The path from the heart of the Murcia city to the area of The Watchtowers It travels just two kilometers. Two kilometers in which the eclectic façade of the Romea Theatrethe Segura sardine and the monument to Alfonso X the Wise to give way to skyscrapers, luxury hotels and nightclubs for all types of tastes in the surroundings of the Isaac Peral Gardencharacterized by an artificial lake inside.
But it is not just the architecture that differentiates the area from the rest of the city. If the tavern route is synonymous with tapas and terraces, where Murcians and foreigners – mostly Erasmus students – rub shoulders in joints dedicated to rock, pop and commercial music, Las Atalayas is synonymous with parties and loud music. Drinks and entertainment are the stars of the night here, and the Latin community is its largest clientele, which has made it one of the main leisure centers in the region.
Thousands of people of all ages, both from the Murcian capital and from outside, frequent the industrial estate almost daily to enjoy one of its restaurants, shops, karaoke bars or nightclubs. The area, which a few decades ago was known for hosting numerous car dealerships, has been the scene of graduation, bachelor and birthday celebrations for a few years, such as the one that took place in the early hours of yesterday on Isla Cristina Street, where The deadly fire occurred that claimed the lives of at least 13 people.
Juan (fake name) is one of many who traveled from neighboring Alicante to the northeast of Murcia to enjoy a night of partying. The thirty-something, who works in the sector, visited both the Sala Golden as Fonda Milagroswhere he was when the alarms went off at six in the morning.
“I have visited both stores on several occasions for work reasons, but yesterday I was simply a customer, to hang out,” he says in a telephone conversation with this newspaper. The venue, with Colombian music and atmosphere, boasted intricate decoration, with neon lights, plants, maracas and even a yellow taxi hanging from the first floor balcony. «At Fonda, spectacle, paraphernalia reigned. The audience is usually over 23 years old, almost all of them Latino, who come to have dinner and then stay to dance until well into the early hours of the morning,” explains Juan.