Thursday, April 02, 2020

‘Castell Vermell’ (‘Red Castle’) and the Santa Lucía Hermitage

On Santa Lucía’s hill top, there are constructions from different historical periods: a Bronze Age settlement, a fortified compound from the Medieval Islamic and Christian era, and lastly in modern times, the Hermitage of Santa Lucía.

The most noticeable remains of ‘Castell Vermell’ (‘Red Castle’) are part of a rectangular tower located on the north face, made of lime mortar walls. The ancient water cistern, located inside the fort, can be visited if we access it from the hermit’s house. Another smaller tower stood leaning against the rock wall towards the southeast side of the hill. This tower seems to present a different construction technique with irregular rocks joined with lime mortar.


A number of historical documents from the Municipal Archive (AMI) determine the construction date of the hermitage in the 16th century, being the earliest one built in town. From that point in time, the population of Ibi grows and the people inhabit the surrounding area to create an urbanised old town.


On December 13th, the Day of Santa Lucia marks the beginning of the winter local festivities. It’s an original festival because of its unique elements, including the local terminology: tapats, enfarinats, amantats, fadrins and casats and also the symbolism that reflects: the winter solstice, fools’ dance, food fighting, and the marriage market. This traditional fiesta reaches its highest point on December 28th, winter equivalent of April Fools’. Impossible not to get carried away …