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.



Your name


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

More Information


3.2/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Gabriel Martins (4 years ago)
Liked it
Daniel Moreno (4 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.
Arnold Doelare (5 years ago)
Too bad there is no more info. And that rebuilding will start.
Sergio Hernández (5 years ago)
It is interesting to see one of the witnesses of past times, such as this neighborhood from the Arab period. It is really interesting, and in my opinion, it should be restored and enabled as a museum of Andalusian culture, but I am aware of the expense involved, but what less than some informative poster.
Gabriela Leger (6 years ago)
Is a great archeologycal attraction, too bad is not enough information or any type or signals about it anywhere nearby the area
Powered by Google

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Monte d'Accoddi

Monte d"Accoddi is a Neolithic archaeological site in northern Sardinia, located in the territory of Sassari. The site consists of a massive raised stone platform thought to have been an altar. It was constructed by the Ozieri culture or earlier, with the oldest parts dated to around 4,000–3,650 BC.

The site was discovered in 1954 in a field owned by the Segni family. No chambers or entrances to the mound have been found, leading to the presumption it was an altar, a temple or a step pyramid. It may have also served an observational function, as its square plan is coordinated with the cardinal points of the compass.

The initial Ozieri structure was abandoned or destroyed around 3000 BC, with traces of fire found in the archeological evidence. Around 2800 BC the remains of the original structure were completely covered with a layered mixture of earth and stone, and large blocks of limestone were then applied to establish a second platform, truncated by a step pyramid (36 m × 29 m, about 10 m in height), accessible by means of a second ramp, 42 m long, built over the older one. This second temple resembles contemporary Mesopotamian ziggurats, and is attributed to the Abealzu-Filigosa culture.

Archeological excavations from the chalcolithic Abealzu-Filigosa layers indicate the Monte d"Accoddi was used for animal sacrifice, with the remains of sheep, cattle, and swine recovered in near equal proportions. It is among the earliest known sacrificial sites in Western Europe.

The site appears to have been abandoned again around 1800 BC, at the onset of the Nuragic age.

The monument was partially reconstructed during the 1980s. It is open to the public and accessible by the old route of SS131 highway, near the hamlet of Ottava. It is 14,9 km from Sassari and 45 km from Alghero. There is no public transportation to the site. The opening times vary throughout the year.