This is Spain


Palm Sunday 2013, Lorca, Murcia

Lorca Workshop of Time

Lorca, the City of One-Hundred Coats of Arms, used to be a border post and
military enclave and, in the aftermath of the Reconquest, a town of considerable
importance. Today, it is one of the most beautiful and majestic cities in the Region.
Highlights amongst its architectural treasures include the Plaza Mayor, where the
former Collegiate Church of San Patricio with its grand Baroque façade and
exuberant retrochoir, the Courthouse and the Granary are located. Elsewhere in the
city there are further examples of Murcian Baroque architecture, including the
Guevara Palace, the Casa de los Mula and the Casa de los Moreno. Standing proud
above the city is the majestic Castle. Better known as the Fortress of the Sun, it
could once accommodate 3000 men and has two famous towers: the Espolón and
Alfonsina towers.

The value of this heritage has been reaffirmed through the Lorca Workshop of
Time project, a tourism and cultural initiative whose ultimate objective is the
development of the city and the local area through the recuperation of its heritage
and the creation of new cultural and visitor facilities that convert the old town
district of Lorca into a themed heritage site.

In order to achieve these objectives and taking full advantage of the city’s cultural
potential, various initiatives have been undertaken such as the restoration and
adaptation of the Castle to create a themed attraction known as the Fortress of the
Sun, the construction of a Visitor Centre in the former La Merced Convent, the
creation of various themed itineraries that take in all of Lorca’s architectural
heritage, the launch of a visitor train that facilitates sightseeing and visits, and a
signage scheme to guide and inform visitors, as well as the implementation of a
quality and training programme designed to enhance the city’s tourist-related
services. Added to this, a new route has been developed, which will introduce visitors to
‘Jewish Lorca’, taking in the old Jewish quarter, the synagogue and various
household/living quarters from the period.

Lorca also has several museums where visitors can gain an understanding of the
city, its history and its Holy Week celebrations, which have been declared of
International Tourist Interest.

Lorca Workshop of Time’s star attraction is the Castle, the Fortress of the Sun. It
is, first and foremost, a tourist attraction provided by Lorca to enable visitors to
effectively combine leisure with culture, learning with fun, historical accuracy with
enthusiasm and entertainment. Lorca Castle is the perfect setting for something of
this nature, offering visitors an unforgettable experience travelling through time,
justified by and anchored in its past.A defensive fortress, watch-tower and symbol
of the people of Lorca since time immemorial, the Castle has been occupied and
reinvented by successive civilisations from the Argar period to the present day.
Today it features displays and exhibitions in its restored towers and cisterns,
scenes from history re-enacted by actors that transport visitors back to the 13th century,
workshops, children’s areas, live archaeology and more.

For the past few years, the castle has played host to mediaeval games, board
game competitions, falconry demonstrations and archery amongst other activities
that help make the fortress even more lively. And, at times such as Easter and
summer, guided tours, evening visits and concerts offer visitors a truly magical
experience. In addition, the city will soon have another major attraction: a Parador
hotel located within the Castle walls.

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