Arrabal de la Arrixaca

Murcia, Spain

The Al-Andalusian palatial complex and neighborhood of San Esteban is an archaeological site that was in the Arrabal de la Arrixaca Nueva, now in the center of Murcia. This exceptional archaeological site of 10,143 square metres is located in the old Garden of San Esteban, next to the building Palacio de San Esteban. It is allowing archaeologists to document the evolution of this urban space from Islamic times to the present, although the excavation process is still unfinished and, as yet, missing archaeological data for its final evaluation. The site is the remains of large country residences, palaces, extensive gardens, and a religious sector with a necropolis and an oratory or small mosque.

The archaeological discovery relates mainly to the structure of the Islamic neighborhood of the 13th century, with some visible elements belonging to the 12th century, and possibly the late 11th century. Within the archaeological site is one of the medieval arrabals of the city, known as Arrabal of la Arrixaca Nueva (of the North). Arrabal can be variously translated as slum, outskirts, or outer suburb. The standard conception of this arrabal is that of a space occupied by almunias (country residences) located on the outskirts of the city. These farms were important agricultural holdings that produced substantial produce, and were surrounded by lush recreational gardens.

The Muslim influence in Murcia is most notable in farming, particularly irrigation. The old Roman aqueducts and underground pipes were utilized, they added canals and water-wheels, and channelled the river Segura in a similar way to what the Egyptians did with the Nile. More sophisticated farming techniques led to an agricultural boom. Rice fields were the work of Islamic farmers, who also brought citrus fruit, aubergines and artichoke, figs, dates, apricots, sugar cane, olives, and different types of wheat into the country. These settlers also gave a huge boost to the textile industry by harvesting cotton and flax.

With the Christian reconquest all this changed. In 1243, the Christian king Ferdinand III of Castile made Murcia a protectorate. Christian immigrants poured in from almost all parts of the Iberian Peninsula. Christian immigration was encouraged with the goal of establishing a loyal Christian base. These measures led to the Muslim population revolt in 1264, which was quelled by James I of Aragon in 1266, who brought more immigrants with him. The local Muslim population were quickly moved as the Christian population began to dominate the former medina.



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Founded: 11th century
Category: Prehistoric and archaeological sites in Spain

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3.4/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Carlos Rodriguez Ibañez (6 months ago)
Andalusian Murcia in the heart of the current city of Murcia. A jewel, a treasure that if it is ever unearthed and public access is allowed, it would allow us to walk through the streets of Mursiya and feel how they lived, prayed and buried their dead. Worthy of conservation and value.
Siempre unico (Vincent Van Good) (9 months ago)
Currently located behind the Gran Vía, delimited to the south by the Palace and the Convent of San Esteban and to the north by the Corte Inglés, it occupies the space of the San Esteban garden. The archaeological studies carried out believe that it was formed at the beginning of the 19th century. XII, due to demographic pressure in the area of ​​the medina wall (currently Santa Teresa Street). From then on, there was a progressive occupation of space in that area and in its main exit routes, and several political and residential centers were built. The reason for the low rating I give it is because the works to enhance the archaeological remains and recondition the garden have been stopped for a long time, and the state of abandonment of this central area of ​​the city is regrettable.
Gabriel Martins (5 years ago)
Liked it
Daniel Moreno (5 years ago)
Archaeological remains belonging to the Arrabal de la Arrixaca. It is necessary to put them in value as soon as possible. The economic crisis coincided with the appearance of the remains, so everything was paralyzed. To this day, the functional space of the place has been lost. Before there was a small square with jewelery stalls and various things. Today they are simply remains that can be seen but there are no explanatory panels either.
Raúl Ramos Solar (5 years ago)
Fantastic place, clearly worthy of the tremendous historical past of the city of Murcia. In the middle of an archaeological exploration campaign, in the very center of Murcia and surrounded by historical and cultural events on all sides.
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