Cities are filled with hidden corners that the grind of daily life keeps us from discovering, but, fortunately, a break at your La Manga Club villa will give you all the space and time you need.
Today we invite you to literally stop and smell the flowers as we traipse over to the capital city of Murcia and into Floridablanca. It may seem at first glance like any other city park, but in fact this is a historic place: the first public garden in all of Spain. Built in the middle of the XIX Century, its 11,330 square meters are a verdant living space in the middle of the traditional neighborhood of El Carmen.
The name “Floridablanca” is an homage to Don José Moñino y Redondo, illustrious citizen who was a minister of both Kings Charles III and Charles IV and held the title of Count of Floridablanca. A monument to him stands in a privileged location in the park: in front of the Church of El Carmen.
Before walking through the park, stop a moment at the beautiful rock portal that marks the entrance. Built in the XVIII Century, this structure was originally part of the municipal slaughterhouse, but after the demolition of the building, it was moved to the street that leads onto Calle Hernández de Águila.
One of the most impressive aspects of this urban garden in Murcia is the massive size of its trees. Along the path you’ll find several monumental ficuses that arrived here in 1900, though it’s not known from whence they came. And if you like flowers, make sure to come in spring when you can delight in the aroma of carnations, roses, and magnolias. The little paths that wind their way through the garden will lead you on a relaxing and magical adventure.
One of the main avenues of Floridablanca ends at the Church of El Carmen. Built in an impeccable Baroque style, the temple dates from the XVIII Century but, notably, its construction dragged out for more than 50 years because of the economic difficulties of the city during that period.
Today, the church is the neighborhood parish and the base of the Archicofradía de la Preciosísima Sangre de Nuestro Señor Jesucristo, whose processions you can see during the Murcian Holy Week before Easter. If while you’re staying in your La Manga Club villa you want to learn more about this aspect of religious culture in Spain, you can visit the Archicofradía de la Sangre Museum, located near the park exit on the streets of the Sacerdotes Hermanos Cerón.
Another interesting destination in the area around the garden is the Los Molidon del Río Segura Hydraulic Museum on Calle Alameda de Colón, on the other side of the Los Camachos Plaza. The old flour mills of the city were converted into a museum in 1989 and the building is included among the best of Spanish architecture of the decade. As a cultural center and city museum, it’s a place of great historical and artistic value. There you’ll find a permanent exhibition about the uses of the water mills, which were tightly connected to the agricultural vocation of the region. The temporary art exhibits are also carefully curated and their rooms are designed expressly for public exhibits.
The next time you visit your second home in Murcia, don’t let the opportunity pass to visit the El Carmen neighborhood and take a walk through Floridablanca Park. The center of the city is close to your La Manga Club villa and you’re sure to have an unforgettable day.