Murcia

Murcia pronounced ‘Moorthia’ by the Spanish is a major city located in the south eastern part of Spain.  It is situated between Andalusia and the Valencian community.   The city is divided by the Segura River and is known for its beautiful Baroque Cathedral, Almudi Palace and the castle of Monteagudo (where the arab influence can be well appreciated), a fortress from the 11th century, the Market deVeronicas, the Malecon garden, the University of Murcia and the Museum Ramon Gaya.

Murcia is famous for its ‘semana santa’ (easter week ) processions with its spectacular parades of floats and activities where the whole city comes together to celebrate.

The Parque Natural de Sierra Espuna situated inland with panoramic views over the surrounding area attracts walkers, climbers, mountain bikers and horse riders.  Nearly all forest the Sierra de Espuna rises to over 5,200 feet.  For more information on walks in the area go to www.turismodemurcia.es

Due to the regions hot summers and mild winters the region of Murcia is known as Europe’s orchard due to its mass agricultural production of fresh fruit, vegetables and flowers.  It produces for all over Spain and is a major exporter to the rest of Europe.

The region is also famous for its production of quality wines  www.murciawineclub.com  and olive oil www.olivaoliva.com

Murcia is the seventh largest city in Spain with the region having a population of approximately 1,470,069.  It was founded by the emir of Cordoba in 825AD.

The University of Murcia is the tenth oldest university in Spain, founded in 1915 and now has many campuses.

The Cathedral of Murcia, created in 1394 with its baroque style is both beautiful and unique.  It is the tallest campanile in Spain with its bell tower built between 1521 and 1791 being 90 meters in height.  The gothic interior has three naves, an apse and 23 chapels.  The Cathedral is situated in the beautiful Plaza Cardenal Belluga where you can sit and have a drink and tapas from the selection of café/bars.

The Cathedral museum is in the old Cathedral cloister which was built in the 14th Century.   The exhibition consists of mural paintings, archaeological remains, religious objects, Moorish remains, part of a residence from the 11th and 12th Centuries, and part of the prayer room from the 13th century mosque.  For further information and details on other museums and interesting places to go in Murcia visit www.turismodemurcia.es

Just a few minutes walk from the Cathedral is the ‘Gran Via’ the main shopping district where there is a great selection of shops and the famous ‘El Corte Ingles’ department stores www.elcorteingles.es  .  There are also more plazas to relax and enjoy the various tapas on offer in many of the fabulous restaurants.  Shoppers are spoilt for choice in this city as there are also the new shopping centres of Thader www.thader.net and Nueva Condomina www.ccnuevacondomina.com

In the city there is also the famous bull ring ‘Plaza de Torros’ which has been in use since 1887.

The region has a hot Mediterranean climate with mild winters and hot summers.  The average sunshine is over 300 days per year making it very attractive to tourists, ex pats retiring to live here permanently, and buyers of second homes from all over the world.  There is not much rainfall but usually when it does rain it is very heavy with the annual amount of rain falling over a few days.

The average daily temperature in summer ranges from 34 degrees Celsius during the day to 20 degrees Celsius at night, and in winter from 4 degrees Celsius at night to 16 degrees Celsius during the day.  It is not unusual for temperatures to exceed 40 degrees Celsius in the months of July and August.

Crime Rate in Murcia

Murcia has a low level of crime.

International Schools

Murcia has three private fee paying International schools all of which have a very good reputation.   El Limonar International School has two schools, one in Murcia and one in Villamartin and caters for  children from ages 3 – 18 years.  There is a bus pickup service from Balsicas to El Limonar in Murcia. Kings College is located in La Torre Golf Resort and caters for children from 18 months – 18 years.  They have a bus pickup service from Hacienda Riquelme Golf Resort to Kings College.  For more information visit www.ellimonarinternational.comand www.kcmurcia.es