Nakskov Church is the largest church in Nakskov on the east coast of the Danish island of Lolland. As Nakskov was mentioned in Valdemar's Census Book in the 13th century, the church probably dates to the same period. Remains of a wooden church from c. 1000 were unearthed in the 1950s. It was replaced by a brick church dedicated to Saint Nicholas which is first mentioned in 1398 although its oldest sections probably date from the early 13th century. It was completed in the second half of the 17th century. Major repairs were carried out in 1746 but further work proved necessary in 1825. Before the Danish Reformation, the church had a series of chapels and altars, each connected with the craftsmen's guilds in the town. Much of the documentation was destroyed when the Lübeckers plundered Nakskov in 1510.
Built of light red brick, the original chancel and nave were in the Romanesque style. Parts of these remain in the Gothic additions from the first half of the 15th century. Major extensions were added to both east and west, resulting in aisles on either side of the nave which virtually encapsulated the older construction. A large tower was also built at the west end of the former nave at the beginning of the 15th century. In the mid-17th century, after a period of some 200 years without further construction work, Gothic additions were completed. The Romanesque chancel was demolished while rectangular arches were added in the former walls. The spire which was repeatedly damaged by lightening was finally redesigned by H.C. Glahn in 1906.
The carved altarpiece in the auricular style from 1656 is the work of Anders Mortensen from Odense. The central painting of the Last Supper (which contains an image of Nakskov Church in the background) is topped by depictions of the Crucifixion and Christ's removal from the cross. There are also figures of the Evangelists and the Apostles, Christ Resurrected and also of Moses and Aaron. The pulpit, also in the Baroque auricular style, was completed by Jørgen Ringnis in 1630. It was presented to the church by Mayor Thyge Sørensen whose portrait, and that of his wife, have been included in the pulpit's decorations which also include the 12 apostles. Ringnis also designed the gallery (1631) with figures of the apostles which now stands below the organ loft. The organ was built by Johan Lorentz in 1648 and restored in 1968. On that occasion, Paul-Gerhard Andersen took pains to restore the organ's Baroque housing by Søren Ibsen.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.