Puig de Missa in Santa Eulària des Riu
It is doubtlessly one of the must-sees of any trip to Ibiza. You will spot its beautiful silhouette against the blue sky atop a hill as you pass by Santa Eulària des Riu towards Es Canar, where you will find the Hotel Ánfora, the street market of Las Dalias, Sant Carles de Peralta, Cala Llonga and other places on the eastern coast of Ibiza. From the road, you will easily observe its defensive nature, typical of churches in Ibiza, on account of the many attacks it was under between the 14th and 17th centuries, when the Berber pirates ran rife on the Mediterranean. This situation drove the inhabitants to reinforce their temples as a place where they could seek refuge when they were under attack.
What to see in Puig de Missa
Puig de Missa in Santa Eulària is one of the best examples of a fortified church in Ibiza: it stands at the top of a hill with its thick walls and barely any windows. It has a watch tower and it once boasted two bronze cannons. In the late 17th century, when the attacks subsided, the church softened its defensive appearance by adding two chapels at the sides, a curate’s house and a priest’s house, the vestry, two new doors and the porxos, where the community would gather after mass to chat and strengthen their bonds. We mustn’t forget that Ibizan people were quite isolated mid-20th century, as they were self-sufficient farmers living on estates scattered across the island.
From an artistic point of view, it is worth mentioning the stunning baroque altarpiece and another two altarpieces in the chapels. These pieces of art come from San Millán, in Segovia, as the temple’s original pieces were burnt during the Spanish Civil War. Besides the temple, we also recommend visiting Ibiza’s Ethnographic Museum, which has been set up in an old traditional house that is over 300 years old.
Celebrating the 450th birthday of Puig de Missa
Throughout this year, Puig de Missa will be hosting painting and photo exhibitions, organ concerts, conferences and other events. Celebrations will start next February 10th when the parish choir will offer a recital of religious music with pieces composed during the 450 years of history of Puig de Missa.
Cover's picture: (c) Visitsantaeulalia.com
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