Declared a historic and artistic site in 1964, Lorca is known as the 'Baroque city' thanks to the important Baroque monuments in its historic centre. This part of the city is currently in the process of reconstruction after the earthquake suffered in May 2011. It was shortlisted in the European Commission's EDEN programme (European Destinations of Excellence), in recognition of its sustainable tourism proposal.
From Palaeolithic times through to the Roman era, the town of Lorca was home to a wide range of cultures and settlers, as can be seen from the numerous archaeological sites, the Roman milestone dating from Roman times, and the Espolón and Alfonsina towers, among its historic remains. Other key sights include the porch of San Antonio, the 10th-century gateway to the ancient walled compound which guarded the city, several churches and convents from various eras and in an array of different styles, and the palaces and stately homes in the Baroque style such as the palaces of Guevara and the Condes de San Julián, and the house of the Mula family. Highlights of the military architecture include the fortress built on the mediaeval Arab fort or alcazaba, converting it into an impregnable compound. And also worth mentioning among the town's popular architecture are the buildings to be found in the cobbled streets flanking the Plaza de España square, such as the Zapatería and the Cava.
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.
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