Towns in Salzillo in the Region of Murcia
Salzillo Museum. Murcia
Santa Clara la Real Convent Museum. Murcia
Cartagena Roman Theatre
San Patricio Collegiate Church. Lorca
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Sculptures in Salzillo
We present a route in the Region of Murcia to discover the work of one of the most emblematic figures in the region: the sculptor Francisco Salzillo. He is considered to be the most outstanding Spanish Baroque sculptor, especially for his processional statues, which we can enjoy at Easter Week.
This route takes us round most of the Region of Murcia and its main towns. We recommend allowing a week for it. We'll spend the first day in the town of Lorca. It is dominated by the ruins of its Moorish origin castle, although the town's heritage is Baroque. There are important churches such as Santo Domingo and San Francisco, the Palace of Guevara and the buildings in Plaza de España.
Salzillo's imprint is present in the former collegiate church of San Patricio, a Renaissance-Baroque building (16th-18th century) which houses figures of Saint Peter and Saint Paul made by the sculptor, as well as the Museum of Embroidery for Images, where we'll find a highly expressive group of sculptures of the Last Supper.
Then we'll head towards Cartagena (65 kilometres away). It is the region's second largest town. It was founded by the Carthaginians as a trading post (Qart Hadash). Later on it became one of the main cities in Roman Hispania (Carthago Nova). The magnificent Roman Theatre and the remains of the Punic (Carthaginian) walls date from that time.
In Cartagena, Salzillo's work can be found in the Church of La Caridad and in Santa María de Gracia (sculpture of the Four Saints, the group of sleeping Apostles from the 1761 Prayer in the Garden Float). We can complete our visit with the Modernist buildings on Calle Mayor, or the military buildings (port, bailey and walls), built in the time of Charles III.
Our next destination is the capital of the region and Salzillo's hometown: Murcia. We'll spend two days there and the Cathedral of Santa María stands out amongst the magnificent buildings in the city, with its splendid Baroque façade-altarpiece by Jaime Bort.
Let's look for Salzillo. We'll find him in the Church of San Juan de Dios (five sculptures), the Monastery and Museum of Santa Clara, the Church of San Miguel (figures on the main altarpiece), the Church of Santa Catalina (a figure of Saint Rita) and San Nicolás de Bari (Cristo del Amparo and Dolorosa figures), and also, of course, the Salzillo Museum, dedicated to his art.
Then we'll travel through the irrigated lands of Murcia, bursting with fruit and vegetables. Three stops in one day: the towns of Lorquí, Ricote and Cieza. In Lorquí we'll visit the Church of Santiago Apóstol (18th century), which houses a statue of Jesus the Nazarene, attributed to Salzillo. In Ricote, in its magnificent Baroque Church of San Sebastián there is a figure of Joseph by Salzillo. In Cieza, there are statues attributed to Salzillo or to his school in the churches of La Asunción and San Joaquín y San Pascual, in the Monastery of the Inmaculada Concepción and in the House-Museum of the Dormis brotherhood.
Finally, on the last day of the route we'll explore the lands that produce good wine: the regions of Jumilla and Yecla. In Jumilla, a place of famous wineries, there are works by Salzillo in the Church of Santiago (the Suffering Christ crucifix) and in the Monastery of Santa Ana del Monte, where we'll be able to see the statue of Christ bound to the Column (1755). In Yecla, the Basilica of La Purísima houses a Virgin of Sorrows, also by Salzillo.
A good option to enjoy Salzillo's sculptures is to visit the Region of Murcia during Easter Week. Many towns have processions with floats that carry images carved by Salzillo. For example, in Murcia, Cieza and Lorca.