Calasparra is situated on the confluence of three rivers, the Segura, Argos and Quípar, and surrounded by the sierras of Puerto and of Molino. As water is so important in this dry land, it is not surprising that this area has been inhabited since prehistoric times and cave paintings over 4,000 years old have been found here.
Iberians, Roman, Arabian and Christians have left deep, indelible marks on the history of Calasparra, that, thanks to them, it counts on a rich monumental
artistic and archaeological inheritance.
Rice is grown in the fields around Calasparra, irrigated by the water from the rivers. In 1982 Calasparra was awarded with the Denomination of Origin which was a positive dose of publicity for the town, which like many others in Spain, suffered from the effects of massive emigration towards Algeria, Catalonia and France, during the last century when life in the countryside was so hard. In those days gone by no financial help was given to farmers when their crops failed, and families endured extreme poverty.
Nowadays, families are returning, new houses are being built and apart from the service industry which goes hand in hand with the cultivation of the rice and many other crops in this irrigated area, tourism adds a new dimension to the economy.
The tourists of this new age delight in the wine and fruit and vegetables grown in this fertile plain, which, thanks to the waters of the river Segura is able to produce crops of an excellent quality during a large part of the year. The local gastronomy obviously features the rice grown here and rice with chicken, with vegetables and with rabbit are among the favourite dishes of the locality.
Since Medieval times the people of Calasparra have celebrated the fiesta in honour of the “Estrella del Mar” (Star of the Sea) and also the Fiesta del Melon, in recognition of the hard labour of the agricultorists.