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About Costa Calida Region

Costa Calida and Murcia Region History



Costa Calida Coat of ArmsThe territory which is today known as the Region of Murcia has been inhabited by man for over 1,500,000 years, and this human presence has been a constant factor in the development of the Murcian landscape since the remotest periods of prehistory. The first evidence of the presence of man dates back to the Neanderthal and Cromagnon periods, whilst archaeological finds become abundant from Neolithic times onwards. Iron age remains begin to speak of a certain level of progress leading to the development of agriculture and the domestication of livestock during the Iberian period and, later, intense commercial activity with the presence of Phoenecian, Greek and Carthaginian settlers in permanent conflict with the autoctonous peoples. The Carthaginians established a permanent trading port on the coast at Cartagena. For the Carthaginian traders, the mountainous territory was merely the Iberian hinterland of their seacoast empire.

In 209 BC Scipio's conquest of the city of Carthago Nova led to the definitive expansion of what had already become an important economic and political centre in the Mediterranean. Roman Murcia was a part of the province of Hispania Carthaginensis.

After a prolonged spell of political instability, a consequence of the disintegration of the Roman Empire, a long period of Arab domination began in 713 AD when Abdelaziz defeated Theudemir's Hispano-Visigoth army in Cartagena. The year 825 AD constituted a further historical landmark, when the city of Murcia was officially founded by Abderraman II. 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, Spain.

The Kingdom of Murcia became independent as a taifa centered 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 Almería as well. After the battle of Sagrajas 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.

In the usual way, the Muslims were evicted from the cities, and Ferdinand's heir Alfonso X of Castile, who benefitted from rulen over a largely depopulated Murcia, divided the border kingdom in three regions for administrative purposes, entrusted respectively to the concejos de realengo, to the ecclesiastical señores seculares, 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.

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