Murcia is situated in a fertile, fruit-growing valley on the Segura River in southeastern Spain. It was founded in 825 AD by the Moors. It has a 14th-century cathedral, an 18th-century stone bridge, a 19th-century casino, and an early 20th-century university. Actually, it has a little more than that. But it is famous mainly for its Holy Week procession, known throughout Spain, which reenacts, with flowers by day and candles by night, the events leading up to, and including, the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.
Murcia's principal attractions are Glorieta, a landscaped, 18th-century square in the center of the city, upon which stands a defiant city hall; old and new bridges across the river Segura; and, of course, the Cathedral of Murcia, where you can find all the architectural styles you ever dreamed of – Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque, Rococo, Neoclassical, Spanish Baroque – since everyone evidently took a crack at it. The Moorish quarter, built around the pedestrian Calle Traperia, is atmospheric and worth a visit, as is the ornate Murcia Casino which has both charm and entertainment value. There are a few other buildings of note in the city, and a handful of museums, the most interesting of which is perhaps the Salzillo Museum, devoted to 18th-century Baroque sculptor and native son, Francisco Salzillo. Murcia is also a producer of wine.
Murcia is located in the hot, dry, largely arid region of the Levante. It is Spain's seventh largest city, with a population of approximately 437,000.
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