Thirthy kolometers of the coast near Alicante you will find the Gaudi-inspired church of Santuario Santa Magdalena. From the top at 360 meters above sea level you get a magnificent view, especially if you climb the medieval castle of Castillo de La Mola which is close by.
The church was designed by an engineer from Novelda, José Sala Sala. The work was started in 1918, but was first completed in 1946. It is inspired by the famous La Familia Sagrada, Gaudi's masterpiece in Barcelona, but has several characteristics that make it unique.
The church is shaped like a mug, a symbol of the mug that Mary Magdalene used when she balsamed Jesus. On the front there are two 25 meters tall towers with cross on top. On the backside there is a dome.
The building is constructed by different types of natural stone in addition to traditional bricks. From distance it may remind you of a sand castle.
On the outside the church is adorned in a style similar to Gaudi's La Familia Sagrada in Barcelona.
Inside, the church is more ordinary, but with many fine glass paintings.
What makes this church especial is the church organ. It's made exclusively of marble.
From the outside you have a marvellous view.
The view is even better if you go up to Castillo de la Mola, the remains of a medieval castle built in the 13th century. It was originally a Moorish fortress with 8 large elements. Today only four of them are preserved.
Like most castles, it was surrounded by a fortress. Parts of the fortification wall are intact. You can also enter one of the towers through narrow stairways.
This is what the church looks like on the top of the hill.
More excursions: www.turideer.com
The excursion of the week: The church of Sanatorio Santa Maria Magdalena and the medieval castle Castillo de La Mola in Novelda.
Suitable for: All ages. There is a nice restaurant close by.
Getting there: From Albir/Benidorm, follow the AP7 until you are almost at the exit of the airport. Turn right at the exit marked Madrid A-31. Then take the exit to CV-820 towards Novelda. You will soon see the church on the top of a hill. Keep straight ahead until you reach Novelda center. Turn right when you reach N-325. Follow it a little bit, but then turn left to CV-832 as soon as possible. This road goes straight to the top at which the church is located. The road is unidirectional in a sling around the hill. You can either park before the ascension and walk up, or you can drive up to the top where there is a large parking lot. Addition: Novelda has many nice shops. If you are interested in culture, visit the museum of modern art down the city center.