CRENELLATED battlements now adorn the tower of Javea’s Sant Bertomeu church, which is currently undergoing urgently-needed repairs.
Built as a fortress as well as a church to protect the local population against Barbary pirate incursions, the battlements are obviously an authentic addition to the 16th century church.
Or are they?
Members of the Municipal Culture Committee maintain that they are not, and have no “historic basis.”
They passed on their objections to Javea’s mayor, Jose Chulvi and Culture councillor, Quico Moragues who explained that the town hall is not involved with the repairs or restoration.
As this is being carried out by the Archbishopric and the Parish, it is they who should give explanations, they said.
According to local historian Antoni Espinos, the new battlements modify Sant Bertomeu’s traditional outline that is fixed in Javea’s collective memory.
It was undeniable that the church would once have had battlements, Espinos conceded, but the tower was finished in the 17th century and, owing to its height would not have needed “false crenellations.”
The “wise official technicians” need to demonstrate their prior existence, the historian declared.