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Hermitages and churches

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Església de la Santa Creu

The current parish church of La Santa Creu, remodelled during the 16th century, is undoubtedly the most important monument in the town of Pedreguer.

The façade is plateresque in style and shows the influence of Mannerism. The interior of the church is Baroque and the decoration alternates between series of plasterwork and refined sgraffito, which was rediscovered during the restorations in 1974 and, more recently, in 2003. The current main altarpiece was built by José Francés and decorated by Xavier Ferragut. Previously, there used to be a superb Baroque altarpiece attributed to Vergara, or his school, that presided over the presbytery. Unfortunately, it was destroyed in 1936 and can now only be appreciated through photographs.

The floor plan of this interesting church, which has considerable dimensions, follows the Counter-Reformation model of the 17th century: a Latin cross plan with a single nave, lateral chapels between buttresses and a powerful vertical axis in front of the main altar, marked by a significant dome on pendentives. The central nave is covered with a barrel vault and lunettes on transverse arches, while the side chapels have ribbed vaults. The space lacks natural light, both in the dome, which has no oculi or lantern, and in the side aisles, where there are false openings that, in reality, are blind windows.

Two orders, Corinthian major and Tuscan minor, adorn the central nave and side aisles, respectively. The ornamental elements must have been made much later than the construction date of the church (1574).

The dome, pendentives, keystones and entablatures are covered with a decoration based on floral motifs, garlands and cherubs, many of them polychromatic. The Communion chapel, of large dimensions, is more austere in terms of classical language. It is located in one arm of the transept and features a Latin cross plan with a dome over the crossing. What is prominent here is the organ, of significant size, which replaced the one from 1883.

The façade is built with ashlar masonry and executed in a retable-like manner, although a small three-storey portal barely stands out, which is not very common in the region. In the first storey, the entrance is located under a round arch, flanked by two Doric pilasters on an elevated base that, due to its ornamental dimensions, refers to Castilian examples. The ensemble is crowned by a split pediment, on which, between fluted pilasters, there is a niche with the image of Sant Bonaventura, the patron saint of Pedreguer. The third storey consists of an open space framed by two Ionic half-columns. The design of the façade presents complex interpretations, as elements such as arrow slits, possibly of military utility, appear. On one side of the church is the parish centre, built in 1997.(1)

(1) Sanchis i Sivera, J. (1922) Nomenclátor Geográfico-Eclesiástico de los pueblos de la Diócesis de Valencia. Valencia.

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