Declared a historic and artistic site in 1964, Lorca is known as the ‘Baroque city‘ thanks to the important Baroque monuments in its historic center. This part of the city is currently in the process of reconstruction after the earthquake suffered in May 2011.
Through the initiative ‘Lorca, a Workshop in Time’, designed to promote the historic and artistic heritage of the city, visitors can take sightseeing tours which include tickets for the tourist train, admission to monuments such as the Fortress of the Sun and the Palace of Guevara, and museums such as the Archaeology Museum and the Paso Blanco and Paso Azul embroidery museums. These last two museums house the most important treasures of the religious brotherhoods that organise the famous Easter Week celebrations in the town.
- LORCA MUNICIPAL ARCHAEOLOGICAL MUSEUM: The archaeological origins of the city
Located in the historic-artistic centre of the town of Lorca, this building dates from the 16th and beginning of the 17th centuries. The lower part of the façade has a sober style, while the upper part offers a wealth of ornamentation. The ten rooms of the museum take you on a journey through Lorca’s archaeology from different historical periods, from the Palaeolithic through to the construction of Lorca Castle, including Romanisation, and the Iberian and Moorish cultures.
- PALACE of GUEVARA: Also known as the “Casa de las Columnas” (House of Columns) because of the Solomonic columns on the main doorway, this old stately residence is one of the most emblematic civil Baroque buildings in Lorca.It is a house-palace with a square floor plan, built around an interior courtyard. One of the most interesting elements is the doorway, with two bodies in the manner of a façade-altarpiece, with four Solomonic columns and the coat of arms of the Order of Saint James above.
Inside there is a beautiful garden/courtyard, with double semi-circular archways at either side, resting on white marble columns and with rich sculptural decoration. The different rooms in the palace also stand out – some of them are decorated with 18th century furniture (Venetian chairs) with paving made of Valencian ceramics from the same century; the Inmaculada chapel, with mural paintings, and a collection of 18th and 19th century paintings.
EX-COLLEGIATE CHURCH OF SAN PATRICIO: It dates from the 16th to 18th centuries and thus presents a diversity of styles, ranging from the Renaissance in the vaults of the ambulatory to the Baroque style of the main façade. Its construction began under the orders of José Vallés, and was declared a collegiate church in 1533. It has three naves with twelve chapels, a transept and an ambulatory. The façade is Baroque. The retrochoir was built in the 18th century on the orders of Toribio Martínez de la Vega. It commemorates the Castilian victory in the Battle of Los Alporchones over the Nasrid army.
LORCA CASTLE – FORTRESS OF THE SUN: This 13th-century castle is located in a strategic position overlooking the city. It has a long, narrow shape with a polygonal floor plan and is divided into three areas, one of which contains the rectangular Alfonsí Tower, with three sections covered by Gothic vaulted ceilings. This tower was rebuilt in the 15th century. Also outstanding is the Espolón Tower with Mudejar influences. The castle has been restored as a themed area dedicated to visitors and to the interpretation of heritage, under the name of the Fortress of the Sun. This initiative has earned Lorca a place on the shortlist of the European Commission’s EDEN program (European Destinations of Excellence), in recognition of its sustainable tourism proposal.
Other notable places worth to see:
- Museo de Bordados del Paso Blanco
- Centro de Visitantes de La Merced
- Parque Arqueológico Los Cipreses