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Hermitages and churches

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Ermita de Santa Llúcia i Santa Bàrbara

The hermitage dedicated to Santa Llúcia and Santa Bàrbara is, of the four hermitages that existed in Jávea, the third of the old hermitages still standing and the only one that is still in use for worship. Although there is no documentation on its origin (the first references to its existence are from the 18th century) and it has been greatly modified throughout history, its typology can be classified as one of the so-called Ermites de Conquesta (The Hermitages of the Conquest). Ramón Candelas Orgilés places its construction somewhere between the 15th and 16th centuries, while other sources date it back to the 14th century.

Some parts of the building were added at a more modern date, such as the front porch and the chapel house, probably built in the 18th century. It is currently owned by the municipality and is in good condition thanks to recent restoration work to repair damage and deterioration. A local family guards the keys to the hermitage and is responsible for its care and maintenance.

Firmly built on the rocks of the summit where it sits, and preceded by a wide terrace with a well and a pine grove, the white silhouette of the hermitage is easily distinguishable from many points in the surrounding area. The rectangular building has the hermit's dwelling attached to the right side, over which the tiled gabled roof extends, giving the façade an asymmetrical appearance. Opposite it, is a kind of porch or shelter with an independent roof, a wide entrance, a tiled floor and a continuous bench in its narrow interior. Above the porch, crowning the upper part, is the belfry with a bell named Santa Llúcia, that was cast in 2003 and replaced an earlier one. The former bell, dating from the early 15th century, was removed when the new one was installed. It is now displayed in the museum called El Museu Municipal Soler Blasco, as it is one of the few Gothic bells in the region and is, therefore, a piece of great historical value. However, this was not the original bell of the chapel either, as that one was destroyed during the Spanish Civil War.

Through the door framed by a semicircular arch formed of large voussoirs and ashlars, one enters the interior part of the chapel, that has a rectangular nave divided into two sections by a diaphragm arch, very open and slightly pointed, which supports the longitudinal beam of the framework of wooden beams that forms the gabled roof. To the right of the entrance there is an auxiliary space where the sacristy and the choir room were added in the 18th century. Behind the altar, on the wall, there is a masonry stone altarpiece whose only niche houses an image of Santa Llúcia wearing a rich vestment.

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