacht facilities, golf courses, adventure tourism companies, sports federations, tourist routes, guided visits, excursions by sea.

Natural resources and rural tourism

Murcia has 19 areas under different statutes of protection, representing 6% of its territory.

San Pedro’s marsh
  • Sierra Espuña: Protected Natural Space, it has an area of 17,804 ha, located on the Baetic Cordillera within the basin of the Segura. It is also declared as Special Protected Area for the Birds.
  • Salinas y Arenales de San Pedro del Pinatar, salt marsh by the Mar Menor.
  • Cabo Cope-Puntas del Calnegre, between Águilas and Lorca, by the Mediterranean sea. The government of Murcia has amended Law 1/2001 of 24 April on Land in the Region of Murcia, declassifying a total of 1600 hectares of the land protected by the Regional Park of Cabo Cope and Puntas de Calnegre. Rares species of animals (Bonelli's eagle, Greek tortoise) and plants are threatened. There is a campaign to save Cape Cope Natural Park.[citation needed]
  • Calblanque, Monte de las Cenizas y Peña del Aguila, between La Manga and Cartagena, Calblanque is also one of the top-favourite beaches for the Murcians although it is an undeveloped area.
  • Carrascoy y el Valle, is a Special Protection Area (SPA) and Site of Community Importance (SCI).
  • Sierra de la Pila, also a Special Protection Area (SPA).
  • Sierra del Carche, also part of 7 the Baetic Cordillera.
  • Cañón de Almadenes
Cañón de Almadenes
  • Humedal del Ajuaque y Rambla Salada, another wetland and also a Special Protection Area (SPA).
  • Cerro de Cabezo Gordo, in which there is the archaeological site of Sima de las Palomas, a cave where the second oldest human remains in the Iberian Peninsula were found.
  • La Muela y Cabo Tiñoso
  • Islas del Mediterráneo or the Mediterranean Islands. A group of islands and islets on the Murcian Mediterranean. It has a high ecological importance.
  • Espacios Abiertos e Islas del Mar Menor, in which the five volcanic islands of the Mar Menor are included.
  • Sierra de las Moreras
  • Cañaverosa
  • Sierra de Salinas
  • Barrancos de Gebas
  • Saladares del Guadalentín
  • Cuatro Calas

Inner lands of Murcia near the historical towns of Caravaca de la Cruz and Moratalla offer a number of rural accommodations and facilities: cottages, farmhouses, country houses and camp sites. Visitors can engage in activities related to excursions, day trips, sports, sightseeing.


See also

External links and further reading

Simple English

File:Locator map of
Region of Murcia (in red) on a map of Spain

The Region of Murcia is an autonomous community in the south-east of Spain. With a population of 1,350,000, the capital is Murcia, with 410,000 people. Other important cities are Cartagena, Lorca, Molina de Segura, and Cieza.


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