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The Autonomous Community of the Region of Murcia (Spanish: Comunidad Autónoma de la Region de Murcia) is one of Spain's seventeen autonomous communities, located in the southeast of the country, between Andalucía and Valencia Community, on the Mediterranean coast.

The autonomous community consists of a single province (region), unlike most autonomous communities, which have multiple provinces. Because of this, the autonomous community and the region are operated as one unit of government. The city of Murcia is the capital of the community.

The Region of Murcia is bordered by Andalucía (provinces of Almeria and Granada); Castilla-La Mancha (the province of Albacete), which was historically connected to Murcia until 1833; Valencia Community (province of Alicante); and the Mediterranean Sea. The highest mountain is Revolcadores (2015 m).

The community measures 11,313 km² and has a population of 1.2 million, of who one-third live in the capital.

The region is a major producer of fruits, vegetables, and flowers for Spain and the rest of Europe. Excellent wineries have developed near the towns of Bulla’s, Yecla, and Jumilla, as well as olive oil near Moratalla. Murcia is mainly a warm region which has made it very suitable for agriculture.

However the precipitations are little and water supplies is a hot subject today since, to the traditional water demand for crops it has added recently a demand of water for the booming touristy developments which take advantage of the mild weather and beaches. Water is supplied by the Segura River or Río Segura (which has been labelled as the most polluted river in Europe) and, ever since the 70's, by the Tajo transvasement a major civil engineering which, under some environmental and sustaintibility restraints, brings water from the Tajo into the Segura.

The Carthaginians established a permanent trading depot on the coast at Cartagena, which the Romans called Carthago Nova. For the Carthaginian traders, the mountainous territory was merely the Iberian hinterland of their seacoast empire. Roman Murcia was a part of the province of Hispania Carthaginians. Under the Moors, who introduced the large-scale irrigation on which Murcian agriculture depends, the province was known as Todmir; it included, according to Idrisi, the 11th century Arab cartographer based in Sicily, the cities of Orihuela, Lorca, Mula and Chinchilla.

The Kingdom of Murcia came into independent existence as a taifa centred on the Moorish city of Murcia after the fall of the Omayyad Caliphate of Córdoba (11th century). Moorish Taifa of Murcia included Albacete and part of Almeria as well. After the battle of Sag rajas in 1086 the Almoravid dynasty swallowed up the taifas and reunited Islamic Spain.

Ferdinand III of Castile received the submission of the Moorish king of Murcia in 1243. By the usual process, the Muslims were evicted from the cities, and Ferdinand's heir Alfonso X of Castile, for the better governing of a depopulated Murcia, divided the administration of the border kingdom in three regions, entrusted respectively to the concejos de realengo, to the ecclesiastical señores seculars, as a reward for their contributions to the Reconquista and to the Military Orders founded in the 11th century.

Alfonso annexed the Taifa of Murcia like King of Murcia and Señorio de Cartagena outright in 1266, and it remained technically a vassal kingdom of Spain until the reforms in the liberal constitution of 1812. Murcia became an autonomous region in 1982.

The Castilian conquest of Murcia was significant because it gave that kingdom access to the Mediterranean for the first time and ended the expansion of the Kingdom of Aragon which had been moving south along the coast.

The Cathedral of the Diocese of Cartagena-Murcia was built between 1394 and 1465 in Castilian Gothic style. Its tower, only completed in 1792, shows a mixture of styles: the first two stories were built in Renaissance style (1521-1546), the third one is Baroque, and the bell pavilion has Rococo and Neoclassical influences. The main façade (1736-1754) is considered a masterpiece of the Spanish Baroque style.

Other noteworthy buildings in the square in front of the Cathedral (Plaza Cardenal Belluga) are the colourful Bishops palace (18th century) and a controversial extension to the town hall, by Rafael Moneo.

The Glorieta, next to the Segura River, has traditionally been the centre of the town. This a pleasant landscaped square, built in the 18th-century. The Ayuntamiento (City Hall) is located here.

Pedestrian areas cover most of the old town, centred on Platería and Trapería Streets. Trapería goes from the Cathedral to the Plaza de Santo Domingo, the former market square. Located in Trapería is the Casino, a social club erected in 1847, with a sumptuous interior that includes a Moorish-style patio inspired by the Alhambra royal rooms.


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