Caravaca de la Cruz

Caravaca de la Cruz

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Caravaca de la Cruz is a town and municipality
A municipality is essentially an urban administrative division having corporate status and usually powers of self-government. It can also be used to mean the governing body of a municipality. A municipality is a general-purpose administrative subdivision, as opposed to a special-purpose district...

 of southeastern Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

 in the province of Murcia
Region of Murcia
The Region of Murcia is an autonomous community of Spain located in the southeast of the country, between Andalusia and Valencian Community, on the Mediterranean coast....

, near the left bank of the River Argos, a tributary of the Segura
Segura is a medium-sized river in southeastern Spain.It starts at Santiago Pontones , passes Calasparra, Cieza, Murcia, Beniaján, Orihuela, Rojales and ends in the Mediterranean Sea near Guardamar del Segura in the province of Alicante...

. This city is the capital of the northwest Region of Murcia
Region of Murcia
The Region of Murcia is an autonomous community of Spain located in the southeast of the country, between Andalusia and Valencian Community, on the Mediterranean coast....

. It has a population of 26,449 as of 2010 (INE). In 1900 it had 15,846 inhabitants.

It is the Fifth Holy City
Holy city
Holy city is a synonym applied to many cities, all of them central to the history or faith of specific religions. Such cities may also contain at least one headquarters complex which constitutes a major destination of human...

 of Catholic Christianity, having been granted the privilege to celebrate the jubilee year in perpetuity in 1998 by the then Pope John Paul II), along with Rome
Rome is the capital of Italy and the country's largest and most populated city and comune, with over 2.7 million residents in . The city is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, on the Tiber River within the Lazio region of Italy.Rome's history spans two and a half...

, Jerusalem, Santiago de Compostela
Santiago de Compostela
Santiago de Compostela is the capital of the autonomous community of Galicia, Spain.The city's Cathedral is the destination today, as it has been throughout history, of the important 9th century medieval pilgrimage route, the Way of St. James...

 and Camaleño
Camaleño is a municipality located in the autonomous community of Cantabria, Spain. According to the 2007 census, the city has a population of 1.096 inhabitants.-External links:* - Cantabria 102 Municipios...

 (Monastery of Santo Toribio de Liébana). It celebrates its jubilee every seven years; the first being in 2003, when it was visited by the then Cardinal Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI. In 2010 was celebrated the second jubilee, and it surpassed the one million mark of visits received in 2003. Festivities of International Tourist Interest since 2004.

Caravaca is dominated by the medieval Castle of Santa Cruz, and contains several convents and a fine parish church, with a miraculous cross celebrated for its healing power, in honor of which a yearly festival is held on the 3 May. Caravaca is home to many monuments ands museums, many of which are important tourist attractions. The hills which extend to the north are rich in marble and iron. The town is a considerable industrial centre, with large iron-works, tanneries and manufactories of paper, chocolate and oil.

Besides being known by the Christian relic, it is also the festivity in honor of it, held between 1 and 5 May of each year, declared of International Tourist Interest in 2004. Along with processions and parades of Moors and Christians, is especially relevant the celebration of Horses of Wine, which now aspires to be the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO.

The Neoclassical painter Rafael Tejeo
Rafael Tejeo
Rafael Tejeo was a Spanish painter during the Neoclassic period.Born in Caravaca and died in Madrid. Tejeo first studied in Murcia, then moved Madrid and entered studio of Jose Aparicio. Four years later, he traveled to Rome. He returned in 1827 . He was inducted into the Royal Academy of San...

 was born in Caravaca.

A gigantic archeological site was found in January 2009. It is composed of 1300 graves from 2400 to 1950 BC.


  • Museo de la Vera Cruz. Inside the Castle of Santa Cruz.
  • Museo de la Fiesta. Relative to the Festivities in honor of the Santisima y Vera Cruz de Caravaca.
  • Museo José Carrilero. Sculpture
  • Museo Arqueológico Municipal
  • Museo de música étnica de Barranda
    Barranda is a village of Murcia, located in the municipality of Caravaca de la Cruz. According to the , the village has 884 inhabitants.Houses in Barranda are distributed throughout the highway...

  • Museo Etnográfico en Miniatura "Angel Reinón"


  • Castle and Basilica of Vera Cruz, where they worship the famous Cross of Caravaca. Located within the Real Alcázar of Islamic origins;
  • Iglesia Parroquial de "El Salvador", one of the finest examples of Renaissance architecture in the region of Murcia(16th century);
  • Church of the Holy Conception, with a large tower, within which highlights its coffered ceiling of painted wood (16th century);
  • Church of the Jesuits, that is currently used as municipal cultural center (17th century);
  • Carmelite Convent and Church Mothers of St. Joseph, of rococo stile;
  • Discalced Carmelite Convent (founded by St. John of the Cross in 1586);
  • Church and Convent of Santa Clara, founded in 1609
  • City Hall, Baroque, and whose original layout corresponds to Jaime Bort;
  • The "Templete", Baroque-style building and hexagonal inscribed in a circle, which marks the bath Santisima y Vera Cruz de Caravaca each May 3, ritual act that has been celebrated since 1384;
  • The Plaza de Toros, built on a former Franciscan convent, which opened in 1880 and was added with the renovation of 1926, a front neomudejar.
  • Several monuments Valencian sculptor Rafael Pi Belda
    Rafael Pi Belda
    Rafael Pi Belda is a Spanish sculptor. He studied beaux-arts in Valencia under the guidance of Enrique Pérez Comendador and José Ortells López. His works are mainly figurative.- Early years :...

    : A San Juan de la Cruz (1983), The Moor and Christian (1986), Via Crucis (2000, Royal Basilica Santuario de la Vera Cruz de Caravaca), a work commemorating the award the Holy See of the Jubilee Year in perpetuity to the Basilica Santuario de la Vera Cruz de Caravaca (2001) and the Horses of Wine (2007).


Festivities in honor of the Santisima y Vera Cruz de Caravaca. Declared of International Tourist Interest in November 2004
Fiestas of International Tourist Interest of Spain
The declaration of Fiestas of International Tourist Interest is an honorary distinction of being given in Spain by the General Secretariat of Tourism of the Ministry of Industry, Tourism and Trade of the Government of Spain, granted to the fiestas or events involving manifestations of cultural and...

, held from 1 to 5 May. Include the following acts:

Competition Southeast Migas. "Night of the crumbs. " April 30.
Bareback horse contest. May 1.
Processions accompanying the Cruz de Moros y Cristianos (2 and 3 May).
Fiesta de la Santisima y Vera Cruz (May 3).
Moors and Christians parade (May 4).
Procession of the Holy and Vera Cruz. (May 5).

Legend of the Holy Cross and a sense of the May Festival

In the year 1231, when Caravaca figured prominently in the siege to the kingdom of Granada, the Moorish monarch Ceyt Abuceyt accompanied by all his court commanded the priest Father Gines Perez Chirinos to demonstrate his ecclesiastical activity. Just before the celebration of Mass, the priest realized that he forgot to ask for a crucifix which was an essential object to be placed on the altar. Having prayed to God for help, to the surprise of all present, there was the miraculous appearance of the double-arm cross, brought by two angels. This amazing apparition brought about the conversion of the Moorish king to Christianity.

The Power of the Cross of Caravaca is in its original meaning and foremost representative of a religious value which was the starting point maintainer of other values. Without the religious symbolism, the Cross had not had the importance and character development in its history. Secular symbols usually do not cause the same force as religious symbols, which are the meeting place of a transcendent reality and other material.

Caravaca Cross is the symbol of a city, protects and gives strength to all his people, is a deep feeling that are all caravaqueños in his heart, also reaches deep in the heart of the pilgrims who come to the Sanctuary visit. For almost eight centuries the pilgrims worship, was guarded by the Knights Templar and later by the Order of Santiago. Cross also has other connotations and considered. The set of historical experiences and experiences of identity that has accumulated over time, has given a burden and emotional function, representative and starred in the local community and many people outside.

This appearance of the Cross is remembered by the people caravaqueño each year in acts that constitute a real festive tradition supported by a legend with historical foundation, recalled from the Middle Ages. Indeed, the May festivities in honor of the Blessed and Vera Cruz are a perfect combination of color, culture, religion and entertainment in which all citizens participate unconditionally, inviting visitors to share the celebrations. More than just a holiday, the Moors and Christians of Caravaca is a cult of the past, a tribute to its history.

"Los Caballos del Vino"

Festiviti of Caballos del Vino is a celebration "Unique, unusual and passion" as defined by the writer Ballester on one of his books and is celebrated on 2 May.
The horses came together to Moors and Christians, are the Fiestas de Caravaca de la Cruz are held from 1 to 5 May in honor of the patron saint of the village, the Blessed. and Vera Cruz de Caravaca.

The horses came from Caravaca de la Cruz, on May 2 was done with the streets of the city with its splendid robes embroidered in silk and gold, and the spectacular career of the horses came on the slope of the castle.
The horses came roaring burst and annually in the spring of Caravaca, on May 2, opening wide the gates of the festival every year is dedicated to the Blessed. Cruz Caravaca, Murcia Northwest particular corner. A display of fantasy and symbolism. Cult given the strength, value, beauty and the senses. The origins of the festival are lost in the mists of time blending between history and legend. According to popular tradition, while the Templar fortress besieged by the Moors of Granada Caravaca, around 1250, and requiring the inhabitants of the same water to stock, as the cisterns were exhausted, a group of valiant Knights Templar crossed the Muslim site, with the risk that this entailed, and wineskins loading on the backs of their horses, unable to get water in Campillo de los Caballeros, back again, fast and spectacular race, to defeat the enemy siege to transport water Castle defense element, which already kept, from 1231, the relic of the Blessed. Cruz. Upon arrival they were greeted with jubilation therefore offering and sprucing women to young men and horses richly embroidered robes and bouquets of flowers, considering, in this way, heroes and saviors of the situation. Since the Middle Ages, more or less splendor, according to the times, has been held annually the anniversary. However, it is in S. XVIII, in full Baroque, is when the party begins to appear as such, and during the Romantic Decimónico playful when it reaches the structure it has today.
The Celebration takes place during the morning of each Dos de Mayo, the eve of the Feast of the Cross, when Caravaca becomes the capital of joy, beauty and festive participation. Wine Horses begin at dawn with the washing and harnessing the horse, in over forty different locations in the city. Few spectators, most linked to the rocks or family have the privilege to attend the ceremony. In the early morning light group (formed by the horse and four horses), is preparing to recognize the streets within hours of the show will be the scenario. Fast runs and solemn presences begin to get followers who have not given up the rock around the passage of celebration.


Thuiller Theatre, built in 1843 on the old "Court of Comedy". In 2006, after being closed several months, completed the last renovation of the building, reopening to the public in April of that year with the play El hombre de Central Park, by Carlos Larrañaga.

Besides this theater, the Culture House and the cultural center built in the Church of the Society of Jesus are the places where cultural activity centers, film and artistic community.

One of the most established cultural events is the Theatre Week Caravaca de la Cruz, who in 2010 reached its thirtieth edition. It is now done at the end of July each year in the Plaza de Toros in the town.

Since December 2010 is being carried out work on the Multifunctional Center and Auditorium of Caravaca de la Cruz, which has been controversial for its potential visual impact on the Old Town area, although from the drivers of argues that this work will be minimal and that the building itself will be a new attraction for the municipality.

Natural heritage

Las Fuentes del Marques is a place of immense natural beauty whose role lies in the numerous births of crystalline waters that form a unique setting. This space is located the Tower of the Templars, a small castle in the Middle Ages constituted a defense outpost of Caravaca de la Cruz. It has been installed interpretation center of nature showing the many species of birds, fish and small mammals that inhabit the place.

External links