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Hermitages and churches

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Teulada Moraira

Església de la Mare de Déu dels Desemparats

The church known as Església de La Mare de Déu dels Desemparats is located in the old part of Moraira, within the municipality of Teulada.

Originally, the church was a chapel erected under the same Marian dedication. Although the exact beginning of its history is not known, it seems to have been built between 1875 and 1878, thanks to the donations of the Oliver sisters from Teulada, when Mossén Francisco Payà was the parish priest of Santa Caterina. The geographer Francisco Figueras Pacheco mentioned the existence of the chapel in 1910. In 1974, it was established as a separate parish, with its first rector being Francisco Llopis Blasco, who had previously been the rector of Teulada.

The church has a rectangular plan and its foundations are made of stones taken from the wall of the Moraira fortress. It is divided into three naves separated by pillars, with the central nave being almost twice the size of the side naves. Additionally, it consists of four sections, the first of which corresponds to the expansion of the church carried out in 1981. This work involved extending the building towards the façade, adding a porch with four arches similar to the traditional riuraus (a construction typical in La Marina Alta). This porch was enclosed in 1989 with glass panels, and access to the interior is through the arch facing the main entrance. Above the porch, on the first floor, is the church choir, and on the second floor there is a parish hall. To the left of this expansion, at the height of the roof, a square bell tower was built, which houses two bells. The ceiling of the building features ribbed vaults demarcated by arches. On the exterior, the roof is tiled and has three slopes, and at the front, the old bell gable (which still holds the bell) has been preserved.

The interior decoration is very simple, following the patterns of late 19th and early 20th-century chapels. Notable elements include the mosaics of the main altar, framing the image of the patroness and combining religious scenes with maritime motifs typical of the locality. Another mosaic is located on the right side of the second section, depicting the crucified Christ. Both mosaics are the work of artist Juan Ros Marí, who was also responsible for the two stained glass windows with Eucharistic motifs located in the church's former porch. On the east façade of the church, there is a small niche with the image of Mare de Déu del Carme, the patroness of sailors, making it the only street chapel with a sculpture in the town.

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