Guide to Lorca, spain, spanish guide to places and towns, a to z of spanish towns, visit lorca
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Places in Spain - Lorca

 

Lorca sits in the south-west of the region of Murcia and is a town of a variety of contrasts. The town blends its historical heritage with modern life. Lorca is also an important commercial centre and to this end has a well designed network of roads, rail and communications. Lorca is probably the most important tourist centre in the region. It has mountains to a height of 1.500m in the north-west and an 8km coastline in the coastal area. The surrounding area is covered with vineyards.

May 2011

Idealspain would like to express our deepest sympathies with the residents of the beautiful town of Lorca who recently experienced a horrific earthquake, right in the heart of the town. The loss of lives is particularly sad but equally, the damage and loss of the beautiful buildings in Lorca, a town we love. The strength of the Spanish people will win over in this sad time and no doubt, the town will recover.

 

Lorca has a wealth of historical buildings including churches, Roman villas, palaces, monuments and works of art. However, the city is dominated by the hilltop castle. Lorca is a friendly and hospitable town that offers recreation, shopping and a unique gastronomy. Lorca also has a wealth of fiestas to be enjoyed by the visitor and local alike.

 
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Approaching Lorca is easy by means of the Mediterranean highway that connects Valencia with Andalucia. Lorca has its own bus network with a coach station and a rail network that connects with all the major cities. Lorca is 120km from Alicante airport, 100km from San Javier airport and 150km from Almeria airport.

 

Plaza Mayor
This square got its name in the 18th century and was designed as the centre of power with the buildings of the Town Council, Collegiate and the Mayor placed around it, as well as the two granaries, the prison and the market.

 

   
The Ex-Collegiate Church of San Patricio (above)
This church, declared a conservation area in 1941, was built upon the old church of San Jorge between 1536 and 1780. The name of the church is due to a victory by the people of Lorca over the Moors of Granada in 1452. Despite its long construction period, the church has a Renaissance style. The interior if the church is made up of three naves, lateral chapels, a choir and a retrochoir, a transept, an ambulatory with radial chapels and a tower at the head which gives shelter to the sacristy in its inner part.
The Town Hall
This building despite its harmonious appearance was not constructed all at once. The first part, constructed in 1678 was the former prison and a half a century later, in 1739 the building was enlarged becoming an outbuilding of the Town Council. The building is crowned with two statues that symbolise charity and justice. The interior of the building which was remodelled in 1992 offers a wide variety of contemporary paintings, mainly by local painters and the ancient chapel of the Town Council which contains six enormous canvas works depicting the battles that local people have fought in.

The Granary
This 16th century barn of the town consists of two floors. The lower floor was used as a slaughterhouse and the upper floor which is completely transparent to make the most of the space was used to store wheat. Although the frontage was restored in 1761 it preserves three shields from 1553, the obverse and reverse of the town council stamp and the shield of Carlos I. Today the building is occupied by the Historical Archives of the town, one of the best in Murcia.

 

The former Mayor's House
Today this holds the court offices. There are only four arches left of the old house, two of which make up the edge with two worked images from 1750 are placed. Inscriptions on here tell of the origins of the Romans of Lorca.

Among Lorca's important churches are The Church of San Francisco Built in 1561, very little of the original building remains, having been rebuilt in the 17th century. The interior is interesting because of its fine collection of Baroque altarpieces, located in the gallery. The Convent of the Virgen de las Huertas dedicated to the patron saint of the town dates from the 15th century, although the original building was destroyed by floods and a new building constructed before the 18th century. At this time it was the most important religious centre in the town.

 

On almost every street corner you will find works of original historic architecture. Almost every building has a decoration of some kind, reminding you of the civilisations that have lived here.

 

Lorca is also proud of its squares and patios, all neatly decorated with pots and exotic plants, statues and water features.

   

As you wander the streets of Lorca, look out for the Porch of San Antonio, one of the main doorways that gave access to the town and the only one that has been preserved. It is of Arabian origin and was reconstructed in the 13th century. The Mile Column is situated on the corner of the Ponce de Leon House in Corredera Street. It is a Roman mile dating from the reign of Emperor Augustus. It serves as a pedestal for the sculpture of San Vincente.

 

The Guevara Palace is one of the most significant civil Baroque buildings in the town and was built between 1689 and 1705. It is owned by the Guervara family. The interior of the palace retains the feel of the 18th century, especially in the dance hall with its Venetian chairs and carved framed mirror. The palace is open to the public and one of the main features worth seeing is the Sala Chemist, located in one of the outbuildings. The display is a complete chemist shop, intact as it was in 1896, complete with carved oak furniture and fittings and shelves lined with original medicines and ointments, many made by the local chemist before the days of the large laboratories.
   

Much of Lorca's history has been preserved in the many museums, all of which are open to the public. Look for the Archaeological Museum on Calle Juan Moreno. The museum features everything that is or has been important to Lorca since prehistoric times including a good collection of coins and medals. The Regional Craft Centre near the Guevara Palace has a permanent exhibition of local craftwork in glass, wood, clay, reed and pottery.

 

Near the Church of San Francisco is the Embroidery Museum where you will see fantastic displays of local work as well as a pictoral history of the building that houses the museum.

 

Lorca also has a wealth of galleries, libraries and theatres including the important Teatro Guerra located in Plaza de Calderon, Tel 968 46 02 12.

 

 

When it comes to fiestas and traditions, Lorca has its fair share and some of the important dates in the celebration calendar include 23rd November when San Clemente is honoured. On the 8th September the Virgen de Las Huertas, patron saint of Lorca is honoured in a tradition that began in 1244. The Grand Feria of Lorca takes place in September and lasts 10 days. Lorca also celebrates Semana Santa (Easter) in grand style.

 

Our visit to Lorca was part of out tour of Murcia and was one of the highlights. We found the tourist office very helpful, providing maps pointing out all the important sights, most of which we managed to find. Lorca has to be explored by foot to get the most from your visit.

 

The surrounding area is a garden of almond trees and a large quarrying area for marble. The open countryside is quiet and very picturesque. There are many small places on the way to visit, such as Totana, Aledo and La Santa where you will find a religious monument, high on the hill (right). Follow the narrow winding road to the top to get a panoramic view of the surrounding area. Take note of the unique statues hidden in the bushes on the way up.

 
 
     
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