Bonanza Tower

The Bonanza tower probably formed part of the group of towers in charge of Jerónimo Arrufat, ombudsman to King Philip II on matters related to defensive towers in the Huerta in 1553. This would make it possible to date the work to the 16th century. The tower has a square base with a three-storey, prismatic layout. As in most cases, it is attached to the house on two of its four sides.

The Pascual de Bonanza family belonged to the extensive lineage of the Pascual family, from the Zárate Valley in the Señorío de Vizcaya. They settled in Alicante at the time of the Christian conquest. The Pascuals were closely linked to the monarchs, especially to King James I, with whom they maintained close relations. Among the descendants linked to the Huerta de Alicante, there are several branches such as the Pobil, de la Verónica or Ibarra families. In the branch of the Pascual de Bonanza family, outstanding personalities included Tomás Pascual de Bonanza y Martínez, an illustrious military man nicknamed “el Mayor”, who was the justice of Alicante between 1555 and 1556, and who also attended the courts of Monzón. Most members of the family held important positions in the city and the kingdom. Many of the Pascuals were born in Sant Joan and were baptised in our parish church. Among others, mention should be made of Mr. José Mariano Jaime Pascual del Pobil y Estellés (1819-1852) or Mr. Luis Pascual del Pobil y Martos (1851-1911). Luis Pascual del Pobil y Martos (1851-1911).

The building has undergone several transformations throughout its history. In the mid-20th century, the tower underwent some alterations that changed its original morphology. The walls were plastered in an unfortunate manner, openings were made and a small roof was added. Fortunately, however, a recent architectural intervention brought the building closer to its original appearance, removing the roof and trying to recover the original tone of the façade, allowing the ashlar masonry and part of the masonry of the building to emerge. The final top of the towers was configured by means of a solution reminiscent of the crenellated layout of the towers.

The house is surrounded by various citrus orchards accompanied by pines, cypresses, araucarias, carob, yucca and palm trees, respecting the character that the estate may have had in the past. Fortunately, the Pascual de Bonanza family continues to live in this dwelling, which has allowed the complex to be kept in an impeccable state of preservation. If we continue along the Serení path we will find the neighbouring tower of Salafranca very close by.

Did you know that...?

The coat of arms of this family features a walking lamb on a green field. The lamb carries a white flag with a cross reminiscent of the Montesa cross. The mast of the cross rests on a fountain from which a water spout with a gold border emerges. Bordering the emblem we can read written in blue letters: “Sub cuius pede fons vives emanat”. This coat of arms later became more complex and was divided into four parts. Two banners are repeated alternately to form the quarters. On the one hand, the original coat of arms with the lamb is used, on the other hand, an emblem with two golden castles and towers under a golden star. Curiously, the coat of arms of Sant Joan is reminiscent of that of the Pascual family, as it shows the lamb carrying the cross with the inscription “Agnus Dei”, which refers to Saint John the Baptist.

Another curiosity concerns the Pobil family branch. During the second half of the 18th century D. Juan Pascual de Pobil y Rovira married his daughter Mrs. Tomasa Pascual de Pobil y Sannazar with Count Lumiares. The couple lived in the estate called La Princesa, also known as El Jardín del Príncipe Pío.

But undoubtedly one of the most famous members of the family was Guillem Pascual de la Verónica, for his active participation in the miracle of the Santa Faz. The miracle took place in an enclave not far from this tower in 1489. A few years earlier, a priest from Sant Joan, D. Mosén Pedro Mena, had brought from Rome one of the three alleged folds of the cloth with which Veronica had wiped the face of Christ on his way to Golgotha in Jerusalem. After stowing it in the bottom of an ark, he watched as it miraculously unfolded at the top of the ark. Apparently this phenomenon would occur repeatedly, so it was decided to expose it to veneration and organise a rogation to Alicante.

Such acts were very common at the time, mainly to pray for rain. Tradition has it that on 17th March, when passing through the Juncaret ravine, tears flowed from one of the eyes of the relic. It was then that Mr. Guillem Pascual himself verified the veracity of these images, ruling out the possibility that it was an illusion. After the event the rain came, and with it came the recognition of the miracle by the Church. It was decided to build a monastery there, coinciding with the thanksgiving, which came under the jurisdiction of the parish of Sant Joan. From then on, D. Guillem Pascual always wore a silver thimble on his finger, and gave the land for the construction of the monastery of the Santa Faz monastery, adding the appellative “de la Verónica” to his noble surname Pascual.