The Parish Church of Sant Joan Baptista is located in the heart of Sant Joan d’Alacant, between the Plaça de l’Ajuntament (Town Hall Square) and the Parc de Sant Lluís. This enclave has witnessed the most important events in the history of Sant Joan. Here, the first church we have knowledge of was erected prior in 1315 . In the eighteenth century numerous extension works were executed, like the construction of the chapels of the Rosari and the Crist. The current configuration of the complex dates from the nineteenth century. It is a must-see place for visitors.
If there is a time of the year in which Alicante and Sant Joan celebrate their brotherhood is undoubtedly during the pilgrimage of the Santa Faç (‘Holy Face’) , a tradition that has taken place since the sixteenth century. In recent times, the pilgrimage has reached epic dimensions over 20,000 young people come here every year – and holy water is not exactly what they are looking for.. Perhaps not many of them know that this extremely popular tradition goes back to 17 March 1489, after the Santa Faç miracle.
The hermitage of San Roque is one of the most important religious buildings of the Alacant’s Horta (cropland). It has been intimately linked to its history since time immemorial. It is located in the heart of Benimagrell. It was probably erected on the remains of an ancient mosque. It is a late-Gothic style building dated from the sixteenth century . The hermitage and the square are an incomparable setting to celebrate the festivity of Sant Roque, which during the month of August make Benimagrell recover all its splendor.
It is one of the oldest and most devotional hermitages of the old Alacant’s Horta. It is located on Carrer Ramón de Campoamor, in front of the Finca Bona Vista. Formerly, there was a road here linking Sant Joan, Benimagrell and Santa Faç. The hermitage of the sixteenth century was built to commemorate the miracle of the tear of the Our Lady of Loreto, patroness of Mutxamel, which took place on 1 March 1545 .
At the base of Mount Calvari we find this little jewel of the sixteenth century. It is thought that the hermitage of Santa Ana could form part of the domain of the tower-house Salafranca. In addition to the religious services, the construction served as a refuge for the inhabitants of the area if there was an incursion of the Berber pirates, very frequent since medieval times.
At the summit of Mount Calvari, presiding over Coix, we find this small hermitage of the eighteenth century. With a Greek cross plan crowned by a dome, the hermitage was the end of a via crucis. This building has witnessed bloody war battles, such as the War of Independence and the Spanish Civil War. The hermitage has cycled through periods of splendor and decay. Its last restoration dates from 2007.
The Fabraquer Hermitage is in the district with the same name, on the Camí de Marco, near the Quatre Camins. The neighbors of the district erected this hermitage in the early 90s of the last century. It is a simple but beautiful construction of a single nave, rectangular plan, and facade with two small bell towers topped by covers, with a top between them both as a triangular pediment topped by a cross. The door is crowned by a semi-circular arch on which a cover has been placed. The roof of the building is made of wood.
Hermitage of Sancho
The estate of Sancho was built in the 17th and 18th centuries on a small hill next to the Camino de Lloixa. At the end of the nineteenth century, this house was bought by Flora Joaquina Guardiola Boix and her husband, hence the name. They built a new house of eclectic style and French influence, which unfortunately was demolished in the 80s, long after it was abandoned. It was assaulted by the Italian army during the Civil War. Its hermitage was desecrated and everything that was inside was destroyed, except a small crucifix of wood and silver that was found buried later.
The old cemetery of Sant Joan was always located next to the church. In the nineteenth century it was moved to its current location in La Coix, at the base of Mount Calvari. We do not know the exact date of this event, although we know that in 1885 important works were carried out in the cemetery. The last alterations took place at the beginning of this century to include in the perimeter one of the old wells that were at the base of the Calvary. You can still see interesting pantheons from the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.