A few weeks ago, on a Sunday, my mum and I were a little restless. The sun was glorious, little Betsy (our car) was ready for some action and my growing list of places worth visiting was burning a hole in my pocket. Everything was pointing us in the direction of a little adventure – and what an adventure it was.
We got our things together and set off on a little road trip – destination: Novelda. Novelda is a sweet little town tucked away in the Valle del Medio Vinalopó, about 241 meters above the sea. It´s a town which is rich in modernist heritage. It boasts many magnificent squares, which are full of character, lots of beautiful parks and a lovely market place. What I liked about it though, even more than the architecture, was the people. They were all conjugated in the copious squares basking in the evening sunshine while catching up on the day´s gossip.
While the town itself is quite special, filled with charm, its biggest surprise is located roughly 3km from the town centre; St. Mary Magdalene´s sanctuary. This modernist building was designed in the 19th century by José Sala Sala, who was born in Novelda, and took his inspiration for its design from Catalonian Modernism.
I have to say that, while the town itself was delightful, nothing could have prepared me for the beauty that awaited me at the sanctuary. I had heard a lot about this place, both from my mum and several guidebooks I have read. However, despite this, I was totally caught off guard by sheer beauty that unfolded before me. Located at the top of a steep hill, overlooking the Vinalopó Valle, the setting truly is picturesque. The upward trek is astonishing with the rich colours which spread out across the mountainous countryside serving as a backdrop to this breathtaking building decorated with modernist motifs, ceramics and bricks. I have to admit: it´s hard not to be blown away by what the area has to offer.
By the time I reached the sanctuary I felt exhilarated and quite excited to see what this enticing building was like up close. I am delighted to say that I wasn´t disappointed in the slightest! Its authenticity and originality added to its character. I found myself completely lost in the splendour that surrounded me, every minute uncovering a new beauty.
It´s easy to see why this hidden gem is the symbol for the town. While writing this post I came to a startling realisation. That realisation being: pictures fail and words let you down when it comes to sharing the beauty of this place, you need to see it in person to really appreciated it. José´s design is out of this world and it couldn´t have been built in a more complimentary area. If you haven´t yet visited Novelda, and you happen to be in the area, I suggest a visit. You won´t be disappointed.
I hope that you enjoyed reading about my little Sunday trip and that you´ve all had a fantastic weekend.
Thank you for reading and I will talk to you in my next post.