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The history of Formentera through its churches

03 Apr 2021
Formotor

Our island offers many possibilities, places to enjoy, foods to taste, buildings to visit, history to learn … In this post we will tell you a little about the history of Formentera through her churches.

Long before any of us; Carthagians, Romans, Arabs and Christians passed through Formentera, leaving their mark on her history.

To be noted, the island had a very difficult time between 15th and 16th century when pirates and corsairs took refuge and caused a depopulation due to lack of security.

After many years of oblivion, in the 17th century the king begins to make land concessions for land cultivation and a late repopulation is consolidated in 18th century. The first church is built:

Church of Sant Francesc (1726 to 1738).

A fortress built for protection against pirate attacks.

Austere, with whitewashed walls and no ornaments, the door is lined with an iron sheet and is protected by a ‘stall’ from which assailants were shot. Inside, a nave with a barrel vault roof and side chapels. There is a baptismal font of unknown provenance.

There are no photos prior to the Civil War, where they were lost. Next to it you can see a curb that collects the rainwater that falls on the church and a small cemetery is found just behind.

Church of Sant Ferran (1853 to 1889).

It was built with sandstone and lime mortar and has a rectangular plan and a barrel vault. In 1903 the cemetery was built, and around it, the population nucleus.

During the Civil War, the religious symbols were attacked by the Republicans and extrajudicial executions were carried out by the Francoists at the outside walls.

Church of La Mola (1771 to 1748).

The dwellers themselves asked the Archbishop of the time for permission to build the church since they were very far from the Sant Francesc church. The construction began that same year and the village of the same name was founded when the church was finished.

The church is simple, with one floor, a rectangular nave and a barrel vault roof. It is white with a large portico. On the bell reads a Latin inscription that says ‘Harmanus Walbroek made me in Rotterdam in 1774’, it is believed to have come from a Dutch ship.

They are all declared Sites of Cultural Interest, and they are all in the village they give name to.

You can never learn too much!

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