Region of Murcia – Maps, History, and Culture

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Region of Murcia, Spain Interactive Map

Murcia Map Links:

The region of Murcia is located in the southeastern corner of Spain and sits along the Mediterranean coast. The three autonomous regions of Andalucia border it to the west, Castilla la Mancha to the north, and Valencia to the east. The region of Murcia is approximately 4,300 square miles, making it 9th in size out of all 17 autonomous regions of Spain.

City List:

  • Yecla
  • San Javier
  • Jumilla
  • San Pedro del Pinatar
  • Alcantarilla
  • Cieza
  • Molina de Segura

Quick Facts:

  • Population: 1.5 million
  • Languages: Spanish, Castilian, Murcian dialect
  • Ethnicities: Murcian, Castilian, Valencian, Andalucian
  • Capital: Murcia

The History of the Region of Murcia

Before the Roman Hispania era began around the 2nd Century BC, the Carthaginians ruled the region. The Carthaginians settled in the town of Cartagena, the town by which the tribe got its name. Once the Romans conquered the territory in 209 BC, the region was called Hispania Carthaginenses.

The Romans took what the Carthaginians started and improved it. There were many towns and municipalities that were established during this time. The Romans built theaters, churches, and villages during this time, which can still be seen today.

During the 5th Century BC, the Roman Empire was weak and vulnerable to invaders. The first invaders to enter the region were the Suebi and Vandals. The Romans tried to fend off the Suebi and Vandals but were unsuccessful, so they asked the Visigoths for help.

The Visigoths were a German tribe that had entered the area around the same time. The Romans asked the Visigoths to help them defeat the Suebi and Vandals, to which the Visigoths were successful. By 476 AD, the Roman Empire had completely fallen, leaving the region under the control of the Visigoths.

By 711 AD, Muslims had entered the eastern region of the Iberian Peninsula after the death of the Islamic Prophet, Mohammed. This period is known as the Islamic Al-Andalus when Muslims invaded the Iberian Peninsula and pushed out the Christians. Many Christians fled to the northern territories of the Iberian Peninsula as the Muslims could not penetrate the rugged terrain of the mountains in the north.

By 1243, the Christian Reconquest was underway, and Christians were taking back the Iberian Peninsula and pushing the Moors out. The region of Murcia finally saw peace in 1243 when the Treaty of Alcaraz was signed. The Treaty of Alcaraz stated that Murcia would become part of the Crown of Castile, a decision that was not supported by all municipalities in the region.

Because of this, Castilian armies had to conquer the cities that did not support the union of Murcia into the Crown of Castile. By incorporating Murcia into the Crown of Castile, it gave Castile access to the Mediterranean for the first time. The Christian Reconquest was significant in Murcia because the region of Murcia gave territories to the returning Christians to help repopulate the Christian faith.

During the Napoleonic Wars of the early 1800s, the French empire attempted to conquer different regions throughout Europe and the Iberian Peninsula. Spain agreed to let Napoleon pass through its region for the French to conquer Portugal.

Unfortunately, Napoleon betrayed Spain and, instead, conquered many Spanish provinces during this time. Because of this, many soldiers from Murcia and other provinces banded together to fight the French.

The French attacked the Kingdom of Murcia in 1810 and gained total control of the region by 1812, leaving a path of destruction in its wake. Two years later, with the help of Cartagena and the British, the French were defeated, and Murcia was restored.

The Spanish Civil War of the 1930s was a significant time in Murcian history. Murcia supported the Spanish Republic, and Cartagena was the main naval base of the fleet for the Spanish Republic. This kept the coastal city of Cartagena from the destruction that other areas of Spain were experiencing; however, the industries located throughout the region suffered greatly during this time.

After the death of General Franco in 1975, Murcia began its journey to full autonomy and was officially recognized as an autonomous territory on June 9, 1982.


The official language of Murcia is Spanish, specifically Castilian Spanish. Castilian Spanish is spoken throughout Spain and is considered the official language of the country because of its native origins. The region of Murcia, as it was once a part of Castilla la Mancha, speaks Castilian Spanish.

A Murcian dialect is a form of Andalucian Spanish, as the Andalucia region borders Murcia to the west. This dialect is typically only heard spoken in the region of Murcia, as it is important to those who are from the region of Murcia.


Roman Catholicism is the primary religion in the region of Murcia because of the strong Roman influences that were found throughout history and after the Christian Reconquest.

Islam was a religion that was practiced for centuries during the Muslim Invasion. Without the Christian Reconquest, Islam would still be a primary religion of the region today. However, the Christian Reconquest was successful in pushing Muslims out of the area and allowing Christianity to be re-established.


The geography of Murcia is filled with faults, mountains, valleys, and coasts. The many faultlines that run through the area have caused earthquakes over time. The most notable earthquake in recent history was the 2011 Lorca earthquake, which registered around a scale of 5.1.

The many accesses to water throughout the region give Murcia its dense forests, abundant wildlife, and strong agriculture. There are hundreds of trees, bushes, and flowers that grow throughout the region. A large variety of animals thrive in the land and water of the region as well, giving the region a strong ecosystem.


The culture of Murcia includes Roman, Christian, and Islamic cultures, as each of these influences had a strong presence throughout the history of the region. There are Roman structures, Christian churches, and Islamic relics that can be found throughout the region that give Murcia the deep and contrasting culture we know today.

Immigration & Migration Patterns

After the Napoleonic Wars in the 1800s, Murcia suffered greatly. The French had caused an immense amount of damage and destruction to the area, leaving the region impoverished.

Many men left the region of Murcia to find a better opportunity in more wealthy regions of Spain. When this was not feasible, they would travel to the New World in the western hemisphere to find better opportunities.

Some of the areas they would travel to include the southern United States, Central America, South America, and the eastern Caribbean islands.

The second wave of emigration occurred after the Spanish Civil War. The region of Murcia suffered greatly, although the coastal town of Cartagena remained virtually untouched. The many industries that had begun to thrive were destroyed, leaving many without jobs. This led to the second wave of emigrants leaving the region of Murcia to find a way to make a living.

Neighboring Spanish territories and areas in the western hemisphere were sought out by Murcians leaving the region.


Many Murcians left the region during the 1800s and 1900s because of destruction that had been left after the wars that took place in the region. Because Murcians fled to the western hemisphere, the Murcian heritage can be found in countries throughout North, Central, and South America.

Specific areas that the Murcian territory can be found in is the southern United States, Mexico, Central American countries, South American countries, and the eastern Caribbean. These are the countries in the New World that Spaniards had the most success in finding new ways of life.

Therefore, they emigrated to these areas and started new families with descendants who still live there today.

Caleb Pike
About the author

Caleb Pike is an avid hiker and nature lover, with a passion for exploring the great outdoors. He's a writer, photographer, and adventurer, always seeking new trails to blaze and peaks to conquer.