Cieza (Murcia)

History of the Vega Alta del Segura

The Vega Alta del Segura region has 54,491 inhabitants (2019 data) and is made up of the municipalities of Abaran (12,964 inhabitants), Blanca (6,539 inhabitants) and Cieza (34,988 inhabitants).


In Abaran, the archaeological remains allow us to go back 3,000 years B.C. and to successive times, especially the Bronze Age and the Iberian culture.
Abaran (Murcia - Spain) 
As in the neighboring municipalities of the Ricote Valley, the presence of the Segura River stands out in the landscapes of Abaran, forming scenes of great beauty.

From the Romans, there is evidence of an agricultural organization in the Roman “villae rusticae”, which included a complex irrigation and water supply system. The investigations carried out in the Vega Alta del Segura region certify that these “villae” were located in Iberian population centres, lasting until the last days of the Roman Empire.
It is necessary to wait until 1244 to find the first documented information about Abaran, when Prince Don Sancho promised the Valle de Ricote to the Order of Santiago, including Favaran or Fauran, which was what the Arabs called what is today the population of Abaran.

Abaran has a beautiful cultural heritage. Standing out is the Church of Saint Paul, inside of which there is an image of the child Jesus by Salzillo, the Patronos Santos Medicos Hermitage and its viewpoint and the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Gold, in addition to the recently restored Cervantes Theater and the Bullring.


Blanca has a history that goes back several millennia. The first archaeological remains correspond to the castle (11th or 12th century). During the 13th century, Negra, as it was formerly known, was linked to the Ricote Valley.
Castle of Blanca (Blanca - Murcia) 
The military leader Ibn Hud led an insurrection from Ricote that resulted in Blanca being assigned to the Moorish valley. Despite the warlord's victory, the internal struggles that take place in his domain, especially after his death in 1238, led to anarchy and a political lack of control, which also affected Blanca.

The agreements between Muslims and the Crown of Castile (Treaty of Alcaraz) - which implied, among other things, the recognition and respect of the possessions of the Muslims and their culture - were not respected. This encouraged acts of rebellion by the Moorish.
Blanca was depopulated due to the departure of the Moorish from the valley and to the internal struggles of those who wanted to have control. These struggles brought Blanca into the hands of the Order of Santiago as a reward.

In 1591, Felipe II granted Blanca the “Villazgo” Privilege, which Fernando VII confirmed in 1819.

In the historical heritage of Blanca, the Parish Church of Saint John the Evangelist (16th century), the Hermitage of Saint Roque (18th century), in the Baroque style, and the remains of the castle (11th or 12th century) stand out.


In the municipality of Cieza, several vestiges of human occupation have been identified that date back to the Lower Palaeolithic period, as well as to later times of the Iberians and Romans.

The Iberian culture (7th - 1st centuries B.C.), has its expression in the ceramics found in the Bolvax deposit. It is believed that the Iberian city called Siesa by the Romans could have been located there. This would constitute the origin of the current city of Cieza. The proximity to Carthago Nova (current Cartagena), one of the most important cities of the time, turned out to be a determining factor in the historical evolution of Cieza during antiquity.
Cieza (Murcia - Spain) 
Although it is possible that the Muslims occupied Cieza from the beginning of the invasion, it is not until the 10th century that we find the first references to Cieza.

The arrival of the Muslims to Cieza represents the birth of the city of Medina Siyâsa, which, based on the Cerro del Castillo, constitutes one of the best urban sites of the Arab period. This Arab fortress must have had its splendour during the 12th and 13th centuries, being among the most important Islamic cities in the Ricote Valley.
The conflicts generated in the process of reconquest by the Crown of Castile (13th century) and the subsequent breach of the Alcaraz Treaty caused the decline of Medina Siyâsa.

With the repopulation of the Ricote Valley by way of the allocation of privileges, the capital of the region was installed in the Christian Cieza. In 1281, Alfonso X gave Cieza to the Order of Santiago in exchange for Abaniella (Abanilla).

After a boom in the esparto grass industry in the mid-20th century, the municipality's economy is currently based on agriculture, especially the cultivation of peaches and olives.