Torre-Pacheco (Spanish pronunciation: [torepaˈtʃeko]) is a municipality in the autonomous community of Murcia in southeastern Spain. It covers an area of 189.4 km² and its population in 2019 was 35,676. The only high ground in the municipality is Cabezo Gordo hill, the location of the protected Sima de las Palomas archeological site. The town has one secondary education institution, the I.E.S. Gerardo Molina.
The church of San Cayetano (Murcia)
|Autonomous Community||Region of Murcia|
|Province||Region of Murcia|
|Comarca||Comarca del Mar Menor|
|• Mayor||Daniel García Madrid (PP)|
|• Total||189 km2 (73 sq mi)|
|40 m (130 ft)|
|• Density||190/km2 (490/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+1 (CET)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+2 (CEST (GMT +2))|
|Area code(s)||+34 (Spain) + 968 (Murcia)|
Torre-Pacheco municipality is located in the Campo de Cartagena region. Cabezo Gordo is one of its highest hills, at 312 metres above sea level. It has no rivers with a permanent water flow, although during rainy periods streams in several arroyos flow into coastal saltwater lagoon the Mar Menor. Soil in the area mainly comprises sedimentary materials (loam, sandstone and limestone).
Torre-Pacheco is semi-enclosed by mountains. To the north lie the Columbares, Carrascoy, El Puerto, Escalona and Altalona ranges, and to the south the ranges of La Unión, Roldán, La Muela, Las Victorias and Cartagena.
The surrounding mountains have a significant influence on the semi-arid, Mediterranean climate of the municipality. Rainfall is usually below 300 millimetres, but when it occurs rain is often torrential. Highest rainfall occurs in autumn and spring, and the rainiest months are October and April. Temperatures are generally high, with a yearly average of 18 °C. Summers are hot, but can appear mild because of sea breezes. Winters are mild, with an average temperature of 10 °C.
Human activity has had a major impact on the territory, resulting in particular from the mechanization of local agriculture in the 1950s and 1960s.
In 2019, the municipality had a total population of 35,676. Of its towns and villages, Torre-Pacheco had 18,196 inhabitants, with 6,759 in Roldán (located in the northeastern quarter), 3,198 in Balsicas (placed in the north), 2,295 in Dolores (which occurs in the east), 1,212 in Jimenado (located in the southwestern quarter), 1,212 in San Cayetano (placed in the northwest), 1,239 in Hoyamorena (which occurs in the southeast), 599 Hortichuela (located in the centre), 218 in El Abardinal (placed in the south), 178 in Santa Rosalía (which occurs in the southeast quarter), and 144 in Los Camachos (located in the eastern half).
29.76% inhabitants are foreigners - 4.86% come from other countries of Europe, 18.14% are Africans, 4.57% are Americans and 777 Asian reside in the municipalitly. There is table about the population evolution below.
The territory of the current municipality has been inhabited since the Lower Paleolithic. There is evidence of occupation by Homo heidelbergensis between 150,000 and 125,000 BC at the Sima de las Palomas site on Cabezo Gordo hill. Neanderthals also lived in the area from 120,000 to 35,000 BC.
The 16 Roman villas found in the area date back to the period of Roman Hispania. The Romans quarried marble from a Cabezo Gordo deposit. Among economic activities in the area, fertile soils made it suitable for crop growing and livestock farming.
The first historic references to Torre-Pacheco date back to the 13th century.
Landowners settling in the area of today's municipality in the Late Middle Ages gave their names to its towns and villages. The Saavedra family came from Galicia, the Roda family from Navarre, and the Pacheco family from Portugal. On 7 November 1478, the council of Murcia granted land to Pedro Pacheco. The tower and country property he built founded the town of Torre-Pacheco and gave it its name.
Settlements became established as families acquired land and built farmhouses, and the defensive towers that were their only protection given their distance from castles and mountains. These tower structures served for communication with the local population, and sheltered inhabitants from Berber raids in the area between the 13th and 18th centuries.
In the mid-16th century, the population increased in the Campo de Cartagena comarca, to which the territory belongs. This trend continued during the 17th century, as more people arrived. Los Álcazares, Fuente Álamo and Torre-Pacheco were the first settlements in the region where before there had only been sparsely scattered buildings. New localities formed between the 16th and 18th centuries. They included Balsicas, Roldán, Dolores, and Lo Ferro, a settlement founded when a Genoese family acquired land and settled in Murcia. Small churches and chapels were built the 17th century, and two of these gave their names to the villages of San Cayetano and Los Dolores.
In 1813, under the first Spanish Constitution of 1812 the Torre-Pacheco area became independent from the municipality of Murcia, and its town council was established. The Constitution was repealed by King Ferdinand VII the following year. During the Trienio Liberal (1820–1823) Torre-Pacheco's town council was reestablished. It was made permanent on 17 September 1836.
In 1900, the population of the area was 8,549. Fifty years later, it had increased to 10,409.
Unemployment in Torre-Pacheco was high for much of this period. Non-irrigated cultivation of cereal crops, almonds, grapes and olives was almost the only farming possible.
Since the 1950s, with the influx of technology and foreign farm workers, agriculture has become a major economic activity in the region. The main crops grown are artichoke, lettuce, broccoli, watermelon and melon.
One of the main economy activities of Torre-Pachecho is agriculture. 62.8% of the territory is occupied by crop lands. The most widely grown products are the artichokes, melons and lettuces. 83.12% agreements corresponded to agriculture jobs in 2018 and 85.28% were signed by labourers.
As generally in Spain, the governors are elected indirectly by voting for a political party in the autonomous community and municipalty elections every four years. The political parties chooses the concejales (governors) from the votes and is occurs proportionally according to the votes. There is a largest government body named consistorio, which is made up of 21 members in Torre-Pacheco and a governing cabinet named equipo de gobierno municipal. The alcalde (head governor) is elected from the members of the consistorio and he chooses the members of the equipo de gobierno. Nine members of the consistorio are partisans of Partido Independiente Torre-Pacheco, eight members are partisans of Partido Socialista Obrero Español, three members are partisans of Vox, two members are partisans of Partido Popular and one member is partisan of Somos Región. The partisans of Partido Independiente de Torre-Pacheco and Paritio Socialista Obrero Español are also members of the governing cabinet.
The municipality is included in the Health area VIII (Mar Menor) of Region of Murcia. Two of the eight subareas occupy territory of the municipality: Torre-Pacheco Este (East Torre-Pacheco) and Torre-Pacheco Oeste (West Torre-Pacheco). It is home to five consultorios (primary healthcentre with fewer functions than the centros de salud) and two centros de salud.
2 early chilhood and primary education centres and 2 secondary education centres are located in the main town. Some villages such as Garre, Dolores, Alba, San Cayetano and Roldán host an early childhood and primary education centre. There is also a secondary education centre in Roldán.
Other centres that can be found in the main town are one of the national language teaching institution and another for agriculture education, where degrees of vocational education about this area are taught. A centre for adult education (CEA) is also located in the town.
Part of the A-30 national highway occurs in the south-west and near El Jimenado. The highway also takes place in the border between Lobosillo (Murcian exclave district) and Torre-Pacheco and the border between Fuente Álamo de Murcia and Torre-Pacheco. There is also a regional road named RM-F14, which connects the A-30 highway to the main town; the RM-F, which connects Cartagena and Torre-Pacheco; the RM-F36, which connects Cartagena and Torre-Pacheco; the RM-F30 road, which connects Torre-Pacheco and Los Alcázares; the RM-F21, which connects Torre-Pacheco and Roldán; and a few other regional roads.
- Centre for the Performing Arts, C.A.E.S.: The Centre for the Performing Arts (Centro de Artes Escénicas, C.A.E.S.), inaugurated on 16 September 2006, is an example of modern architecture. Its 4000 m2 space houses facilities for drama, dance, music and cinema, and its auditorium seats 600 people.
- Municipal library: The municipal library was opened on 23 January 2007. The building has a surface area of 2,204 m2, and is set in 18,000 m2 of landscaped open space. The library is in part underground, where ramps connect several levels. The building holds a late-opening quiet area, classrooms and conference rooms, a reading and study room, and an exhibition gallery. The most notable feature of this architectural complex is its outdoor reading park.
- Nuestra Señora del Rosario Church Tower: The original church, dating back three centuries, was not granted protection as a historic monument by the Spanish Ministry of Culture's General Directorate for the Arts (Dirección General de Bellas Artes), and was demolished in 1971 by order of the bishopric. The foundation stone for a new tower was laid in 2005. On 7 October 2010, bells rang in the town for the first time in 38 years. The tower was formally inaugurated on 6 January 2011.
- New town hall of Torre-Pacheco
- IFEPA: Its name is an acronym that comes from Instituto Ferial de Torre-Pacheco. This huge building is home to several exhibitions and each one usually takes place at the same date every year. It was inaugurated in 1984.
- El tío Facorro windmill: The first documentary reference about this mill dates back to 1833. It has a circle-shaped plan and is 12 metres tall.
- Castillo de Ros: The castle was originally built for the Congregation of Saint Philip Neri, on its estate in the hamlet of Balsicas. It was bought by Antonio Ros de Olano y Perpigná, a soldier stationed in Cartagena, in February 1844. Antonio Ros was later named Viscount Ros de Olano and Marquis of Gaud-el-Yehi by Queen Isabella II. Various alterations were made to the building, known as the Castillo de Ros, by his son and grandson.
- Casa Valderas: This neoclassical leisure property was built in the final years of the 19th century. It is set among gardens and orchards.
- El Pasico shrine
- El Pasico windmill: Documentary sources mention this windmill to appear in 1844. It has a circle-shaped plan.
- The El Pasico Festival is a popular festival held on Easter Monday in association with the El Pasico shrine. A mass celebrated at the shrine is followed by a fair featuring amusement park rides and festivities. In the evening, the traditional mona de Pascua pastry is eaten.
- The Melon Festival was founded by the then mayor of Torre-Pacheco in 1969 to celebrate the melon, first grown in the municipality in the early 20th century.
- Antonio Ros de Olano (1808–1886): writer, politician, soldier. Antonio Ros fought in the First Carlist War (1833–1840) and in the Hispano-Moroccan War (1859–1860), in which his influence was decisive. He served as Trade Minister in Spain's Ministry of Trade, Education and Public Works, and was made a senator for life in 1877. He also held the 19th-century office of jefe político superior ('senior political chief'), the role of top administrative civil servant of a province of Spain. Antonio Ros was also a founder of Spain's 19th-century Unión Liberal (Liberal Union) party.
- Pedro Cerdán Martínez (1863–1947): architect. Known for designing notable buildings in La Unión, including the Antiguo Mercado Público de La Unión (former public market building).
- Luis Manzanares (1895–1980): writer.
- Alberto Garre López (1952): politician, president of Region of Murcia from 2014 to 2015.
- Gloria Rodríguez Sánchez (1992): road and track cyclist.
- Municipal Register of Spain 2018. National Statistics Institute.
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