Saint Teresa of Ávila Cathedral in Požega is a beautiful example of Baroque architecture. The cathedral building was funded by Franjo Thauszy, Zagreb bishop, with 80,000 forints that were originally intended for repairs of the Požega fortress, owned by bishop Thauszy at the time. The project was endorsed by empress Maria Theresa in 1754 and building started in 1756. The construction took seven years and bishop Thauszy consecrated the new church on 24 July 1763.
The original tower was toppled by a storm in 1926 and had to be replaced by a new, 63 meters tall tower.
The interior of the Požega cathedral is decorated in playful baroque and rococo style. The interior is dominated by main altar of St. Teresa of Ávila, gift of bishop Franjo Thauszy, presented on the occasion of the consecration of the church. Among other altars in the cathedral, the altar of St. John of Nepomuk and the altar of St. Michael the Archangel are especially noteworthy. The former was a gift of Croatian viceroy Franjo Nádasdy, and the latter of Požega-born, Kutjevo parish priest Josip Maurović.
Furthermore, there is a beautiful pulpit - also a gift from bishop Thauszy, and rococo carved oak pews. Cathedral organ was built by Josip Brandl factory in Maribor and put in its place in 1900.
By the end of the 19th century, six octagonal stained-glass windows have been installed.
Interior of the Požega cathedral is also decorated by wall paintings painted by famous Croatian painters Celestin Medović and Oton Iveković in 1898 and 1899. Trinity painting above the main altar has been painted by two of them together, while on the ceiling of the apse there is painting of St. Teresa by Medović.References:
Castle of Lorca (Castillo de Lorca) is a fortress of medieval origin constructed between the 9th and 15th centuries. It consists of a series of defensive structures that, during the Middle Ages, made the town and the fortress an impregnable point in the southeast part of the Iberian Peninsula. Lorca Castle was a key strategic point of contention between Christians and Muslims during the Reconquista.
Archaeological excavations have revealed that the site of the castle has been inhabited since Neolithic times.
It has not been determined exactly when a castle or fortress was first built on the hill. The first written documentation referring to a castle at Lorca is of Muslim origin, which in the 9th century, indicates that the city of Lurqa was an important town in the area ruled by Theudimer (Tudmir). During Muslim rule, Lorca Castle was an impregnable fortress and its interior was divided into two sections by the Espaldón Wall. In the western part, there was an area used to protect livestock and grain in times of danger. The eastern part had a neighbourhood called the barrio de Alcalá.
Lorca was conquered by the Castilian Infante Don Alfonso, the future Alfonso X, in 1244, and the fortress became a key defensive point against the Kingdom of Granada. For 250 years, Lorca Castle was a watchpoint on the border between the Christian kingdom of Murcia and the Muslim state of Granada.
Alfonso X ordered the construction of the towers known as the Alfonsina and Espolón Towers, and strengthened and fixed the walls. Hardly a trace of the Muslim fortress remained due to this reconstruction. Muslim traces remain in the foundation stones and the wall known as the muro del Espaldón.
The Jewish Quarter was found within the alcazaba, the Moorish fortification, separated from the rest of the city by its walls. The physical separation had the purpose of protecting the Jewish people in the town from harm, but also had the result of keeping Christians and Jews separate, with the Christians inhabiting the lower part of town.
The remains of the Jewish Quarter extended over an area of 5,700 square m, and 12 homes and a synagogue have been found; the synagogue dates from the 14th century and is the only one found in the Murcia. The streets of the town had an irregular layout, adapted to the landscape, and is divided into four terraces. The synagogue was in the central location, and around it were the homes. The homes were of rectangular shape, with various compartmentalized rooms. The living quarters were elevated and a common feature was benches attached to the walls, kitchens, stand for earthenware jars, or cupboards.
With the disappearance of the frontier after the conquest of Granada in 1492, Lorca Castle no longer became as important as before. With the expulsion of the Jews by order of Ferdinand and Isabella, Lorca Castle was also depopulated as a result. The castle was abandoned completely, and was almost a complete ruin by the 18th century. In the 19th century, the castle was refurbished due to the War of Spanish Independence. The walls and structures were repaired or modified and its medieval look changed. A battery of cannons was installed, for example, during this time. In 1931 Lorca Castle was declared a National Historic Monument.
Currently, a parador (luxury hotel) has been built within the castle. As a result, archaeological discoveries have been found, including the Jewish Quarter.