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Esperanza · Peñas de San Pedro (AB)
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History of Peñas

 
 

History of Peñas de San Pedro

The origins of this village are very ancient, we can even talk of the carthagines period. In the 12th  century, it was reconquered and became a christian jurisdiction of the king Alfonso VIII and so, frontier with the muslim kingdom of Murcia.

In the old times the village was located inside the walls of the fortress(“the castle”),which meant that the village was impregnable, but as the muslim frontiers were moving away, new houses were built outside the walls and finally in the XVIIIth century, the whole village was located at the foot of the fortress.In the XIVth century,the village of Alcaraz helped to increase the population of Peñas de San Pedro and it didn´t reach its autonomy till the reign of Carlos I.

Although in the XVIIIth century there were still people living on the top of the rock or fortress and the church was still standing, nearly all the population had already descended to live at the foot of the castle.The new church, town hall and “el pilar”(drinking fountain which has its spring below the castle) were built during this period.

In 1836, during the first carlista war, the castle was occupied by general Cabrera´s troops. It was during this time that a wall around the village was built to defend the population. Today, there are still remaining rests of this wall. Some years later, as a consequence of the National Confiscation, the castle became private.

 

Nuestra Señora de la Esperanza´s church

The building is a brilliant example of Murcian arquitecture. It was initially called Saint Maria de la Mayor Esperanza and Saint Librada Martir, to honour both Saint Maria de la Esperanza and Saint Librada, whose martyrdom in the cross is represented in the dome.

This huge, beautiful temple started to be built at the beginning of the eighteenth century, as part of the renewal process that affected most of the parishioners in the diocese of Cartagena. The building is located in the heart of the village,its head towards the west and its feet towards the east.

 

Historical monuments

Nowadays, the Castle of Peñas de San Pedro is in ruins, but in ancient times it was an impregnable fortress.It was all walled and splintered, plenty of warehouses and water tanks. The wall was located uphill and it had just an only entrance. In 1836, after being occupied by general Cabrera and having lost its military importance, the fortress was demolished in 1859.

The Town Hall is located in the Mayor Square. It is a baroque building of the eighteenth century and it consits of a double covered balcony with arches leaning on thick pillars and a clock tower with a facade decorated with shields.

It is also remarkable the Church Museum and the Sanctuary of the Christ of El Sahuco.