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Hermitages and churches

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Església dels Sants Cosme i Damià de Llíber

Llíber became an independent parish in 1903. Until that date, its ecclesiastical history had been closely tied to that of Xaló.

The original Christian temple in Llíber, built on the site of an old mosque, was constructed between 1534 and 1535. The first mention of it being an annex of Xaló was made during the time of Archbishop Joan de Ribera, and it is most likely that one can speak of the existence of the first old Christians and of a chapel of worship only after the expulsion of 1609 and the subsequent repopulation of the area in 1611. In fact, the first mention of a Christian place of worship in Llíber is found in the pastoral visit of Xaló in 1654. Initially, it had a main altar and two side altars for a population of 120 people, who were living in 27 houses. In the 1663 visit, two more altars are mentioned. It is known that the rector of Xaló was required to celebrate Mass only on Sundays and holidays. The sacraments of baptism and marriage were celebrated in Xaló, and only burials took place in the church of Llíber.

The continuous population growth allowed for the presence of a resident priest from 1806 onwards. The population at that time amounted to 361 people, living in 101 houses. At that time, a baptismal font and a tabernacle for the Blessed Sacrament were made, in addition to a remodelling of the chapel. However, the condition of the temple remained ruinous. As a result, in 1859, the construction of a new place of worship on top of the chapel commenced. Despite initial difficulties, the temple was consecrated in 1875. By 1900, Llíber had 838 inhabitants, and three years later, Archbishop Herrero erected the rectory as an independent parish.

Of the church of that era, it is known that it had been an Islamic mosque converted into a Catholic temple around 1535, following the forced conversion of the Mudéjar population. The utensils and ornaments were of a poor quality. Initially, there were only three altars in addition to the titular ones: Sant Sebastià, Sant Mateu and Sant Miquel Arcàngel, according to the 1654 visit. The one conducted in 1663 mentions two more: Sant Francesc d'Assís and Santa Isabel. In the 1688 visit, the so-called dishes and requests of Sant Antoni Abat, Santa Margarida and Santa Isabel are mentioned.

The temple, entirely made of exposed brick, features a distinctive octagonal base bell tower. It is a three-nave church, with chapels between buttresses in the side naves, which on the exterior of the roof become flying buttresses attached to the taller central nave. The current appearance of the temple is the result of restoration work carried out between 1981 and 1984. Currently, the parish of Llíber is served by the rector of Xaló.

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