Getting married on the Costa del Sol, Spain, is a popular choice for many couples from across the world with a wide range of breathtaking venues and to top it off it is also home to the smallest church in the world.
At just 1.96m2, the church will make you feel as though you’ve entered the tiny island kingdom of Lilliput. Such is its size that it only has room inside for a priest and half an altar boy. However, despite its smurf-like size it has the status of a church having been consecrated by the Prior of the Monastery of La Rábida (a Franciscan friary in the southern Spanish town of Palos de la Frontera, in the province of Huelva) and has been used to officiate weddings and has everything necessary for the services.
Another work inside the tiny church depicts Jesus with one arm hanging down, which represents the moment in which God’s son was taken down from the cross. The representation show Jesus held by a single nail in one hand, the other hand extends forward offering forgiveness in a compassionate way.
The castle was built between 1987 and 1994 by Dr Esteban Martín Martín, a medical practitioner who set about building a monument dedicated to the life and adventures of Christopher Columbus.
Covering an area of 1,500 meters, it is the largest monument in the world dedicated to the explorer and fuses the architectural styles present in Spain throughout its history: Byzantine, Romanesque, Gothic and Mudejar, referencing the three civilisations that inhabited the peninsula in the Middle Ages, namely the Christians, the Jews and the Muslims. Additionally, there is a pagoda (a tiered tower common in Asia) which hints to the original intent of Columbus’ journey which was to reach China and Japan to start a spice trade.
The castle and church are a must-visit in Benalmadena, wedding bells or not, as beyond enjoying its unusual architecture, the site also offers spectacular views over the coast.