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Murcia History, Spain

Murcia History – Foundation and Early Function

The city of Murcia was established in 825 by the Arab Abd ar-Rahman II, the emir of Al-Andalus. It was given the name Medinat Mursiya and it soon became highly prosperous due to the innovative irrigation system built by the Moors. They also constructed a defensive wall and several important buildings, all of which remain perfectly preserved to this day. The town was very well fortified and organized and it soon became an important regional centre.

Murcia History – Rise and Development

In the early 13th century Murcia joined the Castillian crown under the rule of King Alfonso X the Wise and it entered a period of fast flourishing. Together with the people of Alicante and Madrid, among other important cities, they formed a very well organized and prosperous society. The king personally preoccupied himself with establishing the socio-economical basis under which Murcia would function, so he made sure that all inhabitants of different religions would live harmoniously together. The prosperity continued into the 15th century, when, due to the Moor irrigation system, the traders flourished and gave the area an important commercial boost. Political stability made it even easier for the town to grow, and it was only shaken by natural causes, three consecutive floods which took their toll on the city’s economy. There was also a heavy earthquake in 1829, which is said to have claimed the lives of 6.000 people.

Murcia History – The Golden Age

The silk industry was beginning to emerge since the 16th and 17th centuries, but its boom in the 18th century assured lots of new investments that made the town even more beautiful and prosperous. This period is known as the golden age and it is when most of the important urban and administrative changes took place. People from Murcia were named in responsible public functions and during this period there were built most of the city’s important churches and monuments. In spite of the turmoil that followed in the 19th century due to the War of Independence, the installation of gas lighting and even of electricity were constant improvements made to the city and the foundation of the university in 1915 made Murcia an important influence in science, arts and literature.

Murcia is a place that takes pride in its history and uniquely preserves all its cultural and architectural heritage, constantly renovating and modernizing its historical sites.

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