Undoubtedly, a must-see for any local traveller or resident who arrives in or lives near Novelda: The Sanctuary of Santa María Magdalena. Not only is this a beautiful piece of architecture that looks like a “Gaudi-esk” fairy tale castle on a hill but it is jewel in the crown of the local religious community.
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This religious building was built from a project drawn up by the novel engineer Don José Sala Sala who imbued his project with the Catalan modernist style. Its construction, begun in 1918, required three phases, to complete the work in 1946.
In the main façade there are two 25m high lateral towers, culminated by a stone cross, which is also found in the dome and on the upper arches of the façade.
The decorative style is medieval, baroque and has influences that led the architect to combine pebbles from the Vinalopó river, polychrome tiles, bricks, reddish colors, masonry, etc., which are reflected throughout the exterior of the building.
The interior is composed of a rectangular central nave with two attached side spaces, that is, an original base with the shape of a glass of ointment, a container with which, according to the Christian tradition, Mary Magdalene anointed the feet of Jesus Christ.
It also houses a unique marble piped organ, made form local marble (renowned in the area and sold worldwide). If you are lucky to catch the organist in residence he is usually happy to demonstrate its awesome sound.
In the background, in the apse, is the dressing room of Santa María Magdalena, copatrona de Novelda, and behind the altar we can admire a beautiful painting attributed to Gastón Castelló.