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Caravaca de la Cruz, Murcia, Spain

Caravaca de la Cruz is a town and municipality of southeastern Spain in the province of Murcia, near the left bank of the River Argos, a tributary of the Segura. This city is the capital of the northwest Region of Murcia. It is the Fifth Holy City of Catholic Christianity, having been granted the privilege to celebrate the jubilee year in perpetuity in 1998 by the then Pope John Paul II), along with Rome, Jerusalem, Santiago de Compostela and Camaleño (Monastery of Santo Toribio de Liébana). It celebrates its jubilee every seven years; the first being in 2003, when it was visited by the then Cardinal Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI. In 2010 was celebrated the second jubilee, and it surpassed the one million mark of visits received in 2003. Festivities of International Tourist Interest since 2004.

Caravaca is dominated by the medieval Castle of Santa Cruz, and contains several convents and a fine parish church, with a miraculous cross celebrated for its healing power, in honor of which a yearly festival is held on the 3 May. Caravaca is home to many monuments ands museums, many of which are important tourist attractions. The hills which extend to the north are rich in marble and iron. The town is a considerable industrial centre, with large iron-works, tanneries and manufactories of paper, chocolate and oil. The Neoclassical painter Rafael Tejeo was born in Caravaca. A gigantic archeological site was found in January 2009. It is composed of 1300 graves from 2400 to 1950 BC

Monuments

  • Castle and Basilica of Vera Cruz, where they worship the famous Cross of Caravaca. Located within the Real Alcázar of Islamic origins;
  • Iglesia Parroquial de “El Salvador”, one of the finest examples of Renaissance architecture in the region of Murcia(16th century);
  • Church of the Holy Conception, with a large tower, within which highlights its coffered ceiling of painted wood (16th century);
  • Church of the Jesuits, that is currently used as municipal cultural center (17th century);
  • Carmelite Convent and Church Mothers of St. Joseph, of rococo stile;
  • Discalced Carmelite Convent (founded by St. John of the Cross in 1586);
  • Church and Convent of Santa Clara, founded in 1609
  • City Hall, Baroque, and whose original layout corresponds to Jaime Bort;
  • The “Templete”, Baroque-style building and hexagonal inscribed in a circle, which marks the bath Santisima y Vera Cruz de Caravaca each May 3, ritual act that has been celebrated since 1384;
  • The Plaza de Toros, built on a former Franciscan convent, which opened in 1880 and was added with the renovation of 1926, a front neomudejar.
  • Several monuments Valencian sculptor Rafael Pi Belda: A San Juan de la Cruz (1983), The Moor and Christian (1986), Via Crucis (2000, Royal Basilica Santuario de la Vera Cruz de Caravaca), a work commemorating the award the Holy See of the Jubilee Year in perpetuity to the Basilica Santuario de la Vera Cruz de Caravaca (2001) and the Horses of Wine (2007).

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