Lorca is a lovely little town in the south of the region on Murcia. If you visit, you will no doubt see many buildings undergoing extensive reparation and restoration. The extent of the scaffolding may take something away from the aesthetic beauty of the town, but don’t let it put you off. The town needs visitors now, possibly more than ever before, to fund its rebirth.
On 11 May 2011 the earth moved. A quake of 5.3 magnitude wouldn’t normally be so devastating, but this one was only about 1km deep. Most earthquakes are far deeper and therefore the destruction was the equivalent of a normal earthquake of magnitude 7. Now that’s a big one.
The tourist information office can be hard to find because it is hidden from view behind a wall of scaffold. Make sure you call in though, as their maps are essential for finding your way around and they feature some handy colour coded trails.
High up on a hill above the town is the castle, sometimes known as the Fortress of the Sun, on the edge of which sits Lorca’s rather modern looking Parador. It’s quite easy to amble your way back down the hill meandering through steep cobbled streets and mingling with the locals. Along the way you will see some beautiful buildings, some of which are now in need of some TLC.
At the foot of the hill stands the impressive Saint Anthony’s Porch, one of the ancient gateways to the town. All around there is evidence of the old city walls, and there are informative plaques all around so that you can contextualise what you are seeing. The large plazas are impressive, surrounded by a splendid mixture of buildings, old and new.
During the summer special evening events are held in the castle. The highlight of the cultural year though is surely Semana Santa where some of Spain’s most spectacular processions can be seen in the streets. The chariots, horseman, silk capes and bright colours will have you captivated for sure.