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The Chapel Inside a Volcano


Santa Margarida is a freato-magmatic volcano located in the Spanish county of Garrotxa, in Catalonia. Some 11,500 years ago, the earth’s crust burst opened and out poured millions of tons of magma, that accumulated in a conical hill more than six hundred meters tall. At the top of this hill a wide circular crater was formed, whose floor today is carpeted with thick grass and shrubs while the flanks of the volcano are covered in evergreen holm oak and mixed deciduous forest. Amidst this, and smack in the middle of the crater today, stands a Romanesque church.
Not much is known about the hermitage of Santa Margarida, after which the volcano was named, except that the building was destroyed during the 1428 Catalonia earthquake, suggesting it was first built at least 600 years ago. The current building is from 1865.