It all began back in 1979, in the middle of the Spanish political transition to democracy, one village and one young mayor, Manuel Hurtado, who dreamt of transforming his home town. Back then Ceutí was an unattractive place, suffering industrial decline, decreasing population and a increasing number of empty factories.....a lot needed to be done. It was certainly not a typically pretty Spanish village, with historical monuments little white houses.
Ceutí: the art and life of its citizens
However sometimes miracles happen against all odds. Today the small town of Ceutí has been transformed into one of the most important cultural references of the Murcian region, and visitors marvel at the sculptors lining the streets, the amazing museum, art gallery and children's museum set in a wonderfully renovated old factory, the annual music festival, and the impressive programme of cultural events, exhibitions, concerts and activities for all ages arranged all year round. Sr. Hurtado is the only mayor in Spain to have won all local elections held since Spain became a democracy, and he has done so each time with overwhelming majorities (in the last elections he won by over 70%).
This small town is not a typical cultural destination. The people of Ceutí are happy to receive vistors but they still live day to day following their own simple way of life. Ceutí has embraced modern art and made it its own. The municipal government uses revenue generated by the musuems and art gallery to invest in its local population. Books are edited and distributed for free in primary schools, presenting the works of art that line the streets, squares and parks, and offering information about the artists and techniques used. Its citizens who, according to the mayor, once knew nothing of art now stop in the street to argue about it. This is perhaps the mayor's greatest achievement.
Ceutí has been transformed into Spain's Guggenheim of all villages... A visit to Ceutí is a unique cultural experience in a very special place.
Its a good place to take children; they will learn to become much more appreciative of art, playing between streets and museums. Ceutí is almost proof that utopia can exist...a desirable model to follow.
t is strategically located at the foot of some pretty mountains in the Ricote valley. You may be visiting Ceutí on its own or it may form part of a larger itinerary. Whichever it is our advice is to spend time soaking up the magic of its streets and the atmosphere.
Enjoy its pedestrianised streets, museums, squares, parks sculptures and art.
There is also a wonderful redeveloped industrial area known as Ceutimagina where prestigious international exhibitions are held.
Industrial architecture has been converted into art in Ceutí - renovated ancient houses, beautifully preserved old industrial towers...a village in transformation from post-industrial era decline into a really special place. Its Arabic remains have been recovered, cycle tracks have been built and even the local gastronomy served in its restaurants has undergone a revival, something unimaginable just a decade ago.
What to see in Ceutí:
Where to stay in Ceutí:
Balneario de Archena, if you want to enjoy some of the best thermal waters in the whole of Spain; Hotel Villa de Ceutí. (**) Avenida Río Segura - Polígono Industrial, 30562-Ceutí. Tel: 968 693 399
Where to eat in Ceutí:
We recommend Albero Restaurant, calle Mallorca, nº 10, Tel: 968 923400. Tomás Ecija is the chef, Ceutí's own Ferrán Adriá, you'll be suprised by his creative cuisine. Typical dishes are also available (the set menu is recommended); The Hotel Villa Ceutí restaurant, Tel: 968 69 33 99, near to CeutÍmagina; Las Palomas - mainly barbecued meats and rice dishes Tel: 968 69 11 70. La Ceña restaurant, near the Town hall square Tel: 968 69 25 82.
Cafes:El Mural, opposite Cautimagina; Bell´s, near the auditorium.