La Huerta of Murcia
It has been said that in order to known Murcia, it s necessary to know the Huerta, as it is difficult to understand one without the other. Spreading throughout the Vega Media area of the river Segura, it occupies the plain between two parallel mountain ranges through which the river Segura runs on its way to the sea.
The Arabs came up with a complete system of irrigation and they made use of these fertile plains. The Contraparada weir, started by the Romans and perfected by the Moors, is the starting point of a clever system, which takes advantage of the water. It allows the water to enter the Vega, so that, via the many irrigation channels, which branch out, it can reach the furthest point of both sides of the river, encouraging for centuries the cultivation of fruit trees, especially citrus fruits, and vegetables.
Very close to the Contraportada is The Wheel of La Ñora, a hydraulic invention powered by the current in order to elevate the water for irrigation. This wheel is similar to the Wheel of Alcantarilla, also very close to Murcia, which was built in the 14th century. Right next to it, is the museum of La Huerta, situated in an orchard of lemon trees. There, you can get to know “La Barraca”, the traditional house of the Huerta and centre of the family and working life for the “huertanos”, at first hand. Dozens of barracas are put up in the city during the spring fiestas.
From the Castle of Monteagudo or the Sanctuary
of La Fuensanta the fertile Huerta offers an extraordinarily beautiful
view in every shade of green. However, it is also worth seeing
the Huerta from inside and enjoying the feast for the senses offered
by the fruit trees and flowers.