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Yecla, Murcia Towns
The large town of Yecla is right up in the north eastern corner of the province of Murcia, and its municipality borders the provinces of Alicante and Albacete. Yecla is situated behind the mountains that stretch all the way down the Levante coast, on a vast plain about 600 metres above sea level that extends towards La Mancha. The busy shopping streets and industrial parks are those of a modern town, but the old quarter with its narrow streets and ancient buildings quickly reminds us that Yecla is a very old place with a long history.
Signs of human activity have been found that tells us that this history stretches right back to the Palaeolithic Age, but like so many places in Spain the impact that the Moorish Invasion had is still clearly seen and there are many places of interest to visit, they include:-
The main square, which is in the centre of the old quarter, boasts buildings of great historic and architectural value.
The main church in Yecla was constructed between 1775 and 1868 and is known even nowadays as the “new Church”. It is a lovely large building and the beautifully blue and white tiled roof stands as a symbol to the architecture of this period.
The “old Church” dates from the 16th century and is of gothic design with a single nave, the renaissance bell tower is slim and elegant, and the sculptures of horses alone make this church worth a visit. There are more lovely churches with a variety of architectural styles to enjoy in the town.
The Theatre of Concha Segura (named after a famous actress from the town), was built between 1886 and 1890, has been quite recently restored and nowadays is one of the main places in the region that holds a variety of performances during the year.
Standing on the top of a hill overlooking the town stands a church which was built in the 19th century on the foundations of a former hermitage. Considered to be sacred ground ever since the reconquest of Yecla when the Moors were finally ousted, nowadays it is known as the Sanctuary of the Castle and is important to the people of Yecla and surrounding areas because it is here that the image of the patron saint of Yecla is kept and people come here to venerate her at the high altar.
The ruins of a Muslim settlement in which fascinating details of the buildings that were constructed in the 11th and 12th centuries can be perceived, stands beside the Sanctuary.
Yecla has several museums including an archaeological one, which is sited within the “Casa Municipal de Cultura”, and within the Bull Ring buildings there is an interesting collection of artefacts and paintings that relate to the bullfighters world.
If you spend all morning sightseeing, by lunchtime you will be more than ready to sample some of the local gastronomy and as we are in the province of Murcia, you will find that a large range of tapas as well as the hearty food that goes down so well in the winter, is readily available.
The street market held on Wednesday mornings, has been in existence since the 16th century and there is an artisan market held in the old part of the town on the last Sunday of each month. During April an unusual event takes place – the Furniture Fair; then carpenters and those involved at every level with this industry can display their knowledge and their wares.
The Fiestas in honour of the “Santísima Virgen del Castillo” start on the 5th December and are considered to be of National Interest to Tourist. They include various unique religious acts and ceremonies, which culminate in a large procession when the image of the Virgin is returned to her Sanctuary accompanied by thousands of the citizens of Yecla.
Easter Week is celebrated with solemnity and religious fervour and is probably one of the most beautiful in Spain. During the month of May, the fiesta in honour of “San Isidro” is a lively affair, and after the Mass held for this saint of the countryside, there are folkloric performances and musicians in the streets, a cart race and the usual live music and dancing. Other fiestas include “San Blas”, “San Marcos” and the September Fair –which is a mixture of many events and entertainments to please all ages.
|Useful references for Yecla|
Yecla is one of the many towns in the beautiful region of Murcia Spain. Discover Costa Calida with the history, local information, property sales and holiday listings at Viva-Murcia.com