San Juan Bautista Parish Church
In the 17th century, the main baroque-style altarpiece and the organ were built, which was expanded in the 18th century. In the 19th century, the main nave was demolished, given its poor condition, and a new nave was built along with an apse, but the two 18th century chapels were preserved. During this period, the remodeling of the main façade with its characteristic bell towers was also undertaken. The new nave was set back from its original location, which allowed the creation of an atrium that moved the church door away from the main irrigation ditch, since the flooding of the canal caused continuous flooding in the temple. In 1909, Mrs. de Prytz, Mrs. Luisa Antoine Larrea, belonging to one of the most famous families in the town, donated the stone and barred fence that for many years enclosed the entrance atrium. The façade of the church has become one of the emblematic icons of Sant Joan d’Alacant.
The bars that are visible and paid for by Mrs. de Prytz, Mrs. Luisa Antoine Larrea
In 1936, at the beginning of the Spanish Civil War, the church was attacked and the altarpieces, bells, images and objects of worship were destroyed. Among the main losses was the image of the Holy Christ of Peace, the baroque organ, the Churrigueresque-style altarpiece of the Virgin of the Rosary and the ark where, according to tradition, the Holy Face was kept upon its arrival in Sant Joan in the 19th century. XV.
After the war the church was rebuilt. Currently, some pieces of interest are preserved, such as the altarpiece of the Santísimo Cristo from the 18th century, the altarpiece with frescoes by Heliodoro Guillén, the altarpiece of the Santa Faz (18th century), the canvas of the Holy Family by Antonio Villanueva (s. . XVIII), and several sacred ornaments, among which a gilded silver monstrance dating from the 17th century stands out.
In the 80s, the facades and central nave were restored thanks to the encouragement of the parish priest D. Carmelo Dávila. The chapels were restored at the end of the nineties, and the atrium was renovated, eliminating the fence donated by the Prytz Larrea family. In one corner, a small portion of that fence has been left as a testimony.
The Parish Church of San Juan Bautista is one of the most important heritage elements of Sant Joan d’Alacant, a place closely linked to the collective memory of the Santjoaners and a reference for lovers of the municipality.