Place:Murcia, Spain


Alt namesRegión de Murciasource: Getty Vocabulary Program
TypeAutonomous community
Coordinates38.0°N 1.5°W
Located inSpain
Contained Places
Murcia ( 1833 - )
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
source: Family History Library Catalog

the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

The Region of Murcia, is an autonomous community of Spain located in the southeastern part of the Iberian Peninsula, on the Mediterranean coast. The region is centered on a historical region of the same name in what is now southeastern Spain. It is heir to the ancient Kingdom of Murcia, which traditionally included, as a bi-provincial region, the provinces of Albacete and Murcia. During the transition to democracy (la Transición), Albacete became part of Castilla–La Mancha. The region is in area and had a population of 1,511,251 as at the start of 2020. About one-third of its population lives in the capital, Murcia. At , the region's highest point is Los Obispos Peak in the .

The region is bordered by Andalusia (the provinces of Almería and Granada), Castile La Mancha (the province of Albacete, which until 1980 was a part of Murcia), the Valencian Community (province of Alicante), and the Mediterranean Sea. The autonomous community is a single province. The city of Murcia is the capital of the region and the seat of the regional government, but the legislature, known as the Regional Assembly of Murcia, is located in Cartagena. The region is subdivided into municipalities.

The region is among Europe's largest producers of fruits, vegetables, and flowers, with important vineyards in the municipalities of Jumilla, Bullas, and Yecla that produce wines of . It also has an important tourism sector concentrated on its Mediterranean coastline, which features the Mar Menor saltwater lagoon. Industries include the petrochemical and energy sector (centered in Cartagena) and food production. Because of Murcia's warm climate, the region's long growing season is suitable for agriculture; however, rainfall is low. As a result, in addition to the water needed for crops, there are increasing pressures related to the booming tourist industry. Water is supplied by the Segura River and, since the 1970s, by the Tagus-Segura Water Transfer, a major civil-engineering project that brings water from the Tagus River into the Segura under environmental and sustainability restraints.

Notable features of the region's extensive cultural heritage include 72 cave art ensembles, which are part of the rock art of the Iberian Mediterranean Basin, a World Heritage Site. Other culturally significant features include the Council of Wise Men of the plain of Murcia and the (drumming processions) of Moratalla and Mula, which were declared intangible cultural heritage by UNESCO. The region is also the home of Caravaca de la Cruz, a holy city in the Catholic Church that celebrates the Perpetual Jubilee every seven years in the Santuario de la Vera Cruz.



the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Prehistory and Ancient Era

Since the Lower Paleolithic era, the Region of Murcia has been inhabited by humans. In the Torre-Pacheco municipality in the southeast of the region is a noteworthy paleontological site, the Sima de las Palomas, which contains bone remains of Neanderthals from the Middle Paleolithic era.

The Argaric culture flourished in the region from the Chalcolithic era until the early Bronze Age. La Bastida is a site in the Totana municipality, in the southwestern quarter of the region, that references the civilization. Later, the Iberians were present in this territory during the Middle and Late Bronze Age and remained until very early in ancient history, before the Romans conquered a large part of the Iberian Peninsula. A shrine, necropolis, and an ancient settlement for these people can be found at the site. Another site that consists of the remains of an Iberian shrine is Santuario Ibérico de la Luz, located in the Murcia municipality.

In 227 BC, Carthaginians settled in what is now Cartagena and established a permanent trading port on its coast that was named Qart-Hadast. For the Carthaginian traders, the mountainous territory was merely the Iberian hinterland of their seacoast empire. In 209 BC, the Romans conquered Qart-Hadast, and the territory belonged to the province of Hispania Carthaginensis. During the Roman era, Carthago Nova was the most important place in the region, and there are still remains of ancient villas in the Campo de Cartagena. The Romans built a salt factory and settled in a little town called Ficaria, in the current municipality of Mazarrón. Altiplano and Noroeste comarcas (a kind of region) both contain surviving dwellings of the Romans.

In the early 5th century, the Vandals, Suebi, and Alans began to invade the Iberian Peninsula, settling in different provinces. The Vandals acquired Lusitania and Carthaginensis, the Suebi took the Gallaecia, and the Alans settled in Baetica. The Romans wanted to recover their land and requested assistance from the Visigoths, to which they would provide goods and territory in return. With that, the Alans and Vandals were defeated by the Visigoths and fled to North Africa. Consequently, the Visigoths became federated to the Roman Empire in a kingdom that stretched from Gibraltar to the Loire River. The Visigothic kingdom became independent of the Roman Empire in 476.

In 555 AD, the Byzantines, under the emperor Justinian the Great, conquered the southeastern coast of the Iberian Peninsula and established the province of Spania. Part of the current Region of Murcia belonged to the province and therefore to the Eastern Roman or Byzantine Empire. The current of Campo Cartagena-Mar Menor (Cartagena, La Unión, Fuente Álamo, Torre-Pacheco, Los Alcázares, Mazarrón) and Alto Guadalentín (Lorca, Águilas, San Javier and Santiago de la Ribera, and Puerto Lumbreras) also belonged to the province.

Moorish Middle Ages

In the early 8th century there was a disputed succession to the Visigothic throne. The king Wittiza wanted his son Agila to be his successor, but the nobles of the court elected Roderic, duke of Baetica, as king. The people in favour of Agila conspired to overthrow Roderic. They asked the Moors for help and promised spoils of war in return.

The Moors began conquering the Iberian Peninsula in 711. Roderic was murdered, and the Visigothic kingdom disappeared. Consequently, the Moors quickly conquered much of the peninsula.[1]

Theodemir led a nucleus of resistance in almost all the current region and the south of Alicante province. In 713, he signed the Treaty of Orihuela, because the resistance could no longer endure. The territory came under Muslim rule, but the conquerors granted it political autonomy.[1]

Under the Moors, who introduced the large-scale irrigation upon which Murcian agriculture relies, the province was known as Todmir. According to Idrisi, the 12th century Arab cartographer based in Sicily, it included the cities of Orihuela, Lorca, Mula, and Chinchilla.

In the early 11th century, after the fall of the Umayyad Caliphate of Córdoba, a territory centered on the city of Murcia became an independent principality, or taifa. At one point, the taifa included parts of the present-day provinces of Albacete and Almería, as well.

After the 1086 Battle of Sagrajas, the Almoravid emirate swallowed up the taifas. When Almoravid rule ultimately declined, Abu ʿAbd Allāh Muḥammad ibn Saʿd ibn Mardanīš established a taifa—including the cities of Murcia, Valencia, and Dénia—that opposed for a time the spread of the Almohads, but ultimately succumbed to the latter's advance in the 1170s. Conversely, when the Almohads receded after their defeat at the 1212 Battle of Las Navas de Tolosa, another taifa-prince based in Murcia, Ibn Hud, rebelled against Almohad rule and briefly controlled most of Al-Andalus.

Christian Middle Ages and early modern period

Ferdinand III of Castile received the submission of the Moorish king of Murcia under the terms of the 1243 and made the territory a protectorate of the Crown of Castile. There were towns that rejected compliance with the treaty, such as Qartayanna-Al halfa (Cartagena), Lurqa (Lorca) and Mula. There were also towns where governors accepted the treaty but the inhabitants did not, such as Aledo, Ricote, Uruyla (Orihuela), and Medina La-Quant (Alicante), (although the two last do not belong to the present-day Region of Murcia; they were part of the Taifa of Murcia). In 1245, a Castilian army and a fleet from the Cantabrian Sea conquered Qartayanna. Consequently, the rest of the rebellious towns were also taken by the Castilians. Following the support of local Muslims for the Mudéjar revolt of 1264–1266, in 1266 Alfonso X of Castile annexed the territory outright with critical military support from his uncle Jaime I of Aragon.

The Castilian conquest of Murcia marked the end of the Aragon's southward expansion along the Iberian Mediterranean coast. The kingdom of Murcia was repopulated with people from Christian territories by giving them land.

James II of Aragon broke an agreement between the Castile and Aragon regarding the division of territory between the two kingdoms and, from 1296 to 1302, conquered Alicante, Elche, Orihuela, Murcia, Cartagena, and Lorca. In consequence of those victories, James II and Ferdinand IV of Castile agreed to the Treaty of Torrellas, which stipulated the return of the conquered territory to Castile, save for the towns of Cartagena, Orihuela, Elche, and Alicante. In 1305, Cartagena was returned to Castile. The kingdom of Murcia lost the territory of the current province of Alicante.

The Castilian monarchs proceeded to delegate power over the whole Kingdom of Murcia (then a borderland of the Crown of Castile, near Granada and Aragon) to a senior officer called the Adelantado. The kingdom of Murcia was divided into religious manors, nobility manors, and realengo (a type of manorialism in which the noble had the property, but the king had the authority to administer justice). There were two noble lineages during the Late Middle Ages and the modern period: Los Manueles and Los Fajardos.

The Kingdom of Murcia was adjacent to the Emirate of Granada, which provoked several Muslim raids and wars that occurred mainly during the 15th century.

In the early 16th century, the population increased in the Kingdom of Murcia. There were three plague epidemic during the century, but they did not severely affect the region. In the first third of the century, the Revolt of the Comuneros occurred. Some places that supported the revolt were towns in the present-day Castile and León and Castilla-La Mancha regions. In the Kingdom of Murcia, the revolutionary towns were Murcia, Cartagena, Lorca, Caravaca, Cehegín, and Totana. The castle of Aledo defended the monarchy. In 1521, the Revolt of the Comuneros was defeated.

In the early 17th century, King Philip III of Spain expelled all the Moriscos (descendants of Muslims) from Valencia, Aragon, and Castille. During this century, two plague epidemics also occurred.

During the 18th century, Francisco Salzillo was a notable Baroque artist in the Kingdom of Murcia. He made carvings with religious imagery.

Napoleonic wars

In 1807, Napoleon signed the Treaty of Fontainebleau with Spain, in order for French armies to cross the peninsula to conquer Portugal. In early 1808, Napoleon betrayed Spain and invaded Pamplona, San Sebastián, Barcelona, Burgos, and Salamanca. In 1802, the people of Madrid rebelled, and all of Spain were summoned to fight the French invaders. The people of the country established for each province political organisations, or juntas, as alternatives to the official administrations. Since the French were not much present in the Kingdom of Murcia, battles were rare in the region. Nevertheless, Spaniards from the region battled the French in other areas of Spain. In addition, the region became an staging area for the movement of troops, guns, and supplies destined for the eastern Iberian Peninsula, or Andalucía. In 1810, French troops did attack the Kingdom of Murcia. Most local officials escaped. The French, coming from Lorca, invaded the town of Murcia on 23 April, and looted it on the 26th. The troops returned to the town in August, but defensive measures had been taken and the French attack was repelled. The French army occupied Murcia again in January 1812, looting Águilas, Lorca, Caravaca, Cehegín, Jumilla, Yecla, Mula, Alhama de Murcia, and the Ricote Valley. Cartagena withstood a French siege, owing to its rampart and the help of an English fleet. In 1813, the French were decisively defeated in the north at the Battle of Vitoria.

20th century

In 1936, under the Second Spanish Republic, there was an uprising. The North African territories of Spain were taken on 17 July. The uprising was successful in some areas of Spain. The partial success of the uprising brought on the Spanish Civil War. The province of Murcia supported the Popular Front (the governing party in that era). The port of Cartagena became the main base of the Republican navy and was home to destroyer, cruiser, and submarine fleets. Thus, the Region of Murcia was of geostrategic importance during the war. To defend Cartagena, there were anti-aircraft bases throughout the region. The region was not near the frontlines and overall it was not attacked, except from the air against Cartagena and Águilas. Large factories, basic services, and some other properties were seized by trade unions. There was an impoverishment among the inhabitants and a lack of food supplies. Consequently, rationing was established in the region.

Under Francoist Spain, wine agriculture and economic activities increased in the Altiplano (north of the region). An oil refinery infrastructure was established in Cartagena in 1942, and power refineries, supply refineries, and factories were constructed in the same area during the 1950s and 1960s.

Murcia became an autonomous region in 1982.

Massive riots erupted in Cartagena in 1992 protesting against the closing down of shipbuilding, mining and chemical companies and the regional legislature building was set on fire.

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