Castellon – Culla, return to the Middle Ages in the High Domain

I am inspired by the beautiful little known places that you can discover on trips inside the Spanish geography, either breaks rural tourism or excursions from the place of stay in a holiday on the coast, as you can happen the place I now refer.

Specifically, during the recent trip to the High Mastership of Castellon I had the opportunity to discover Culla, a small medieval village located atop a hill not far from the coast, just 70 miles from Benicassim, in which ride for its historic center you feel really moved to the Middle Ages. Mastership, within the province of Castellon , is an area with human presence for thousands of years, from prehistory, which is apparent by the numerous archaeological remains and even paintings.

Castle of Culla
Castle of Culla

But the current configuration of Culla, as in other villages in this area dates back to the Muslim era, when there was a fortress that was conquered in 1243 by James I. The enclave of Culla was purchased by the Templars in 1303, but soon passed into the hands of the Order of Saint Mary of Montesa. By that time, the Castle of Culla had its strategic importance.

Church of San Salvador
Church of San Salvador

It is in the eighteenth century when the town of Culla expands, including the construction in 1712 of the present church of San Salvador, the structure of an old gothic church. Finally, during the Carlist Wars in the nineteenth century, the castle was almost completely destroyed.However, from the point of view of tourism is a key date, 1994, when a process of rehabilitation of the old historic center was addressed, exposing the stones of the facades of houses, removing cables, and peatonalizando alleys

Spa Hotel El Palasiet, Benicassim (Castellion)
Spa Hotel El Palasiet, Benicassim (Castellion)

Now this small town of just 200 inhabitants, which extends down a hill 1,100 meters high, has two distinct areas that can distinguish as you approach the road: the old town on top of the village with houses facades stone, and the lower area, with whitewashed houses.

This configuration change will surprise seeing some old photo of Culla where you constatarás that to remodel, all their houses were whitewashed.

Monuments in the historic center of Culla

Your walk through the medieval town of Culla starts from the square Setenal climbing a narrow street, and from there you’ll lose in a maze of alleys, passages and stairways.

Medieval town of Culla
Medieval town of Culla

As you get into it, you will not be surprised to learn that its monuments has been one of the venues for the exhibition of sacred art Pulchra Magistri the Mastership.

The first notable building that you will see is the church of San Salvador, which houses a beautiful figure Gothic fourteenth century showing that saint, patron of Culla and an altarpiece of the XVI century. Beside, there are other historical buildings such as the Abbey House, the old prison and the old hospital, the latter referring to a place of accommodation, not healing.

San Cristobal
San Cristobal

Strolling the streets safe to pass under one of the three arches that remain of the ancient wall of the town. And on the way to the remains of the old Arab fortress, see Calvary, a curious place where celebrates the Via Crucis at Easter. There you will find the viewpoint of Singlet, where if you look to the southeast, discover the Hermitage of San Cristobal, the eighteenth century, one of the three chapels in various hills are located near the village. Next to stretch the walls there is another viewpoint from which you can see in the distance, to the north, the Hermitage of San Roc, the sixteenth century.

In all, a very pleasant stroll during which it is very easy to have the feeling that you are in the era of the Templers, and which also can enjoy panoramic views of this region of Alto Maestrazgo.

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