Spotlight on Caravaca de la Cruz

Image:Shutterstock/ BearFotos

CARAVACA de la Cruz, tucked away in the inland countryside of Murcia, offers a serene escape for travelers seeking a blend of history, culture, and natural beauty. While lesser-known than some of its neighboring towns and cities, Caravaca de la Cruz boasts its own unique charm and attractions.

The Basilica-Sanctuary of Vera Cruz (True Cross) stands as the town’s most prominent landmark, housing the revered relic of the True Cross. Visitors can explore its tranquil surroundings and immerse themselves in the town’s spiritual ambiance.

Beyond its religious significance, Caravaca de la Cruz invites exploration with its winding streets, lined with quaint cafes, shops, and historical sites. The old town exudes a peaceful atmosphere, perfect for leisurely strolls and discovering beautiful architecture around every corner.

Nature enthusiasts will appreciate the town’s proximity to the Sierra de Mojantes, offering opportunities for hiking, cycling, and enjoying the scenic beauty of the surrounding landscape.

Food lovers can indulge in traditional Murcian cuisine, with local restaurants serving up dishes with fresh ingredients and flavors unique to the region.

Whether seeking a quiet retreat or a cultural adventure, Caravaca de la Cruz offers a peaceful retreat for travelers to unwind and discover the beauty of Murcia.

Image: Shutterstock/ David Moreno Hernandez

Jubilee Year

CARVACA de la Cruz is the fifth holy city of the Catholic church along with Rome, Jerusalem, Santiago de Compostela, and Camaleño. Pope John Paul II granted the privilege of celebrating the jubilee year in perpetuity in 1998. It celebrates its jubilee year every seven years since 2003. The last jubilee year in 2017 saw around 500,000 pilgrims and visitors gather there and this year this figure is expected to double.

The new image for the 2024 jubilee year features the Vera Cruz (True Cross) and a radiant light represented by golden beams. It is said the Knights Templar deposited a relic of the True Cross in Caravaca de la Cruz. Throughout the year there are many activities taking place but many choose to visit the town during the festivities of the Santisima y Vera Cruz de Caravaca which was declared of International Tourist Interest held from May 1 to May 5. The following events take place: Moors and Christians parade and processions and the procession of the Holy and Vera Cruz along with the unique ‘Los Caballos del Vino’ (The wine horses).

Caravaca de la Cruz’s 2024 Jubilee Image: Shutterstock/ Selina Irina

Weekly Market

CARAVACA de la Cruz’s weekly market, held every Monday across various streets including Calle Raimundo Rodríguez and Plaza Ciudad Jardín, continues to thrive, drawing locals and visitors. The market’s charm lies in its many offerings, ranging from fresh produce to artisanal crafts.

Among the bustling streets of Calle Corredera and Plaza Santa Teresa, vendors showcase an array of fruits, vegetables, and local delicacies, reflecting the region’s rich culinary heritage. Artisans along Calle Poeta Ibáñez and Calle Rafael Tejeo present handmade crafts, attracting collectors and enthusiasts.

The market serves as a social hub where residents gather, creating community spirit. As Caravaca de la Cruz preserves its traditional market culture, visitors can experience the town’s vibrant atmosphere and rich offerings firsthand, making the weekly market a must-visit destination.

Discover Caravaca’s charm Image: Shutterstock/ Bauer Alexander

Local News

Caravaca Beats

ON May 4, Caravaca de la Cruz will witness a historic moment as ‘Los 40 Principales’ one of the biggest radio stations in Spain graces its annual Patron Saint Festival for the first time. The ‘Los 40 Sessions’ will take place against the backdrop of the Plaza del Arco. Fiestas de Caravaca’s festival promises an unforgettable experience, featuring top DJs such as Dani Moreno ‘El Gallo’, Óscar Martínez, and Cristian San Bernardino.

Following the Grand Parade of Moors and Christians, the festival will kick off, offering a blend of yesterday’s classics and today’s hits. The event will boast a specially designed stage, state-of-the-art lighting, special effects, and LED screens, ensuring a visually stunning spectacle for attendees.

Moreover, the local festivities extend beyond May 4, with ‘La Tribu’ orchestra headlining on May 3 and DJ Rosee spinning tracks on May 2 at the Municipal Pavilion. For ticket information, visit lacruzdecaravaca.com.

Image: Caravaca de la Cruz Town Hall

Caravaca Concerts

The upcoming ‘Las Noches del Camino’ (The Nights of the Path) concerts, to be held in Caravaca as part of the Jubilee of the Vera Cruz, have announced their first confirmed headliners: Loquillo and Luz Casal.

These renowned artists will kick off the series of events organized by the Camino de la Cruz Foundation to celebrate the 2024 Jubilee Year. Luz Casal will take the stage on July 6, followed by Loquillo on July 20, both performances set against the stunning backdrop of the Vera Cruz Castle and Basilica.

The concerts were unveiled by Carmen Conesa, the regional Minister of Tourism, Culture, Youth, and Sports. The festivities aim to blend music with the region’s monumental heritage. Tickets for the concerts are already available via the official music festival website: nochesdelcamino.es.

The Caravaca de la Cruz Jubilee is expected to draw up to a million pilgrims and visitors, doubling the attendance of the last Jubilee, thus making it the country’s foremost religious event of the year.

Image: Caravaca de la Cruz Town Hall

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Written by

Catherine McGeer

I am an Irish writer who has been living in Spain for the past twenty years. My writing centers around the Costa Cálida. As a mother I also write about family life on the coast of Spain and every now and then I try to break down the world of Spanish politics!

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