For several times I passed in Murcia, blaming the many villages that surrounded it, forcing a slow traffic that delayed the long trips that I was doing.
This year I spent a week in La Manga del Mar Menor, that gave me time enough to go and have a look.
I enjoyed the city, specially its splendorous cathedral
An astonishing monument, this cathedral mixing three styles - Baroque, Renaissance and Gothic.
Its facade and bell tower are absolutely impressive.
Its richness is due to the several centuries that lasted its construction - started in 1394 it was only finished in 1791, with the successive styles joining the construction in perfect harmony.
In Cardenal Belluga square, next to the cathedral stands the Episcopal Palace.
It is a must in the architecture of the 18th century in Murcia.
Several expert from other cathedrals collaborated in its construction.
It is made up of two joined buildings, the so called Martillo (hammer) and the main body, clearly influenced by Italian Mannerism.
The balcony doors of the facade reproduce the architectural solutions of Michelangelo for the Farnese Palace, in Rome.
Santo Domingo Square
If we forget the cathedral, the most beautiful place in Murcia is this square.
With a very rich history, it is surrounded by wonderful constructions, from the church with the same name, to Almodovar palace, Banco Central, casa Cerdà and more.
Decorating the square a small monument celebrates the human rights.
I was curious about this building from the 19th century but... couldn't see it.
It was covered to maintenance, and the only free angles were covered by trees.
Bad luck. However, i read that it was several times rebuilt, recovering serious damages from fire in the 19th century.
The last one was in 1985, introducing new resources that, behind the old facade allow a very intense activity in modern cultural life of town.
Who was Fernandez Caballero?
An old man whose statue in Romea place forced me to read, and discover that he was a local musician born in 1835, returning home in 1903 after a long and important work in Zarzuela music that he took around the world.
To be honest, I must confess that I like Zarzuela, but couldn't identify any of his works. I will pay more attention in the future.
San Juan de Dios
Giving name to one of the most beautiful squares in Murcia, Sainte Catalina church is one of the oldest in town.
It was built in the 16th century, from a Muslim mosque, in Mudejar, a compromise between Muslim and occidental architecture.
Some other nice elements compose this historic square, with evidence to Ramon Gaya museum and La Union and Fenix monument.
Built between 1728 and 1738, this is the third church to be raised on the site of the convent founded in 1490.
Several artists worked in it, but the most uncommon detail is the selling of freshly- baked cakes by the Sisters of the Enclosed Order, through a revolving hatch, that I couldn't confirm locally.
San Pedro Church
The Royal Casino in Murcia is a precious building in Arab style, carefully recovered in 2009.
It is something not to be missed, even you decide not to risk a euro in the slot machines as I did. I surely recommend you to read the detailed information following the link indicated below.
La Glorieta de Murcia
The old Arab Alcazaba was a palace by the river, strategically located out of the centre to easy the escape, if needed.
In 1266 it was conquered by the Christians, but the palace remained until 1500.
After that, large transformation gave place to a large rectangular square, limited by City Hall and the Archbishop's palace.
Two statues and lots of flowers give the place a nice and colorful look.