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11 unmissable sights to see during Holy Jubilee Year in Caravaca de la Cruz

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A magical history tour of Caravaca for religious and non-religious visitors alike!

11 unmissable sights to see during Holy Jubilee Year in Caravaca de la Cruz

With Easter Week about to start and most towns and cities in the Region of Murcia about to begin an exhaustive program of Semana Santa processions blending religious devotion, tradition, spectacle, works of art and, in some cases, loud drumming, there is no more appropriate place to indulge in a little religious sightseeing than Caravaca de la Cruz.

Caravaca is celebrating its 7-yearly Holy Jubilee in 2024, an event which will bring with it a huge influx of visitors, both believers in the Catholic faith (performing their penitent pilgrimages to the Holy City) and non-believers, enjoying the plethora of old churches and monuments which bear witness to the importance over the centuries of the relic of the True Cross which is housed in the castle-basilica. 

In the light of this, we suggest the following sightseeing spots on a tour of Caravaca, and whether you are motivated by religious fervour or not they make this a great destination to steep yourself in the history and traditions of this most Catholic of cities!

Many of the churches are open far more regularly to members of the public during Jubilee Year, and the only request is that those who do not share the Catholic faith should of course respect those who do, and who may be visiting the sites listed below in prayer. 

The first stop, and an unmissable visit, is the Basílica-Santuario de la Vera Cruz, the epicentre of the spiritual life of Caravaca and home to the “lignum crucis”, a fragment of the cross on which Christ was crucified which appeared in the city in the 13th century. As well as visiting the church, it is possible to take a tour of the complex and the museum exhibits on display, a fascinating experience and one which helps to understand the deep-rooted nature of the religious beliefs associated with the sanctuary.


Next on the tour is the Casa-Museo Caballos del Vino, devoted to the highlight of the annual fiestas in early May: the Running of the Wine Horses. Again, the fiestas are rooted in religion, but the exhibits in the museum display all the colour and spectacle of this unique and spectacular event!

Time now for a visit to the serene church of La Soledad, where you can disconnect for a while from the hustle and bustle of the city centre in an ancient place of worship which is now home to the local archaeological museum, and then it’s on to the Cofradía de la Vera Cruz (the brotherhood of the True Cross): again, there is a curious mix here of solemn religious devotion and joyful celebration.

The importance of religion in the history of Caravaca is such that many more impressive buildings were constructed as places of prayer or devotion, and these include the monastery of Santa Clara, another oasis of peace in the old centre of the city, and the church of Santa Elena, which blends spirituality with nature and offers panoramic views out over the town and countryside. 

It’s important not to miss the superb church of El Salvador, one of the most important and majestic Renaissance churches in Spain, before heading off the Museo de la Fiesta, another museum devoted to the celebration of the local fiestas, and then to the church of San Sebastián, which has a slightly rustic feel despite its historical importance.

Nearing the end of the trip, head for the Templete del Vino, the perfect spot for an unforgettable photo of your visit to Caravaca, and time to make your way to the Plaza del Arco for a coffee, a bite to eat and, almost inevitably, a chance to buy souvenir Caravaca crosses – these are said to bring good health and ward off ill fortune, although one take on this belief is that it is even more effective if you receive it as a gift!