Spotlight on Lorca

Where History Meets Natural Beauty Image: Shutterstock/ Marc Venema

LORCA is a Spanish city renowned for its rich heritage and stunning landscapes. With a population of 98,447, Lorca stands as the third-largest locality in the region, trailing only behind Murcia and Cartagena.

Lorca is famed for its imposing castle, exquisite Baroque architecture, and vibrant Semana Santa processions, which have been recognised as an international tourist attraction. Often referred to as ‘the city of a hundred shields’ due to its extensive heritage, Lorca’s historic centre and castle precinct was granted the distinction of being a historical-artistic site back in 1964, marking a milestone for the region.

Lorca’s origins are shrouded in myth and legend, with tales tracing back to ancient Troy and Greek settlers. Its name itself is thought to have Arabic roots, reflecting the city’s diverse cultural influences over the centuries.

Beyond its historical significance, Lorca boasts a variety of natural landscapes, including mountainous regions in the north, a central valley by the Guadalentín River, and coastal areas graced by the Cabo Cope and Puntas de Calnegre Regional Park. These natural assets provide habitats for a variety of flora and fauna, including species like the Iberian lynx and imperial eagle.

Despite enduring challenges such as the devastating earthquakes of 2011, which resulted in significant loss and destruction, Lorca remains resilient. With its captivating blend of history and natural beauty, Lorca continues to charm visitors and locals, making it one of the must-see areas in the Murcia region.

Lorca Castle

LORCA Castle, a medieval fortress in Lorca, Murcia, stands as a testament to centuries of history and conflict. Constructed between the 9th and 15th centuries, its imposing presence has witnessed the battles between Christians and Muslims throughout its history.

Spanning an impressive 640 metres in length and approximately 120 metres at its widest point, Lorca Castle ranks among Spain’s largest. Archaeologists working tirelessly within the castle’s ancient walls have unearthed a trove of artifacts, shedding light on the lives of its former inhabitants. From medieval weaponry to intricately crafted pottery, each discovery offers a glimpse into the daily existence of those who once called Lorca Castle home.

Furthermore, ongoing restoration efforts have breathed new life into the castle, preserving its architecture for generations to come. Visitors can now explore its labyrinthine corridors, immerse themselves in its rich history, and marvel at panoramic views of the surrounding landscape. The Parador de Turismo hotel is located within the castle grounds and findings and remains from a synagogue and a Jewish quarter, that were discovered during its construction, have been integrated into the hotel.

As Lorca Castle continues to attract visitors and researchers, its complex history remains an integral part of Spain’s cultural heritage.

Celebrating History Image: Shutterstock/Aleksandr Medvedkov

Lorcas Lynx

IN a significant stride for wildlife conservation, two male Iberian lynx, Urso, and Urf, now roam freely in the Lorca Highlands. Hailing from the Silves Lynx Breeding Centre in Portugal, the felines mark a milestone in the LynxConnect European program.

Urso, weighing 11.8 kg, and Urf, weighing 10.8 kg, were reintroduced into the wild by the Regional Government President, Fernando López Miras, alongside local officials.

Notably, Urf is among the rare few born in the wild, rescued as an orphaned cub in the Montes de Toledo, and raised in Portugal. This release, part of LynxConnect’s second phase, adds to the growing Iberian lynx population.

President López Miras emphasised the project’s success, highlighting a 20 per cent increase in the lynx population this year alone, reaching approximately 2,000 in the Iberian Peninsula.

The lynx will be closely monitored with GPS and VHF collars, offering vital insights into their behaviour. With an abundant rabbit population in the Lorca Highlands, the region provides an ideal habitat for these predators.

Iberian Lynx Release Image: Shutterstock/ Rudmer Zwerver

Lorca Local News and Events

Run for Lorca

LORCA’s beloved charity run, ‘Corre por Lorca,’(Run for Lorca) will mark its 14th anniversary on May 11, shifting to an evening schedule for the first time. The event, initially established to aid earthquake victims in 2011, now turns its focus to raising funds for Niemann-Pick disease research. Mayor Fulgencio Gil, announced the transition, emphasising the event’s evolution from a post-earthquake gesture of unity to a top-tier sporting event.

Scheduled to begin at 6:30 PM, the route will wind through Lorca, accommodating both adults and children. Among the updates, the inclusion of a category for participants with physical, mental, or sensory disabilities stands out. The first 700 registrants will receive commemorative shirts, with Mayor Gil himself among the anticipated runners.

Funds raised will aid Niemann-Pick patients, offering hope through ongoing clinical trials. With only 20 reported cases nationwide, every stride counts toward a brighter future for those affected.

Celebrating Community. Image: Concejalía de Deportes. Ayuntamiento de Lorca

Free Concerts

THE inaugural event ‘Lorca Emergente 2024’ (Emerging Lorca 2024) free concert series, organised by the Lorca Council and Hostelor, will showcase six groups of young musicians from Lorca. Taking place on Saturdays throughout May and June, starting at 5 pm, performances will be held in various plazas in the centre.

It kicks off on May 4 with ‘Trepacerros’ at Plaza de Calderón, the lineup includes talents such as ‘Laza y Noe’ on May 25 at Plaza Real, and ‘Nebraska’ on June 1 at Glorieta de San Vicente. ‘Pianissimx’ will take the stage on June 8 at Plaza Arco Iris, followed by ‘Fortuitos’ on June 15 at Plaza Calderón, and concluding with ‘Son de Barrio’ on June 22 at Plaza Joaquín Castellar.

Antonio David Sánchez, Lorca’s Youth Talent councillor, says the aim is to promote local artists while energising the streets of Lorca. President of Hostelor, Jesús Abellaneda, invites locals and visitors to enjoy the live music and Lorca’s hospitality.

Celebrating Local Talent Image: Lorca Town Hall

For more Costa Calida and Murcia news and events click here

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Written by

Catherine McGeer

I am an Irish writer who has been living in Spain for the past twenty years. My writing centers around the Costa Cálida. As a mother I also write about family life on the coast of Spain and every now and then I try to break down the world of Spanish politics!