HERMITAGE OF LA VICTÒRIA

Traditionally it was thought that the name of this chapel reflected the royalist victory in the “Guerra de las Germanías” (Revolt of the Brotherhoods), but it seems from documentation found that it already had this name at the end of the 15th century when the Carmelite convent of La Victoria was founded, and it was then that the chapel was dedicated to the Mare de Déu (Mother of God). But what is known is that because of the “Germanías” and after victory by the king’s supporters, veneration for the Mare de Déu de la Victòria increased and caused the appearance of the chapel to change, which until this point had been a small place of prayer and worship. Locally it is said that its dedication to the Mare de Déu de la Victòria brought about other victories, especially against pirate attacks during the 16th and 17th centuries.

At the end of the 16th century, the Carmelites left the building and a period of abandonment began, which led to the governors of the city of Alcúdia’s decision to reconstruct it.

In 1678, the master mason Pere Torrendell began construction of the new church, in Baroque style.

The Oratory of the Virgen de La Victòriahas a notably defensive character reflected in its walls that are high, thick and sturdy. It is situated on the Cap des Pinar peninsula, approximately 7 km from Alcúdia.

A legend that became popular in the 17th century told how in 1300, the (Mare de Déu) Mother of God and a host of celestial angels appeared before a shepherd named Joan Boi. Two angels suddenly approached and, calling him by his name, invited him to join in their heavenly song. When the shepherd returned to Alcúdia and told the priest what had happened, he didn’t believe him, but in another encounter with the Virgin, she gave him three drops of wax from the angels that accompanied her as proof. When he went back to Alcúdia with the proof, he showed it to the priest and other inhabitants of the town, and this time they believed him and together they all went up to the place the shepherd indicated to them. There they found the image of the Mother of God of la Victòria (Mare de Déu de la Victòria) and took it to the Church of Alcúdia, but she herself returned to the spot where she had first appeared and it was there that the people of Alcúdia built the primitive sanctuary.

The church is a rectangular building of one single nave with three sections and a barrel vault ceiling. There are three small chapels on each side, separated by pilasters which can be accessed through a low arch. The apse is rectangular and here is the only church altarpiece, built by Miquel Riutort around 1747. In the centre of the altarpiece there is a wooden niche with the Gothic image of the Mare de Déu de la Victòria, a 70cm painted, wooden carving, dating from the 15th century. The main façade has a small rose window located above the doorway lintel. In the top of the sanctuary there is accommodation that can be accessed through the back of the building.

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