The mayor of Vila Joiosa, Andreu Verdú, this morning supervised the progress of the recovery works of the facade of the Fortress Church of Asunción, located in the historic center of the city. The works, which have already made it possible to discover the original facade, “are progressing at a good pace”, as the mayor reports after visiting the works.
The visit of the mayor to check the progress of this action, co-financed by the town hall of Vila Joiosa, was also attended by the councilor of historical heritage of Vila Joiosa, Xente Sebastià; the head of the municipal historical heritage service and director of the Vilamuseu, Antonio Espinosa; the parish priest of Our Lady of the Assumption, Juan José Ortega; the editors of the project and directors of the works, Miguel Louis and Yolanda Spairani, from GIRA_UA (Research Group on Architectural Restoration of the University of Alicante); archaeologist Ruth Falcó (hired by the company to study the stratigraphy of the walls and carry out an investigation into the foundations of the building); and technicians from CUPOLA Construcción y Restauración SL who carried out the works.
The monument enjoys the highest protection that Spanish legislation grants to places of cultural heritage, that of Cultural Interest. For years, the parish has been developing, with the collaboration of the town hall, various projects for the restoration and enhancement of the monument, which constitutes a unique temple due to its great antiquity (Levantine Gothic from the mid-16th century) and its character. rare of fortress church. This defensive function was due to the serious attacks that Vila Joiosa suffered, as an important corsair city, by large Berber fleets, such as those of 1538 or 1543. After these, the Generalitat was forced to rebuild the defenses of the town, including the fortress church.
The facades of the church were however reformed in the 18th century and then several times in the 19th and 20th centuries. During the last interventions, the external walls were chipped to coat them with gray cement, which caused many problems, in particular capillary humidity. It was the aspect of the facade until this intervention which aims to eliminate this mortar and replace it with another based on lime which lets the walls breathe and makes them regain their appearance and their color of yesteryear.
During the visit, it was possible to check the colors and the old treatment of the facade and to exchange technical opinions on specific issues, which will allow the main body of the temple to regain its original appearance, and therefore its cultural values, as a place of first-rate heritage village and the scene of many religious and cultural events, such as solemn masses, processions, early music concerts, historical shows and festive and commemorative events.
The City Council finances approximately 50% of the drafting, execution, direction and coordination of the health and safety works of the project “Restoration of the main and lateral facades of the Church of the Assumption of Vila Joiosa , Alicante”, under a three-year contract signed with the parish in 2021 and which will run until 2023, at the rate of 50,000 euros per year.
Verdú says he is “very excited” about the progress of the church’s restoration work. “From the government team to the city council, we were clear from the first moment that from the administration we had to collaborate in this restoration project, since the Church of the Assumption is a very particular emblematic monument due to its condition of fortress, and that it has a fundamental role in the history of Vila Joiosa, being in addition a place of worship and peace for many vileras and vileros, a protagonist of many of our most traditional festivities”, said the mayor at the end of the visit.
The budget for the action to restore the main and side facade of the Church-Fortress of the Assumption amounts to 100,000 euros including tax and the work should be completed throughout the month of January.