Tuesday 1st June 2021 – XÀBIA AL DÍA with Mike Smith
The Ateneo de València recently hosted a conference during which, amongst other topics, the importance of Xàbia’s church-fortress of San Bartolomé and the repair work that is being carried out on the building have been discussed.
The architect-director of the renovation project, Salvador Vila, gave a presentation highlighting the uniqueness of the monument and explained that, due to the renovation work that is currently being carried out, the galleries located in the side chapels where the population took refuge when the town was attacked by Berber pirates have been recovered as well as some of the crenellations on top of the tower which date from the sixteenth century but were removed later in the seventeenth century to be reused as building blocks.
The architect added that the first stage of the works have been completed and that the roof has been repaired with the cracks filled in, damp and mould removed, and the bell tower which dates from the seventeenth century restored.
The Iglesia-Fortaleza de San Bartolomé has been a National Historic-Artistic Monument since 1931 and has been considered a Site of Culture Interest since 2018. Its structure and robustness are more in line with a defensive need than a religious one. Hence, the addition of military elements in the building. The oldest part is the current presbytery, built from 1304, whilst work began to enlarge the church in 1513, directed by the Basque architect Domingo de Urteaga. San Bartolome joins Teulada’s Santa Catalina as the best examples of defensive church-fortresses in the Valencian region.