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A Historical Look At Murcia, Spain - Articles Surfing
The history of Murcia is a long story of agriculture, commerce and INVASION. In the very early days (500+ B.C.) Murcia's original inhabitants - Iberian tribes - had already established trading relationships with Greeks and Phoenicians. Later Hannibal Barca and his hordes from Carthage conquered the region founding Carthago Nova, which today is the popular sea port of Cartagena.
Then, inevitably came the Romans and in the 5th Century the Visigoths (German) who conquered all of Spain under Euric only to be superceded by the Moors in 711.
The beautiful city of Murcia (then called Mursiya) was founded in 825 A.D by The Caliph of Cordoba, Abd ar-Rahman II. Founded on the site of an old Roman Colony there are still lots of Moorish influences there not least in the very impressive City walls.
The 11th century brought civil war & the Caliphate was overthrown by native Spaniards to make way for an independent kingdom, including (at its height) part of the modern provinces of Alicante & Almeria. Peaceful times ensued until 1243 when Alfonso X of Castilla & Leon re-conquered Murcia and the surrounding localities. Religeous oppression forced the largely Moslem community to convert to Christianity. All 20 mosques were converted into churches.
Under this new government from Central Spain the history of Murcia took a peaceful turn and the city of Murcia prospered and grew into one of Spain's architectural treasures by the turn of the 18th century. The city was sprinked with very elaborate urban palaces, ornate churches and of course the centrepiece was the stunning baroque cathedral. All this opulence was largely funded by the blossoming silk and agriculture industries.
At the height of Murcia's popularity and influence Napoleon Bonaparte spoilt the party by sacking and looting the City in 1810. This was closely followed by an epidemic of plague followed by Cholera.. After this Murcia fell into gradual decline until the 20th Century when Murcia only had minor City status. There was intense fighting during the Spanish Civil War in 1936 and many beautiful monuments and churches were lost. Economic deteriation also occurred as the previously very valuable silk market lost it's competitiveness against the onslaught of man made fibres.
Recently Murcia has been sustained by citrus fruit farming and associated businesses. The city is still a very attractive destination having become a University City with a modern vibrant atmosphere yet retaining lots of historical interest.
The most recent development in the history of Murcia has been the building of 37 residential golf courses at the time of writing with more to follow. Multi-billion pound Company Polaris World has invested heavily in Murcia and is even making all it's resorts water self-sufficient by creating fresh water from sea water.
It would appear that the next chapter in the history of Murcia is underway, the latest invasion of Murcia is on and will again be from Northern Europe but this time in the form of golf resort dwelling residents.
The financial welfare of Murcia County and City is assured.
Copyright © 1995 - Photius Coutsoukis (All Rights Reserved).
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