Ermita de La Magdalena
The hermitage of the Madalena is undoubtedly the most important hermitage of all those found in the municipality of Castelló city. There are different reasons for that: firstly, the historical one, because it is nestled right at the foot of Castellvell which is the origin of the Castellón city. In the thirteenth century, more concretely in 1251, King James (Jaume I) granted the “Llicència de Trasllat” and a year later, in 1252, the relocation or the descent of the population took place and that settlement which lived here in the castle is the core of what we know now as Castelló. That would be the historical part, the important part that the hermitage of the Madalena has.
Many years later, taking advantage of the castle’s water reservoir, the Frare Barbut built this chapel dedicated to Santa Maria de Magdalena, which also keeps the altarpiece of Sant Bernat, who is the saint of the holy order of Sant Antoni, the Frare Barbut.
The hermitage has not only historical importance but also sentimental and symbolic value for the Castellón city. Why? Because, mixing history and legend, the city of Castelló commemorates every third Sunday of Lent its foundation, reviving what is the return to its origins at the foot of Castell Vell, the hermitage of the Magdalena. We do it also with a pilgrimage that has a penitential character but, at the same time, it is a moment to express our pride of Castelló’s heritage and history. And this is the real value of La Madalena hermitage, that millions of people from Castelló every third Sunday of Lent during this pilgrimage of Las Cañas recover an ancient tradition that dates back to 1375 as the first penitential pilgrimage to this enclave.
And we, all the people of Castellón, every year come here to be closer to our origins. It is a penitential pilgrimage to the hermitage which is dedicated to the patron saint, Santa Maria Magdalena and also to San Bernardo. The idea is to return to our origins by the pilgrimage on the third Sunday of Lent or during the festivity of July 22 with the brotherhood of Santa Maria Magdalena and also by many other ceremonies which are held here in this hermitage. Moreover, the hermitage, being white, simple and very austere building, also allows the city to recover the origins of Castelló and this is where the true importance of this building lies.