In many European countries, castles are a great tourist attraction. The 13th-century Lorca Castle in the Murica region of Spain is no exception though accessibility to it is a major problem. The regional government is now going ahead with plans to install an elevator inside the mountain on which this Gothic marvel stands.
This 13th-century castle with a long, narrow shape is located in a strategic position overlooking the city. It is divided into three areas and the rectangular Alfonsí Tower and the Espolón Tower with Mudejar influences are its special attractions. Known as the Fortress of the Sun, the castle has been restored as a themed area dedicated to visitors earning it a place on the shortlist of the European Commission’s European Destinations of Excellence programme.
Access to this emblematic castle was either by walking up a steep incline or driving which was difficult for visitors touring the city on foot. Studies were conducted to explore the ways to improve access to the castle. The new plan that the regional government of Murica recently approved to improve access to this historic structure from the city below involves restoring an old path and installing an elevator inside the mountain on top of which the fortress is located. The elevator plan would require a 72-meter-long horizontal tunnel leading to a 34-meter-deep elevator shaft.
The project, budgeted at EUR 2.4 million, also includes the repair of the old Senda de San Clemente as an alternative means of access for pedestrians to the castle, the Parador Hotel and the Taller del Tiempo. In addition, the rock face of the southern escarpment below the castle will be reinforced in order to guarantee the safety of the houses that stand at the highest point of the city. This ambitious lift project in Lorca is expected to provide a boost to tourism in the city.