Novelda is a town of Spain, in the province of Alicante. It's known for its grapes production and trade in spices and marble. The town has about 30000 people. Novelda borders with Elda and Petrel to the north, Monforte del Cid in the east, La Romana and Monóvar in the west and Aspe in the south. It forms part of the county “Medio Vinalopó” , which is also known as “The grapes Valley”. Novelda has a dry Mediterranean climate, but its temperatures are enjoyable during most of the year. Novelda's agriculture revolves around the monoculture of grapes, and the most important industrial activity is the manufacturing and processing of marble and natural stone. Other important industrial activity represented in the municipality is the food, specializing in packaging and marketing of spices, seasonings and teas. Between the 18 th and 25 th of July parades of Moors and Christians are held. On 22 July the feast of Santa Maria Magdalena, saint of the city, is celebrated .
Economic Resourses in Novelda The most important economic resourses in Novelda are the saffron, the vineyard with its so called “ table grapes”, and the marble. The saffron. Novelda began its trade with spices in 1920. From that date till now this trade has had a big increase. In those days there was a man who opened a factory called “Carmencita” which today leads the national market and part of international market with its incredible variation of spices and its high quality saffron.
The vineyard: Novelda is surrounded by vineyards . Thanks to the weather people from Novelda grow grapes with an unquestionable quality. This economic resource provides hundreds of jobs in the summer season when grapes are covered with paper bags so that they get protected from insects and bad weather. But it also provides hundreds of jobs in autumn and winter when grapes are collected and packaged to be sold in every market not only in Spain but also all over the world.
MARBLE But certainly , the sector that generates more income and jobs are those industries related to marble and natural stone Novelda is known as the Marble World Centre. Because marble is also Crown in Spain. Novelda exports over 60% of the total marble from Spain. Some of its many activities include national and international promotion through the holding of editions of "The Marble day”, in fairs and competitions.
The Multipurpose cultural centre is a modernist house where nowadays we can find the Local Council Library, the files , the offices of the Department of Culture, Tourism Bureau and the Department of Tourism. Everything related to Education, Sports, Linguistics, Culture, Environment, Health and Women equality can be found there. In this building you can admire the fantastic tapestry of its different rooms or ask at the tourist office to visit the “Castillo de la Mola”. It also enables you to visit different exhibitions in an incomparable setting, or even to marry there. For any questions please call 965 60 90 53 or come to the main street, 6 where someone with help you with any questions you may have.
The “GOMEZ TORTOSA” is an Art Nouveau style building with three floors built in the late nineteenth century as a family home. It belonged to one of the families of the gentry of Novelda. In 1902 the owner initiated the reform and expansion of the building, with the decorative architectural elements typical of the modernism style. You can access from the street through a wooden gate entrance and railings. if you go to the left, the room you can find is the tourist office. Moving forward there is the spacious hall surrounded by an oak base. Crossing it leads to a beautiful rectangular courtyard surrounded by columns and topped by an enormous skylight which floods the room light.
THE CASINO. The casino is a very important building in the city of Novelda, which was built in 1888 and has been rebuilt recently. It has two floors and a large garden that surrounds the entire building. Inside the building there are some very large rooms where you can play all kinds of games. On the top floor there is a room with a big screen to see the football matches. There are bathrooms for men and women on both floors in the building.
On the ground floor there is a café where people can drink coffee and eat, because at night they prepare all sorts of snacks and sandwiches. To climb to the top, there are wide staircases and a special decoration. The casino is quite large and has several rooms on the two floors. The garden has some swings where children spend all afternoon. It also has some tables and benches for enjoying summer evenings. There are all kind of plants and trees. The building is quite old but is still perfectly preserved.
La Mola Castle rises on a small plain 360 m above the sea level, 3km northeast from the city of Novelda. It takes its name from this plain which is also called “LA MOLA”. It is a fortress of Islamic origin, it was built in the late 12 th century. It has a polygonal floor shape with eight square cubes overhanging. Today only four remain. The existing tower is 11m high by 9m wide, although it is missing a floor; The tower is entered by a half-mesh door at the top. It has a triangular shape, which makes it unique in Spain. With the Christian conquest of the Castle by troops belonging to the Infante Don Alfonso de Castilla, the fortress, along with its lands, passed to the Castillian Crown. It has belonged to different kings and in 1367 it was sold to Hugo de Calviley, who in 1371, became Lord of Novelda.
In 1391, Don Pedro Maza de Lizana, bought La Mola, and it became the Barony of Novelda in 1448. La Mola then formed part of this important house of lords until the feudal estates were abolished in the early decades of the 19 th century. In 1931 it was declared an Historical Artistic Monument of National Interest. And nowadays it belongs to the Local Council and you can visit it in the following time-table: Winter: 10am - 2pm and 4-7pm. Summer: 10am – 2pm and 5-8pm.
The Sanctuary of Santa María Magdalena is a religious building. It is of modernist style, and the front façade looks like the “Sagrada Familia” by Antonio Gaudí in Barcelona. Its vase shape makes it unique in the world. The building was started in 1918 but it needed from three phases and the work was finally concluded in 1946. However, the decoration of the inner part of the building is not finished yet. It has two lateral towers, of 25 meters high each one and a cross in the top of both of them. Inside of the Santuary there is a rectangular central nave with two lateral spaces. Behind the altar, we can see Santa María Magdalena, Novelda's mistress. By the end of this year a new organ of marble will be installed.
MODERNIST HOUSE MUSEUM This building was built during the first period of the 20 th century, more specifically In 1900- 1903. its first owner, Mrs. Antonia Navarro Mira, asked Mr. Pedro Cerdán Martínez, architect and author of the project, to build this house for her family.
It is one of the best modernist buildings that you can see in this town. It has got three floors and a wonderful patio where you can see tiles all around it, with pictures of all her properties. It also has a small chapel and fitted central heating system as well as bathrooms (something which was not very common at that time).
Windows, balconies, walls, stairs, doors, furniture, columns, ceilings, paintings are decorated with the elements of modernism, making of this magnificent building an unforgettable example of the modernist style. Nowadays, the modernist house, popularly known as “LA CASA DE LA PICHOCHA” belongs to a Bank and it also keeps a little exhibition of some documents, coins, etc...of one of the most important people born in this town, JORGE JUAN
Jorge Juan and Santacilia (Novelda, Alicante, 1713 - † Madrid, 1773) was a scientist and Spanish sailor. Jorge Juan was born in Novelda, particularly in a place called “The Fondonet” and was baptized in Monforte del Cid. He studied grammar and in 1729 joined the Naval Academy of San Fernando. He participated in the expedition which the Spanish Navy took against Oran and Naples.
In 1734 he embarked with Antonio de Ulloa in an official expedition to measure a degree of the meridian at the equator in South America. In the expedition he found out that the shape of the earth is not perfectly spherical and measured the degree of flatness of the Earth. Being aware that the Spanish fleet was beginning to be outdated, the Marquis de la Ensenada commissioned him to travel to England to learn about the new techniques of the English Navy, and on his return he took over the Spanish shipbuilding, renewing the shipyards. In 1757 he founded the Royal Astronomical Observatory in Madrid and in 1760 was appointed head of the Royal Navy fleet. In the central part of the so called “Spain Square”, there is a statue devoted to him. It dates from 1913. He is remembered as a remarkable marine and mathematician, and some of his belongings can be seen at the exhibition of the modernist museum.
The West Park, also known as the Park of "Pas dels Dolors“ is located on the outskirts of Novelda, particularly in the west part of the town.
The park has received a clear influence of the modernist style that prevails in the streets and buildings of Novelda. This fact can be seen clearly in the details of the Mosaics that adorn the park railing.
The West Park is considered one of the most important green spaces of Novelda, it offers visitors a wide range of leisure and free time activities, and has many facilities to carry out various outdoor free activities.
The park has an amphitheater where, throughout the year, there are different performances of all kinds. It also has a barbecue area for public use, several picnic areas equipped with tables and benches, places for sports such as football and basketball, board games, playgrounds, etc.
Among its facilities, the park is highly valued for being a bastion of nature. Using the trails that run throughout the park, you can enjoy pleasant environments created by different types of vegetation, which provide, in addition to beauty, some interesting environmental conditions for different types of animals.
With more than 40,000 m2, it is a space that has an outdoor auditorium for 2,000 people, picnic area and arboretum with native plants.
La Romana is a small village of about two thousand and six hundred inhabitants, located in the province of Alicante, close to Novelda, about eleven kilometres from it. Until August 10th, 1928, La Romana was part of Novelda, but this changed thanks to the will of the people who sent letters to the Government asking certain independence. Despite its low population density, La Romana has a large amount of land where the local people get most of their economic resources.
Marble is one of the biggest natural resources of the small village. Its most distinctive feature is the bright red colour of the stone.
Another great resource are the grapes, whose work, despite being poorly paid, is claimed by the common people, especially in summer, when people cover them with paper bags to preserve them until winter. Part of these grapes ends in La Romana cooperative, one of the largest in the province and where you can buy and taste different types of wines.
“ Coques a la pala”: they are cakes made with flour, salt and water. They are made with a special shovel that we put over the the fire.
It is a simple meal, but with some tomato and olive oil, some smoked cod or sardines, they are delicious.
KNOWN PLACES Former home of the pianist José Mira Pepin, which currently is used as a hostel, and from which you can ascend to the mountains of "Reclot" where there is a wonderful view of all La Romana and some of its lands. “ La cova de Pepín”.
“ It is a really large tree with enormous branches and trunk located in a beautiful natural landscape, and which has been there for more than 1,000 years (according to local sources). “ La carrasca ”.
This is a natural place located on the top of the Sierra de Algayat, in which there is a large cave known as “La Cueva Negra”. In this cave, the shepherds sheltered from adverse weather conditions. “ La peña de la Mina”. FESTIVALS The town festival takes place the third week of August. Despite the low turnout of people at some events, these parties have something special.
you can see the Moors and Christians parades, or the ceremonies in honor of our patrons saints, the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary. However, the most important events are "els bous al carrer“ and the so called "Socarrat" where in the morning you can leave the bread soggy in the streets and at night you can collect it burned by the fireworks, called by us, “carretilles”.