Murcia city Hall - Turismo de Murcia

City Hall
he Murcia City Hall is situated in the area once occupied
by the old Moorish Alcazaba, or the Dar ax-Xarife, the
Palace of the Prince. The Alcazaba, the fortress characteristic
of Muslim cities, was a large walled structure that would have
formed an entire district of the urban layout of the city. It was
located on the edge of the city, so that it could be abandoned
without the need to pass through the streets, thereby
constituting a measure which isolated it from the rest of the
city. In its interior there were a number of buildings, such as
the House of the Prince, the Alcazar Nassir, the Caramajul
Tower, baths, gardens and orchards.
In the year 1266, Murcia was finally incorporated into
the Crown of Castile. It was Alfonso X who ordered the
construction of the Court House, or meeting place of the
council, where the magistrates would hear the cases brought
before them, and which was also the residence of the sheriff
and the jail where prisoners were held.
The façade is arranged on two levels. The first floor is
adorned with the main balcony, with four large columns and
two female figures that represent abundance and happiness,
with the whole design crowned by a triangular pediment. It
is onto this balcony that the mayor and other local officials
emerge during official ceremonies, in order to address the
people of Murcia.
The chimes of the clock emit the “Murcia Anthem”, “Ode to
Joy” and “Christmas Symphony” to mark the hour.
The palace maintained its original form and Moorish style until
1500, when it underwent a transformation and its architectural
and decorative forms were changed completely. The existing
City Hall, conceived in the neoclassical style, was built in 1848,
based on a design by the architect Juan José Belmonte.
Tourist Information Office
Plaza Cardenal Belluga. Edificio Ayuntamiento.
30004 Murcia. Spain
e-mail: [email protected]
Tel.: 968 358 749 • Fax: 968 358 748
Next to the classical building housing Murcia’s
City Hall is the Moneo building, which is an extension of the original structure. The avant-garde
design and construction work were entrusted to
the famous architect Rafael Moneo, who created
a remarkable building with a façade that leaves
no observer indifferent. Also, its position opposite the baroque façade of Murcia cathedral and
the Episcopal Palace adds the finishing touch to
n the interior, the main features
include the monumental marble
staircase and the Venetian stained
glass windows produced in 1939,
while the coat-of-arms seen today
was produced in 1990.
The Plenary Hall, designed by César
Cort in 1927, is the grandest part of
the entire structure. Here we can see
the polychrome stained glass windows produced by the Maumejean
house, which reproduce the Cantigas
of King Alfonso X the Wise, Our Lady
of Arrixaca, Our Lady of Fuensanta –
the city’s patron saint- and the coatof-arms of Murcia.
From the central skylight there hangs
a magnificent chandelier, made from
bronze and glass. The skirting board
and doorframes of the hall are made
from red marble, while the moulding, bases and capitals are covered
in gold leaf. In the central window of
the hall is the chapel, created from
stained glass and featuring the Sacred Heart of Jesus, carved by the
sculptor González Moreno, and restored in 2003.
an ensemble of contrasting styles and periods.
According to the words of Moneo himself “the
façade / altarpiece is organized in the form of a
musical score and reflects the number of different horizontal levels marked by the stone floor”.
Technically, the building, which was completed
in 1998, is a combination of reinforced concrete,
brick and local sandstone.
The Rafael Moneo design is very symmetrical and
does not clash with its surroundings. Of particular note is the façade, with it large windows in
which the city’s beautiful cathedral can be seen