December 17, 2012


On December 3 Formentera celebrates the feast of Saint Francis Xavier (San Francisco Javier) and the main church of Formentera is dedicated to him. Simple as the island itself, this church stands in the middle of the largest population of the small island. White walls inside this temple and architectural features as churches of the pitiusas, and very big looking outside, reminding us that, even built as a temple when the anxieties of Berber incursions were about to end, it could still have been used as a fortress against these dangerous attacks in case of need to do so.
By then, on the island there was only one place of worship, was the small chapel of Sa Tanca Vella, and early on the eighteenth century it was decided by the Archbishop of Tarragona, from which depended the churches of Ibiza and Formentera, build a large church and that was performed on the year 1726, with the collaboration of all the inhabitants of the island. The main altar we see today (pictured above) was added after the Civil War since the original was burned during the war.
The Church today is located in the middle of the main square of the town of Sant Francesc, and in front of the small council. A beautiful square which is the main meeting place for tourists and locals. A small and limed well it gives local charm, and next to it, we can see the ancient and massive defensive walls of the church.
And of course, we also see the calvary (set of three crosses that are usually at the entrance of churches of Ibiza and Formentera) at the outside white wall. Formerly the exterior walls of the church were not painted, so it had a hard aspect of a large grey building, currently whitewashed in its main facade. All this turns in a much more Mediterranean look, and it gives a especial atmosphere to all the square.

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