We came across this amazing Church for the first time earlier this year.
The is an old Convent, set up in the hills on the CV-245, halfway between Alcublas and Altura – around 12Km from each. As you travel towards Altura, you may notice some statues on the hill to your left, and then a path leading out along a hill to your right, dotted with shrines. It doesn’t look particularly remarkable, but it’s well worth stopping.
Follow the path up in front of the large white building, and then turn left, into a small courtyard. Go through the doorway on the far side, and you’ll find steps leading down. While there’s a smooth plaster wall to your left, on the right is a rock face, which, as you go further down the steps, opens out into a huge cavern. In the middle of the Cavern is an enclosure containing an altar, and “Our lady of the cave”.
An image of the Virgin Mary was discovered in the cave in 1502, and ever since it has been regularly performing miracles such as curing leprosy, blindness and Parkinson’s Disease!
The chapel that you pass on the left, as you descend the stairs, was built in 1645 and restored in 1915. The on the surface was renovated in 1880, and again in 1930, but there has been an Inn on the site since at least the start of the eighteenth century.
On the opposite side of the road from the Cave and is a path out to a headland, with 15 shrines along the way. These form the “Stations of the Rosary”. There’s also a “Stations of the cross” walk from the up onto the hill above, where you’ll find groups of Statues representing the cruxificion, Christ on the Cross, and the trial of Pontius Pilate. Unfortunately, the statues were vandalised during their construction in 1968, and so the project, which would have seen several more groups, was abandoned. On a clear day, the walk offers stunning views over the surrounding countryside.
The Underground Church makes an interesting stop on a day trip to the Alto Palancia.