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, in 1298 decided 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 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 y Galmés.
Everything besides from 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 stonecutter, 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, who 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 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, who 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 ythe church, exhibiting different treasures and collectibles from medieval times.