The Magdalena

The territorial scope of the Municipal Paraje Natural de la Magdalena Hermitage comprises land belonging to the municipality of Castellón de la Plana and meets landscape values, recreational and cultural that justified his statement as such. The hill in whose top is the hermitage of la Magdalena, outcrops on the coastal plain of la Plana de Castellón and it should be quite fit it in the scope of the reliefs of the Serralada Desert of Les Palmes, from which it would form the first foothills.

The stratigraphic study reveals that it consists of limestone of the lower Cretaceous (Cretaceous InferiorAptienseGargasiense), that emerge between the Quaternary sediments that form the Plana de Castellón. From its top there is a wide panoramic view of the coastal plain and the coastline of Castellón, offering, in days, clear views.

Pilgrimage of the canyes - Magdalena


In terms of vegetation it should be noted that a good part of the hill has a tree cover formed by pine forest, under which appears an undergrowth formed by thermophilic mediterranean scrub. It consists of old terraces of cultivation arranged concentrically around the hermitage and the castle, that have been colonized by the wild vegetation, of which attests the fact that some copies of olive and carob trees still remain. To the north of the hill there is a hillside with the guidance of Solana devoid of trees and with little vegetation cover due to the abundance of rocky outcrops. The aleppo pine (Pinus halepensis) is the dominant species in the wooded area. In the rest abound thermophilic species own of the sclerophyllous forest scrub on calcareous substrate: kermes oak (Quercus coccifera), palm (Chamaerops humilis), rockrose (Pistacea lentiscus), rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis), etc. The anthropic influence in the area is very marked and is reflected in the presence, as has already been mentioned, species derived from the traditional agriculture and introduced species by its ornamental character or for having had some potential exploitation, such as the pitera (Agave americana) or the prickly pear (Opuntia ficus-indica), both of exotic origin.


With regard to the wildlife, among the species that it is possible to find in the landscape, particularly noteworthy are the following: between the herpetofauna emphasizes the presence of four protected species: the frog and the common frog, the Ocellated Spiny lizard and the Culebra bastard. In addition, we find the european terrapin, classified as a vulnerable species; among the species of birds would underline the presence of the skylark, the Jay and the stew, which are classified as protected. Three other bird species present in the area are classified as protected: the common sparrow, the parakeet and the black starlings. As for mammals are the following protected species: gray shrew, dormice, the European hedgehog, the marten, badger, the weasel and the red squirrel.


In terms of the archaeological heritage we can cite the existence in the area of the spot of the deposit of the Magdalena. In the vicinity of the spot, in a radius of less than 1 km. , are located five other deposits. The deposit of the Magdalena sits on top of the mound. This is a walled perimeter that crowns the top and in between are interspersed some circular towers. Inside this perimeter intermittent ruins are surfacing of alignments, most of them from quad structure. It is assigned to the period of the Bronze.

However, the most remarkable milestones property existing at the spot and that, in turn, constitute their unequivocal identity elements are the castle, the origin of the present city, and the hermitage of la Magdalena. This is a place where it is observed that human occupation since the Neolithic period. The remains of the castle are of Islamic origin, dating from its origins in the X, or XI centuries. It must be tributary of El Cid, passing in the twelfth century to the Almoravids, being conquered in 1233. The relocation of the population to the llano was authorized by King James I in 1251 to his lieutenant Ximen Perez d’Arenes, relying on the city in 1252. The castle is available in a staggered fashion adapts to the shape of the hill. The factory is of mud and masonry to the mode of the Arab construction techniques. The Ermita de la Magdalena is excavated in the rock. In the fifteenth century (1455) built the portico, in 1456 the chapel, and at the end of that century was carried out the barn. In 1758, the master Vicente Pellicer gave the current configuration of hermitage inn and adjoining tower. In one of its interior walls we find murals, that some authors dating it to the fourteenth century.

The environment of the Castell Vell and the Hermitage of the Magdalena has a very great importance for the Castellon as space for public use with multiple functions: place of worship, leisure, enjoy scenic and knowledge of the cultural heritage. In this regard, it should be noted on the day of the pilgrimage of the rods, in which a large crowd gathers in the place and its surrounding areas.

Recently it has been carried out forestry treatments and reforestation with which the maintenance, the improvement and development of the plant mass have been performed achieving an improvement of the soil when braking the erosive processes generated by runoff from the rain; it has been pruned the existing trees such as the pine, carob and olive trees, it have been removed the invasive plants such as the prickly pear or agaves and it has been done the clearing, cleaning and hill of the surface area of the site.

There has also been the recovery of low walls of dry masonry, rebuilding sections that have fallen to the extent possible using existing stone for further integration of the environment and recovered existing roads and trails to facilitate access to the site users redefining two Edge runs on the hill totaling 1,400 meters in total and performed a matched 360 meters road that runs from the main access to the site to the playground, on the north side. It has also been placed in the built environment such as benches and bins throughout the area furniture, a recreational playground with disabled-friendly game, improving the parking area, etc.