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 an area of 293 km² and a population of approximately 15,250 ( [http://www.ine.es/nomen/nomenFast.jsp?L=0&up_fast=&ccaa=&prov=&mun=&mun_bool=no&vcpro=&vcmun=&ec=&es=&nuc=&poblacion=T&poblacion_op=&poblacion_txt=&up_op=like&up_txt=cehegin&anos=2005&accionprov=&accion= INE 2005] ). It is crossed by the rivers Argos and Quipar.

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. Much of the local produce is processed in fruit juice and canning facilities in the town.

The name "Cehegín" is sometimes connected by Spanish antiquaries with that of the Zenaga, Senhaja or Senajeli, a North African tribe, which invaded Spain in the 11th centuryref|name.

Cehegin has been inhabited since pre Roman times, the original settlement being called Begastri, cave paintings are found in the Peña Rubia a few kilometres outside the town. The Old Town, perched on a hill still has some of the 12th Century fortification such as 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.

The pilgrimage town of Caravaca de la Cruz is located about 5 minutes west of Cehegin. Access to the town from Murcia was much improved by the construction of the C415 motorway in the late 1990s.


# "Encyclopaedia Britannica", 1911 edition.

External links

* [http://www.cehegin.com/ Official website of Municipal government] es icon

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