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14 Feb

Lorca is a lovely town around 40 minutes drive from us.  It is, like many Spanish towns, great for a mooch around.  There is always something to look at, decent shopping and lots of bars and cafes tucked into its little streets in the old town.  It is a municipality and town, within the region of Murcia and its population has increased by almost 20% in the last decade (almost 93,000 people live there).

The Lorca castle, which overlooks the city ofLorcafrom a strategic location, and is distinctly visible from a distance, was built by the Moorish inhabitants during the 13th century. Its history dates back to the Islamic period when it was built between 8th and 12th centuries; some remnants of which are still seen in the form of water systems in the older part of the castle.  Up until the earthquake last year, the castle was used as a venue for concerts – Bob Dylan played here some years ago. It will be a while I think before it is safe to use it again.

In ancient times Lorca was the frontier town between Christian and Muslim Spain. Even earlier to that during the Roman period it was ancient Ilura or Heliocroca of the Romans.

The Plaza de España (Spanish Square) is one of the most emblematic monuments of the city, located in the heart of Lorca’s historical centre. Containing the Collegiate San Patricio and the Chambers of the Collegiate members, the Casa del Corregidor and Posito, the granary of 16th century, amongst others. The Plaza has been declared a cultural monument.

The town was seriously damaged by a magnitude 5.1 earthquake on11 May 2011, killing at least nine people – we even felt the after effects here!   You notice the damage to most of the buildings the moment you drive into town.  However, it is still worth a visit either for a morning wander, a bit of shopping or just going to one or two tapas bars and watching the world go by.

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