|Community||Region of Murcia|
|• Mayor||José Soria García|
|• Total||55.47 km2 (21.42 sq mi)|
|Elevation||570 m (1,870 ft)|
|• Density||290/km2 (760/sq mi)|
|Time zone||CET (UTC+1)|
|• Summer (DST)||CEST (UTC+2)|
Cehegín is a town and municipality in the province and autonomous community of Murcia, Spain, situated some 66 km from the city of Murcia. It has a population of approximately 16,248 with 8227 males and 8021 females. It is crossed by the rivers Argos and Quipar.
Agriculture & Business
The area has traditionally been an important source of marble, particularly red marble, which is exported as far afield as Japan and Argentina. Agriculture has also been important, with apricot and peach grown on irrigated soils, and olive, almond and vines grown on the drier land. Recent years have seen an increase in the cultivation of flowers under plastic poly-tunnels. Much of the local produce is pulped into fruit juices in canning facilities in the town. Local businesses include lawyers' offices, bakeries and construction.
The name Cehegín is sometimes connected by Spanish historians with that of the Zenaga, Senhaja or Senajeli, a North African tribe, which invaded Spain in the 11th century. The whole of this territory is layer upon layer of all the various cultures that established themselves here, the first settlers going back to 2400 BC. Reconquered by Alphonse VI with 1,000 horsemen and 11,000 infantrymen, Cehegín is one vast hilltop monument.
Cave paintings at Peña Rubia, a few kilometers outside the town, attest to the area being settled during pre-historic times. The town of Begastri, now abandoned, was settled during the later bronze age and was an important town during the time that the region was occupied by the Romans and the Visigoths. With the arrival of the Moors, the town center shifted to its present location at Cehegin. Remains of the Moorish city walls can still be seen, for example at the "Puerta de Caravaca." The Archaeological Museum can also be found in the Old Town.
Many conquistadores returned from South America with their riches and built large manorial houses in the Old Town. The Old Town has been revitalised recently by an influx of foreign (mainly British) buyers, who have renovated many of the older properties that were falling into disrepair.
Before it was given the name Cehegín, the town was called Bigastro (not to be confused with the district of Bigastro in the Valencian Community) and began to be an episcopal see when the bishop of Cartagena fled there after the Visigothic king Suintila (c. 588 – 633/635) destroyed that city. It remained a bishopric until Bigastro in its turn was destroyed by Arabs at the end of the 7th century. No longer a residential diocese, Bigastro is today listed by the Catholic Church as a titular see.
The pilgrimage town of Caravaca de la Cruz is located about 5 minutes west of Cehegín. Access to the town from Murcia was much improved by the construction of the C415 motorway in the late 1990s.
Members of the governing cabinet include
- José Soria García: President
- Gregorio Morales Hernández: First Deputy Mayor and Councillor of Town planning, Industry, Financial Promotion, Patrimony and Hiring.
- Francisco Abril Ruiz: Second Deputy Mayor and Councillor of Communication, Tourism, Youth Association, Celebrations and New Technologies.
- María Dolores Carrasco López: Third Deputy Mayor and Councillor of Public Safety and Environment.
- María Isabel Martínez Martínez: Fourth Deputy Mayor and Councillor of Social Services, Staff and Internal Rules.
- Nicolás del Toro Navarro: Fifth Deputy Mayor and Councillor of Education and Culture.
- "INE 2012 Demography Report". Instituto Nacional de Estadistica. 2012-01-01. Retrieved 2013-07-04.
- "Spain Cehegín Business Directory". Zocator.es. 2013-07-04. Retrieved 2013-07-04.
- "Encyclopaedia Britannica". Encyclopaedia Britannica 1911 Edition.
- De la Iglesia de Bigastro, in España Sagrada, vol. VII, Madrid 1750, pp. 123–133
- Annuario Pontificio 2013 (Libreria Editrice Vaticana 2013 ISBN 978-88-209-9070-1), p. 850
- "Cehegín Governing Members". Web oficial de Cehegín. 2013-07-04. Retrieved 2013-07-04.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Cehegín.|
- Official website (Spanish)