Our heritage

Hermitages and churches

The stones here speak, because they are a part
of our past and a part of our present.

La Vall de Gallinera

Església de Sant Roc de Benialí

The 18th century is of great importance since most churches were built at the beginning of this century, when the crisis derived from the expulsion of the Moorish population and the adaptation period of the new settlers were a thing of the past. During the 20th century, two new parishes were created in La Vall de Gallinera: the parish of Benialí in 1961 and the parish of La Carroja in 1972.

During the Spanish Civil War, a large amount of artwork, images and altarpieces were lost. The bells also disappeared, probably melted down to make ammunition. The current ones are of recent origin.

The most common typology of churches in La Vall de Gallinera is that of a rectangular single-nave layout, with side chapels between buttresses, usually covered with a barrel vault or a ribbed vault (Benirrama, La Carroja, Alpatró and Benissili, the latter one being very small). In some cases, slightly more complex designs were created, such as that of Benissivà, which is marked by a Latin cross floor plan with two domes; or unique ornamental features appear, such as the Neo-Gothic elements of Benialí.

The church of Sant Roc is located in the oldest part of the village of Benialí. It has a Neo-Gothic style and was established as an independent parish in 1961.

The tower has a slightly rectangular shape and has three sections. It is located at the foot of the parish church. The first two sections have a plastered wall with tiles placed on the corners and arches to simulate stone blocks. The second section has four windows with semi-circular arches, and the third section features the typical finish of Valencian Baroque bell towers, but with slightly more abstract forms. It has two levels with semi-circular arches, and the first level has diagonal arches. It is topped with a four-sloped tiled roof. Inside the first section, there is a staircase that runs along its perimeter to reach the bell room.

There are three bells. The small one is named Petra. The other two were made in 1951 and are dedicated to La Immaculada (the medium-sized one) and Sant Roc (the large one).

The parish church and the bell tower were restored a few years ago. Inside, it is possible to admire the image of El Crist de La Providència, an anonymous medieval work that was saved from being melted during the Civil War because it was taken out of the village to be protected in Gandia. In addition to this Christ, another one is preserved, which oral tradition attributes to the convent of Benitaia. (1)

(1) Torro i Abad, J. (1986) Església i moriscos a la Vall de Gallinera (1578-1583). Aspectes econòmics de l'enfrontament. 1er congrés d'estudis de la Marina Alta.

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