4000 years of history

The visit to the Saint Lucia site, declared Property of Cultural Interest, allows us to enjoy not only an archaeological site with signs of human occupation from the Bronze Age, but also exceptional surroundings and exceptional views. We can also visit the hermitage and its auxiliary buildings, which previously was a medieval fortress.
The excavations have revealed several phases of occupation.  The first two very far apart, between the 2nd millennium and the seventh century BC.  The place was abandoned after a fire in the Iron Age period, and this has allowed to find numerous pieces revealing the day to day of its inhabitants in an excellent state of conservation. In addition, there are vestiges of another settlement from the Islamic Period.
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Archaeological documentation
Visiting Saint Lucia is being part of 4000 years of history. This unique enclave was chosen and inhabited by different cultures with different ways of life during these four millennia.

Bronze Age

4000 years ago, in the so-called Bronze Age, a human group occupied this hill and raised its constructions in the south and east slopes, ensuring the light and heat of the sun. Choosing this location was not a matter of chance.  From above they could visually access a vast expanse of territory and control any movement.  The place had easy access to many resources for its survival.
These first settlers subsisted by farming and ranching.  Harvesting and hunting complemented their food needs and provided raw material for the manufacture of utensils.
They mastered the smelting of metals with which they manufactured weapons and tools. They produced their household goods using ceramics.

1500 years later

1500 years after those first people left the village, others found on this hill a good place to settle. We are in the year 650 BC. in the so-called Iron Age, at the time when the Iberian cultures started to develop.
The new settlers built a village with rectangular plant and stone wall houses, and many walls made of mortar and stone on several terracing. What we can observe today is part of this original village, since everything seems to indicate that its extension was greater than that the current one.
This group not only subsisted on the agricultural and livestock resources. They were also in contact with other peoples approaching the coast.  This has been proved by the findings dating from this period, including Greek and Phoenician materials. These peoples crossed the seas exchanging objects and raw materials throughout the Mediterranean basin, and even established some colonies away from their lands.
The village was suddenly abandoned at this period, about 550 BC. probably because of a fire, leaving behind, almost intact a number of objects allowing us to understand their day to day, such as textile manufacture, armament, kitchen utensils...

Another leap in time

The place is occupied again in the Middle Ages, during the Islamic Period that usually dates between the VIII-XIII centuries A.D.
The special characteristics of this site favored its election as settlement and possible bastion. The place was surely related to other strategic enclaves across the province.
The Islamic Period is a very remarkable moment of our history, due to the new territory organization, water channels, new cultivating techniques and crops ... It is a period of multiple political divisions, administrative dependencies, power struggles, that ended after long years of confrontations, conquests, agreements and ruptures with the Christian kings and lords of that time.
The Saint Lucia site, along with other castles and towers witnessed all these upheavals of history.   In the nearby you will find the castle of Alcala de Xivert, which also contains vestiges of Iberian occupation, and the castle Santa Magdalena de Pulpis. In the coastline range the castles of Peñíscola to the north, and Oropesa to the south, and among them towers like Ebrí and Badúm, that conformed a whole system of vigilance and communication throughout the province that continued to serve Centuries later.
Saint Lucia was finally crowned by a medieval fortress that includes a circular tower and a canvas that forms a rectangular building. This building was used in the XVII century as a basis for the current hermitage.
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