The Province of Murcia is steeped in religious traditions and many people every year tour the province on The Sanctuaries Route.
Some of their most emblematic symbols refer to the Christian iconography. The extremely well known brotherhood of Cruz de Caravaca (Caravaca Cross) is probably the most remarkable one. It is worshipped at the fortress-sanctuary in this town but this is not the only one. Therefore, a trip not to be missed is the one to the other sanctuaries, such as Nuestra Señora de la Esperanza (Sanctuary of the Virgin of Hope) in Calasparra and the Casa de Cristo (Jesus Christ’s Home) in Moratalla. These three religious locations, in addition to their especial interest for pilgrims and pious, have also got beautiful scenery beyond compare, both culturally and gastronomically speaking and are just half an hour away from the Hotel. Cenajo at Moratalla
Related to these religious symbols, there are some appealing stories, which are as beautiful as moving. These stories belong to the popular tradition; they are inseparable from our region and they are strongly linked to our idiosyncrasies.
Sanctuary of la Esperanza. Calasparra.
Location: The Sanctuary is 24 km from the Cenajo Hotel, towards the town of Calasparra (6 Km. away from this town). The Hermitage is situated in a big natural cave dug by the River Segura thousands of years ago.
History: A legend says that a shepherd who used to keep his flock in these caves, found the image of The Virgin. He reported his valuable find to the ecclesiastic and civil authorities of Calasparra, who along with the overjoyed people in the village went to the cave and wanted to take the image with them to be worshipped in the village. The legend also says that the Virgin was so heavy that they all understood that it was there where the Virgin wished to be worshipped.
Facilities: Offering room, recreation areas and a restaurant where you can enjoy ‘paella’ with rice from Calasparra, which is the only rice in the world with “denomination of origin”. A lovely and relaxing walk in the gardens by the river can also be enjoyed.
Sanctuary of la Vera Cruz. Caravaca.
Location: The Sanctuary is 40 km away from the Hotel Cenajo. It is right in the town centre and inside the fortress and castle of Arab origin which was fortified by the Templar in the thirteenth century and rebuilt by Philip III in the seventeenth century. Its impressive front as well as its inside is one of the maximum baroque exponents in our region.
History: According to the tradition, on the 3rd of May 1232 the Moorish king Ceyt Abuceyt and his subjects converted to Catholicism before the miraculous appearance of the cross which was brought down by two angels so that Ginés Pérez, a Christian priest who was prisoner in the fortress could offer mass. Before this, the king and the court embraced the Christian faith.
Facilities: The Vera Cruz museum is inside the fortress. Some of the rooms show us the history of the Sacred Relic, the liturgical apparel and the archaeological remains of the fortress.
Caravaca de la Cruz is a town situated in an enclave bordering between Murcia and Granada successively Iberians Romans and Muslims passed through this town. It is built around its castle which was built up by the command of the Templars. But Caravaca is basically the Holy City, the city of the cross, which holds its name.
The Sanctuary has recently been granted the celebration of a JUBILEE YEAR, by the Holy See. This granting was given for and because of the devotion to the VERA CRUZ. It is similar to the traditional concessions to Santiago de Compostela and Saint Toribio de Liébana. The new regular granting of Jubilees indulgences along every Holy Year to the faithful and pilgrims who visit the Santuario de la Santísima y Vera Cruz (the Sanctuary of the most Holy and Vera Cross) takes place at the following dates and occasions:
‘ The 3rd of May and the 14th of September, Festivities of the Invention and Exaltation of the Most Holy Cross.
‘ Whenever they go devotedly on a group pilgrimage to the Sanctuary.
‘ Once a year, on the day the faithful Freely.
‘ Every seven years, on the days when the solemn opening and closing of the Jubilee Year is celebrated and on any other day of the same year when the bishop presides over any solemn ceremonies.
There are many other interesting places to visit and enjoy,such as the FUENTES DEL MARQUÁ‰S with its gardens and waterfalls.
Sanctuary of ChristÂ´s Home. Moratalla.
Location: The sanctuary is 35km away from the Hotel Cenajo and 6km from Moratalla. It is on an amazing natural balcony from which you can see the vast fertile irrigated area in Moratalla as well as the impressive peak of Sierra del Buitre (the Vulture Mountain)
History: Tradition tells us that in 1493 Jesus Christ appeared to the shepherd Rui Sánchez and asked him to go to Moratalla and tell the authorities that a sanctuary in his honour had to be built there. However, they asked Rui Sánchez to bring some evidence of that appearance. The humble shepherd, who was one-armed from birth, appeared before the authorities again the following day. He showed them his two arms which made them start building the hermitage where nowadays the Saint Patron of this village Jesucristo Aparecido (Appeared Jesus Christ) is worshipped.
Facilities: In the rooms of this old Mercedarian convent, the Interpretation of the Rock Art Centre has been created, whose main idea is to become a centre to study this area rich in this type of deposits. There is also a restaurant where game meat and other typical dishes of the area are served.
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– Offer only valid on Friday, Saturday or Sunday nights.
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– Minimum consumption in the hotel is an evening a la carte meal (from an extensive range of courses) and a buffet breakfast (Total: 39 euros per person per day).
– Offer valid until the end of June 2008.