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Murcia(Span. mo͞or`thyä), autonomous community and former Moorish kingdom (1990 pop. 1,062,066), 4,370 sq mi (11,321 sq km), SE Spain, on the Mediterranean Sea, comprising the province of Murcia. It became an autonomous community in 1982. The area has a generally rugged terrain, except along its coastal plain, and it is one of the hottest and driest regions of Europe, resembling N Africa in climate and vegetation. However, an irrigation system (dating from Moorish times) and several fertile valleys (especially that of the Segura River) permit the growing of large crops of citrus and other fruits, vegetables, almonds, olives, grains, and grapes. Hemp, esparto, and minerals (lead, silver, zinc) are exported. Sericulture was long a traditional occupation. There is some small-scale industry, including a petrochemical center, and coastal tourism is important.
The region was settled by the Carthaginians, who founded there (3d cent. B.C.) the port of Cartago Nova (modern CartagenaCartagena,
Lat. Carthago Nova, city (1990 pop. 175,966), Murcia prov., SE Spain, on the Mediterranean Sea. A major seaport and naval base, it has a fine natural harbor, protected by forts, with a naval arsenal and important shipbuilding and metallurgical industries.
..... Click the link for more information. ). It was taken (8th cent. A.D.) by the Moors and emerged as an independent kingdom after the fall (11th cent.) of the caliphate of Córdoba. Later occupied by the Almoravids and Almohads, the kingdom of Murcia also included parts of the modern provinces of Alicante and Almería. In 1243 it became a vassal state of CastileCastile
, Span. Castilla , historic region and former kingdom, central and N Spain, traditionally divided into Old Castile and New Castile, and now divided into Castile–La Mancha and Castile and Léon.
..... Click the link for more information. , which in 1266 annexed it outright.
Murcia,city (1990 pop. 322,911), capital of the autonomous community and coextensive prov. of Murcia, SE Spain, on the Segura River. The city lies in one of the finest irrigated garden regions in Spain. The silk industry, a traditional occupation for many years, has declined. There are food-processing, tanning, textile, and other light industries. Lead, silver, sulfur, and iron are mined nearby and aluminum is produced. Murcia rose to prominence under the Moors, when it was for a time the capital of the independent kingdom of MurciaMurcia
, autonomous community and former Moorish kingdom (1990 pop. 1,062,066), 4,370 sq mi (11,321 sq km), SE Spain, on the Mediterranean Sea, comprising the province of Murcia. It became an autonomous community in 1982.
..... Click the link for more information. (see separate article). The Gothic cathedral (14th–15th cent.) and the episcopal palace are landmarks. Murcia is the see of a bishop and has a university (founded 1915).
a historical region in southeastern Spain on the Mediterranean Sea comprising the provinces of Murcia and Albacete. Area, 26,200 sq km. Population, 1.2 million (1973). The capital is Murcia. The terrain is chiefly mountainous, with individual ranges rising to 1,300–1,700 m. The Murcian plain extends along the valley of the Segura River.
A major agricultural and industrial region, Murcia is an important center of irrigated farming, specializing in subtropical crops, principally citrus fruits, and in sericulture. The region accounts for half the lemons, grapes, and olives grown in Spain, as well as about two-thirds of the harvest of silkworm cocoons. Unirrigated lands, which are primarily in Albacete Province, are used for growing barley and wheat, which together account for one-third of Murcia’s cultivated area.
The mining industry accounts for about one-third of the gross value of Murcia’s industrial production; the industry, located in the vicinity of Cartagena, produces a third of the lead and zinc and half of the silver mined in Spain. The principal processing industry in Murcia is food processing, which employs half the work force and accounts for a third of the production of the processing industry. Approximately 70 percent of Spanish exports of canned fruits and vegetables originates in Murcia. Another branch of industry in Murcia is nonferrous metallurgy, centered in Cartagena, Mazarrón, and La Unión; the region is Spain’s leading smelter of lead and accounts for one-third of the nation’s zinc smelting. Other industries include petroleum refining, which is centered in Escombreras, near Cartagena, and constitutes about a quarter of the nation’s petroleum-refining capacity; the chemical industry, whose products include sulfuric acid and nitrogen fertilizers; and the silk industry, located in the city of Murcia. There are shipyards in Cartagena, motorcycle and canning equipment production in the city of Murcia, leather goods and footwear in Albacete, and cotton. The generation of electric power is comparatively low, amounting to 3.5 billion kW-hr in 1971, or 6 percent of Spain’s 1971 total. Cartagena is an important seaport.
S. V. ODESSER
In the early eighth century the Arabs conquered the lands of Murcia, where they established a territorial and administrative unit that they called Tadmir. In the early 10th century the region became a province of the Caliphate of Córdoba, taking the name of Murcia, the province’s capital. After the fall of the caliphate in 1031, Murcia existed as an emirate until 1091, when its territory became part of the Almoravide state and, later, of the Almohad state. In 1248 or 1243 Murcia was conquered by Castile. From 1264 to 1266 it was engulfed by an uprising of the Moors, who were the majority of the province’s population. Only after the uprising was suppressed was Murcia definitively incorporated into Castile.
a city in southeastern Spain, on the lower reaches of the unnavigable Segura River. The capital of the historical region and province of the same name. Population, 247,900 (1971). Murcia is a transportation junction. It is Spain’s principal center for the production of natural silk. The city’s industries include fruit and vegetable canning and the production of motorcycles, equipment for the canning industry, glass, and cotton cloth. There is a university in Murcia.
a lowland in southeastern Spain. It extends for approximately 100 km along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea between the cities of Alicante and Cartagena. The terrain is hilly. The Murcia lowland is composed of loose alluvial deposits, and there are lagoons in the coastal zone. It is drained by the lower reaches of the Segura and other rivers. Dunes are found in places. Precipitation averages less than 400 mm annually. Citrus fruits, date palms, and rice are grown in the region, often with the aid of irrigation.