Sunday, June 24, 2012

Lorca Castle

Three of my colleagues and I drove over to Lorca, Spain to visit the medieval castle there. We sort of got distracted from the GPS instructions by a sign pointing toward the castle instead of driving to the Tourist Center. We drove through this section of town (notice the nice straight roads) and then into an increasingly steep and narrow road with hairpin turns through this neighborhood.

After not seeing a sign for the castle for about 20 twists and turns we were loosing confidence. We pulled into a church parking area to evaluate our options. There weren't that many since it was a one-way road - we could only go up but we weren't sure if it was taking us to the castle. I took the opportunity to take this picture. About this time a police car shows up. Neither cop could speak English but they told us that indeed the road went to the castle. They left and we got back in the car. A few minutes later the cops return and motion us to follow them. Hmmm. Is this good or bad. Turns out it was good. A police escort right to the parking lot.

Parking lot at Lorca Castle

Here we are in the parking lot as we were leaving. When we arrived we were the only car in the lot except for the parking attendant.

Two other families arrived after us.

Alfonsina tower at Lorca castle in Lorca, Spain
I'm not sure when their busy time or busy season is. I guess August when many Europeans take vacation.

The towers are currently closed to visitors because of the earthquake last year. Maybe that is the reason there where so few people there. You can see 30% of the crowd walking up the sidewalk in this picture.

Alfonsina Tower at Lorca Castle

This is the Alfonsina tower near the entrance to the inner fortress.

The is the Espolon tower at the other end of the castle.

The castle was built in various stages form the 9th to the 15th century.

It was originally built and occupied by Muslims during the time that they controlled the area. The castle was conquered by Crown Prince Alfonso X in 1244. For 250 years, the castle stood on the frontier between the Muslim state of Granada (home of Alhambra) and the Christian areas to the east.
picture of herbs drying at Lorca Castle

This is sage drying at a little display set up to reflect some of the daily life in the castle.

On closer inspection that may be rosemary or thyme. I'm pretty sure it isn't parsley. Margot will correct me, I'm sure.

Notice anything unusual hanging on the line? I don't know what the story is with that. There wasn't a guide around to explain it.

picture of a cannon at Lorca castle

In the 19th century the castle was reconfigured during the War of Spanish Independence and cannons were added.

Learn more here ---> Wikipedia
picture of trebuchet at Lorca castle

This is a replica of a catapult used during the seige of Lorca.
picture of Spanish Armor

An example of Spanish armor.
picture of the view of Lorca from the castle

A view of Lorca from the castle.

Here are a few shots of some of the flora at the castle. I'm not sure what this is. If you click to enlarge it sort of looks like sunflower seeds but the plant shape isn't correct.

Any ideas?
Orange tree at Lorca castle

This is an orange tree. I don't know if I have mentioned it before but there is a tremendous amount of citrus and melons grown in this area.
a picture of pomegranate blossom and fruit at Lorca castle

This is a pomegranate flower and developing fruit.

Finally a shot of the four of us at the castle. From left to right Zhang Yong, Jia Wei, George Ye, and me.

George and I are standing on a lower step.

We represent 40% of the visitors that had arrived by 2:00 PM. Quite a change from the hoards of visitors at Alhambra in April. Of course, Alhambra is a much more interesting place to visit.


  1. Thanks! Very interesting. Maybe they should consider charging given the alleged state of their economy. Maybe we could send them some Republicans to help them staighten things out.

    Uncle Chip

  2. This blog template is based on Blogger standard template. Here is the info from the template HTML.

    Blogger Template Style
    Name: Awesome Inc.
    Designer: Tina Chen