In May 2011 An earthquake struck this Murcian town of Lorca of almost 100,000 inhabitants leaving nine dead, collapsed or cracked buildings and affected heritage. We came back to verify that the wounds have been closed and the city wears its scars with pride of the test passed. The covid-19 has had Lorca in a ay. This year there will not be Easter either, although the brotherhoods have virtual activities planned and with reduced capacity. But the visits to know its heritage have already been resumed. Restored monuments, museums of marvelous embroidery that aspire to be intangible heritage of Unesco, a castle and a synagogue that has been enhanced. In addition, the celebration of Saint Patrick is on March 17, which despite not being the patron of the city is closely linked to Lorca. Here you wait for a piece of virgin coast to look out on a sunny spring day.
8.00 Historical scars
The Parador de Lorca (1), with its anti-seismic facade of steel bands turned into a hallmark, opens to the city from the castle enclosure; one kilometer long, two Arab cisterns transformed into exhibition spaces, the Alfonsina tower (from the 13th century) and the Espolón tower, medieval architecture with views of the Guadalentín valley and serious cracks caused by the earthquake. As some say, the wounds have been healed without cosmetic surgery, so that the scars are incorporated into the monument as part of its history.
From Arab and Christian territory to the synagogue, that came to light during the construction of the hostel. When the Israeli singer Noa came to Lorca in the summer of 2011 for a solidarity concert, she asked to stay alone by praying in her. It dates from the 15th century, it is the first to be found in the region and it was never used for other uses. It stands next to the remains of a remarkable building – it is not clear whether the Talmudic school or the rabbi’s house – flanked by a Jewish quarter where archaeologists continue to work. It has been Lorca’s letter of introduction to join the Network of Jewish Quarters of Spain.
11.00 Virgin coast in sight
Lorca is the second largest municipality in Spain after Cáceres; From its urban center it extends about 40 kilometers towards the sea to lick a 10 kilometer strip of virgin coastline. A succession of charming coves integrated into the Calnegre and Cabo Cope regional park (2). In the town of Puntas de Calnegre there are small restaurants practically on the sand. When May comes the El Líos beach bar in Calnegre cove.
13.00 Heritage mini-fruit
The visitors Center (Puerta de San Ginés, 13; lorcatallerdeltiempo.com) (3), Located in the old convent of La Merced, from the 16th century, it is a good starting point to get to know the heritage, baroque and Renaissance core of Lorca, around the Spain Square (4), where the tourist office, the Town Hall and the old collegiate church of San Patricio, that with the works after the earthquake it has gained in polychrome (mural paintings appeared) and has recovered crypts hidden under layers of soil. The Caño Square (5) It houses the Pósito de Panaderos and the Casa del Corregidor. La Cava street, houses from the XIX and the San Antonio Porch (6), old medieval gate that was part of the Arab wall. You have to go further, to the district of Tiata (7), to see the remains of the Caliphal palace, found under the sanctuary of the Virgen de las Huertas (Plaza del Rey Sabio), patron saint of Lorca.
14.00 Small-format delicacies
The thousand possibilities of combination offered by the Guadalentín orchard, the meats such as the Murcian flatbread – a native breed of pig in the recovery phase – and the fishing, all of them made according to recipes of Sephardic, Arabic and Christian origin, open a range of dishes that Lorca like to drink in tapas format and in snacking mode to share, a philosophy that is not recommended (among non-cohabitants) in this pandemic time. Also, meetings right now cannot exceed four people and it is not served inside bars and restaurants. Recommended, when it reopens, Roberto House (8), located for four years in an old three-story house in Corredera, 21, the shopping street and fiefdom of traditional commerce. Delicacies such as artichokes, rice with turkey, the vigil pot, octopus, crepillos, chochos and picardías parade there (classic pastries at Carnival and Easter). The inn The Segovian (General Terrer Leones, 12) (9) It is famous for its crumbs. In spring, in the area of Las Alamedas, Lorca’s green lung, the Padilla picnic area (Alameda Corregidor Lapuente) (10), a huge and popular terrace where the iron cannot cope.
17.00 Paso Blanco or Paso Azul?
Around the axis of the street that is first Santo Domingo, then Lope Gisbert and beyond Cuesta de San Francisco line up the Archeological Museum (11), which houses lamps recovered from the synagogue, and the embroidery museums of the White Pass (12) and from Blue Pass (13), which for now keep their capacity reduced to 50%. They alternate with churches, chapels and stately homes such as the Baroque Guevara palace (whose patio opens in the morning) (14), next to Regional Crafts Center (15). Also with the War theater, from 1861, the oldest in the Region of Murcia, located in the Calderón de la Barca square (16), good place for tapas (recommended to stop at Albedrío; albedrio.es) or have a sweet in the traditional Zenón pastry shop. The old Alamo bookstore has been converted into the cultural space Imperfect future (Admiral Antonio de Aguilar, 11) (17).
19.00 Follow the tradition
It is typical in this city to go out at aperitif time and return home after dark. Is he late or, stretch out the afternoon and arrive for dinner at places like La Cepa Tavern (old Plaza de Abastos, 13) (18) or the Phelan’s Irish Pub (Plaza de España, 2) (19). With the state of alarm, at 22.00 everyone at home. Or in hotels like Lorca Gardens (20).
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.