Urban development of Murcia city I

Published by Basilio on

The city of Murcia owes its existence and urban development to the river Segura. We will analyze as we did in the previous post, Urban development of the city of Cartagena, the urban development of Murcia city.

The valley of the Segura river is extraordinarily fertile and has been an inhabited area since ancient times. The city was founded in 825 by order of the Emir of al-Andalus Abderramán II, receiving the name of Madina Mursiya. The origin of the name seems to derive from the pre-existing settlement that, since Roman times, received the name of Murtia. In reference to the myrtle that was abundant in the area.

Foundation

Asentamiento original Murcia
Original settlement, possibly a villa of Roman origin


The date of drafting of the founding act of the city of Murcia was Rabbi Sunday 4, Hijra 210 year. That is, Sunday June 25, 825. The city was founded in order to move the center of regional power from Orihuela to a location easier to control. Upstream, at the confluence between the Segura river and the Guadalentín. Abd al-Rahman II In doing so, it would try to guarantee the supremacy of the Andalusian state authority over local particularities. Ordering in turn the destruction of the nearby city of Eio (possibly located in Aljezares). That it maintained excessive independence from the caliphal power because its inhabitants were scarcely Islamized. Being naturally more inclined to obey their Spanish-Gothic lords than to the authority of Cordoba.


The location was strategic since, on the one hand, it allowed fluvial access to the sea, and on the other it was located at a crossroads surrounded by the river to the south, east and west. In addition, the access from the north was in a wetland area. In this way the river was used as a defensive element and a means of communication. It is very likely that the city was founded on a pre-existing population center, although no archaeological evidence of this has been found.
With the crisis of the Caliphate, the city first entered the orbit of the Taifa de Almería. Thus beginning a period in which Murcia will play an important role in Andalusian history.

The first Taifa Kingdom

Expansión urbana de Murcia S.XI.
Urban expansion during the first Taifa Kingdm of Murcia S.XI


It was not until the second half of the 11th century that the city headed its first independent Taifa kingdom. Under the mandate of Abu Abd al-Rahman Ibn Tahir, Murcia managed to become independent from the Taifa of Valencia when it fell into the hands of Toledo. This first independent Murcian state ended in 1078, when Al-Mutamid's troops from Seville entered the city. Murcia was one of the centers of the anti-Almoravid uprising of 1144. Led by the Andalusian leader Sayf al-Dawla called by his Christian allies as Zafadola. And the military Ibn Iyad, who remained as the new governor of the city.


During the reign of the Wolf King the city of Murcia was its capital. Governing from it a territory that included from Jaén and Baza to Valencia and Albarracín. In this context of wealth, Mardanis ordered the construction of both the castle of Monteagudo and the palace of Al Dar al Sugra. The construction of the Islamic wall replacing a previous one from the 9th century. This is the origin of the boardwalk that is built as part of the wall, especially thick to resist the pressure of the water during the floods of the river. It must be borne in mind that at that time the confluence between the Guadalentin river and the Segura river was just under the boardwalk and in case of a flood that area was the most exposed.

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