Visit the impressive parish church in the centre of Sant Joan
The very first documentation of a church in Sant Joan, derives from 1248, where it was mentioned as “Sant Joan de Sineu”, but was located on top of a hill outside the village, where the monastery of Santuari de Consolació is.
Due to a continuous growing congregation in Sant Joan, the bishop, Ponç de Jardí decided in 1298 that a new temple was to be built.
The second church construction of Sant Joan was finished in 1541, and the majestic bell tower in 1597. Between the years 1645 and 1700, the church was expanded with new chapels and, again between the years 1768 and 1788, the ceiling had its barrel vaults made.
The church construction you look at today was finished in the years between 1927 and 1938. It was designed by architect Josep d’Olesa i Frates and inaugurated by parish Rector Francesc Masiá i Galmés.
Everything besides the lateral door opening, the chapels on the left side, and the bell tower, is work done during the last renovation. The building itself was actually finished in 1935 while the interior was done in the latter 4 years.
The most amazing feature of the church construction, is the main entrance at the facade. It was done by sculptor Mestre Llabrés, in 1946, executed in baroque style with Corinthian columns forming a gate to the massive wooden door.
Entrance to heaven
Above the entrance there is a tympanum done by stone-cutter Tomàs Vila, in 1944. The motif displays Saint John (Sant Joan in Majorca) announcing the arrival of the messiah. Below the image of Saint John there’s an inscription with the words “DOMUS DEI ET PORTA CÆLI”, meaning “God’s house and entrance to heaven”.
Tomàs Vila was also the artist behind the stone monument standing next to the lateral door. It is a memorial of father Luís Jaume Vallespir, a son of the village whom served under the famous Junípero Serra, but died under an attack in San Diego, California, in 1775.
Interior of Sant Joan church
The ship is divided into 3 main sections with 6 side chapels on each side. Every side chapel is separated by columns with small caps and arches in the ceiling. Also, notice the balcony in each chapel with balustrades, fencing and hand-made sculptures of religious characters.
In the choir, 3 paintings made by Pere Barceló, in 1948, displays the birth, the mission and the martyrdom. To the left of the choir the sacristy has a painting of father Luís Jaume Vallespir, whom is the most famous and important person in the history of the village.
On the top balcony of the church, you’ll find the museum of the church exhibiting different treasures and collectibles from medieval times.
Get directions to Església de Sant Joan Baptista in Sant Joan
Sant Joan is a typical rural area in the plain area of Mallorca known as “es Pla”. In Sant Joan, traditional agrarian lifestyle predominate the local atmosphere making it an authentic and tranquil place to visit and explore. There are a number of points of interest to see in Sant Joan, both inside the village but also outside, i.e. the els Calderers ethnological museum, the hilltop sanctuary of Consolació, the old Catholic culture center and the massive parish of John the Baptist.