TEULADA CELEBRATES THE SACRED IN FORTIFIED BAROQUE AND ICONIC ART

The Hermitage of San Vicente Ferrer is a sacred, solid seaside shelter located near the main entrance to the village of Teulada. It is one of the many regional sacred structures that in the 18th century benefited from Juan de Ribera's era of Catholic temple refresh during the religious climate of the Counter-Reformation.

Unlike other sacred structures built on Roman or Arab temple foundations, this hermitage was built from the ground up around 1767.


REPORT BY: Karla Darocas, Hons. B.A. Fine Arts (www.KarlaDarocas.com)

The Hermitage of San Vicente Ferrer is perfectly symmetrical. It has a white plastered, south facing façade with a square "tosca" or sandstone portal. The door is a fortified tin with geometric patterns suggesting the cross between the Herrerian style squares and rectangles and the Baroque oval. There are fortified windows on each side of the door. 

Above the door is a rectangular window for light to the choir with a leaded image of the patron saint, but not coloured glass as was the basic norm for this type of Baroque security sanctuary.  Above this is a round oculus, again typical to this type of  Baroque period shelter. 

Down the sides are tosca quoins, large rectangular blocks of masonry built into the corners used as a load-bearing feature to provide strength and weather protection, but also for aesthetic purposes to add detail and accentuate the outside corners of a building.



It is topped by a marvelous sandstone curvilinear parapet with two ascending curvatures on each side.  Decorative finials reach up to the sky, two matching balls and two shells, the symbol of Mary. They converge in a Mallorcan style bell-gable steeple, crowned by three ball-shaped decorative ornamental finials.


From the side, you can spot two buttresses reinforcing the walls. One is plastered but the other shows its masonry of sillar stone.

The roof has a covered dome made from fired clay tiles, blue, green and white.


On the grounds of the hermitage is a stone sculpture made in 1973 called "el despertar" eng. "the awakening". This statue is the work of Francisco Espinós Teuladino, an important sculptor whh has been awarded several national sculpture prizes.


SAN VICENTE FERRER

Vicente Ferrer (1350 – 1419) was a Valencian Dominican friar. He was canonized by Pope Calixtus III on 3 June 1455.

The Hermitage of San Vicente Ferrer shows its patron in a devotional painting on tiles that is displayed on the front of the temple. Ferrer is represented with his Dominican habit and haircut, holding his bible with a Dominican lily plant growing on top. Graced with a gold halo, the banner flies with a phrase from Revelation 14:7, TIMETE DEUM ET DATE ILLI HONOREM, "Fear God and Give Him Honor".


In the landscape is the hermitage on the left and the 1895 octagonal bell tower of the parish church of Santa Catalina Mártir. It is framed with tosca columns, Roman doric capitals and triangular pediment, representing classical Roman style.

The citizens of Teulada hold a special attachment to San Vicente Ferrer and their devotion was behind the erection of this temple. According to traditional legends, Ferrer traveled to Teulada in early the 1400's to visit his sister Constança Ferrer, who lived in the center of the village.

In fact, the home of Constança Ferrer still stands. It is now a museum of devotional art, a collection with about 300 iconographic pieces of her brother San Vicente Ferrer, like plates, paintings and tiles.


REPORT BY: Karla Darocas, Hons. B.A. Fine Arts (www.KarlaDarocas.com)

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