What’s the story of Javea’s port church / Nuestra Senora de Loreto? This article has been written by Blanca International Javea, leading Estate Agents in Javea, Spain. Have you ever noticed a spiky-looking structure while walking through the port area of Javea? You could easily mistake it for a...
2nd February 2023
This article has been written by Blanca International Javea, leading Estate Agents in Javea, Spain.
Have you ever noticed a spiky-looking structure while walking through the port area of Javea? You could easily mistake it for a boat. And though Javea’s Nuestra Señora de Loreto is very much a church, you wouldn’t be far off.
The church – also referred to as the Parroquia del Mar – won national architectural awards when it was built in 1967.
At Blanca International we are far more accustomed to the luxury villas and beachfront properties for sale in Javea. But every now and then it fascinates us to explore the architectural heritage of Javea.
Why does Javea’s port church look like a boat?
The whole idea of Javea’s Nuestra Señora de Loreto church in the boat only becomes clear from the inside. Head architect Fernando Garcia Ordóñez wanted the inside of the church to look as if it were the seafloor. When worshippers look up, they would see what looked like the hull of a boat surrounded by white light.
Javea’s port church has a curved roof of red pune to achieve this effect. The boat is understood to represent Saint Peter’s fishing boat in the bible, which has two meanings in Javea. One, of course, is the spiritual message of Jesus telling Saint Peter to fish new believers, and the other being that Javea’s port church was traditionally for a fishing community.
Ordóñez along with four other architects wanted the port church to be ‘an ideal space in which to find God, without corners, soft, almost floating'. The light that creeps in beneath the hull of the boat – the ceiling – is supposed to act like a ‘supernatural messenger’ that falls onto the congregation in darkness below.
Construction nearly ground to a halt on ‘numerous occasions’ during the construction of Javea’s port church. Ordóñez called the uneven surface they team encountered to be ‘devilish’ and praised the master work of his constructors to get the job done.
The church’s design is related to the Catholic church’s move towards embracing modernist and brutalist design post WWII.
Where is Javea’s port church and can you visit it?
Javea’s Nuestra Señora de Loreto church is on Calle Pio X, in the heart of Javea’s Duanes de la Mar neighbourhood. It’s a stone’s throw from Javea’s pebble Playa de la Grava beach.
The church is open from 9am to 8pm, extended to 9pm in summer.
What awards has Javea’s port church won?
Javea’s Iglesia de Nuestra Virgen de Loreto is a national artistic monument in Spain. It won the Premio Nacional de Arquitectura in 1969, two years after inauguration. It has also won recognition from the Real Academia de Bellas Artes San Carlos de Valencia.
The BBC dedicated a 45-minute documentary to Javea’s port church. The documentary named the church as part of a ‘trilogy’ of contemporary religious architecture, alongside Liverpool’s Metropolitan Cathedral and the cathedral of Brasilia.