The street with the most influx of people in Murcia has changed the history of the city and has led to a more comfortable life for Murcians and tourists. The Gran Via Sculptor Francisco Salzillo, known as the Gran Vía, It was a project approved by the City Council on 29 April 1949 after demolishing hundreds of buildings in the old town, including the Arab baths of Madre de Dios, declared a National Monument in 1931.
This street was built to connect the north with the south of the city from Plaza Fuensanta, to the north, to Martínez Tornel square, to the south, next to the river Segura. It took more than 50 years to build, since its first works date back to the beginning of the 20th century and it had only expanded towards the other bank of the Segura river through the Carmen neighborhood.
It was in the early 1940s that the idea was taken up again, parked by the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War, to communicate the two railway stations in Murcia (del Carmen and Zaraiche), located at the southern and northern ends of the city, sectioning in two (called Y for its construction), the ancient plot of the old town.
Madre de Dios Arab Baths
They took advantage of their poor state of conservation to be shot down in 1953 by order of Mayor Domingo de la Villa, after some landslides that were attributed to the rain. This demolition was very controversial despite the censorship of the dictatorship. Without the Arab Baths, the Gran Vía could be opened from 1954, And till 1956 it would not be completely clear, starting the sewerage and paving works.
Metamorphosis of the name and construction
At first it was called Avenida de José Antonio, being renamed Gran Vía Francisco Salzillo after the arrival of democracy. It currently consists of two lanes enabled for cars in a single direction of circulation, to the south (something that was established by the first mayor of democracy, Jose Maria Aroca Ruiz-Funes), and also one lane on each side of the bus avenue, taxis and bicycles in both directions. It has wide sidewalks and trees in the section between Plaza Fuensanta and Plaza Santa Isabel.
Gran Vía buildings
Most blocks emerged between the years 50 Y 60, and with the excuse of constructing unique buildings, many were able to rise to 16 heights, when the ordinances stipulated between 8 Y 12. Among the most valued are the neoclassical Banco de España and Delegación de Hacienda, built between 1926 Y 1931 (before the opening of the Gran Vía, by the architects Luis Menéndez-Pidal y Álvarez and José Yarnoz Larrosa, or the historicist Delegation of Finance (started in 1952), the Exterior Bank, the headquarters of Cajamurcia and the mole del Vitalicio (today Hispania), with the lady of Valdés at his feet.
Same style as the first residential buildings that were erected in the new avenue, such as the building of the old Mediterranean Rural Bank (by the architect Damián García Palacios, started in 1955), or that of the Banco Exterior.
Afterwards, a recovery of the modern movement schemes was chosen in the following constructions, postulates that had been abandoned 20 years before. Within contemporary architecture, highlights the old headquarters of Caja Murcia, by the architect Torres Nadal, of 1978.
Once you are away from the bustle of Gran Vía, you will find one of the Murcian districts, Casillas, in which a reference restaurant is located (36 years of experience) for Murcia, how is it? Restaurant Scorching Canovas that has distinguished itself in its history for the quality of its grilled meat, both yearling veal and Iberian pork, as well as its rice dishes among other dishes.