Parish Church of San Juan Bautista (John the Baptist)



The Church, dedicated to San Juan Bautista, was constructed between 1736 and 1776. The construction was financed by contributions made by the residents of Alcalà in the form of quotas known as treintenos: one part out of every thirty jugs of wine and oil or bushels of wheat was given as a contribution towards its construction). The architects were José Herrero and Joan Barceló.
The floor plan is in the form of the Latin cross. The inner space of the temple consists of three naves divided into five sections by a crossing, over which sits a cupola with its respective pendentives and drum and eight large windows. It does not feature a roof lantern.
The façade, an enormous wall of mixtilinear profile and crowned with lanterns and a statue of Saint Michael, presides over the three portals. It is of a symmetrical composition: a three-story central portal flanked by two side portals, each two-stories high.
The decoration is based on baroque plasterwork and vault paintings displaying allegorical and figurative themes. The great central altarpiece was painted in 1996 by Vicente Traver Calzada who, by way of his central motif, the beheading of San Juan Bautista, projects the timeless nature of violence and evil.

The Parochial Museum, located inside the Church, displays a number of oil paintings, panels and other goldsmith pieces and ornaments, which, until their fortuitous rediscovery, had been stored away precariously.

Bell Tower



In 1784, seventeen years after the consecration of the temple, construction on the tower began. This bell tower is undoubtedly the most emblematic monument of the town. It was designed and directed by Joan Barceló, and construction was completed in 1803 by Blas Teruel.
Rising on the right side of the church, it is a free-standing octagonal tower, with four bodies separated by perimeter cordons and an ornamental top.
At its summit, the tower is adorned with an image of San Juan Bautista, made of wood clad in lead; and over the door at its entrance, framed by Doric pilasters, we come upon a niche with the image of Santa Bárbara.
From its base, it measures 68 meters in height, making it one of the tallest towers in the Community of Valencia. The entire building is built of white limestone, free of stonemasonry signs or marks. A spiral staircase leads to the bell chamber.

There is a legend passed down to us by folklore which says that it was cemented onto 'grapevines', thus explaining its ability to resist the strong winds that would otherwise shake or bring it down. From here we have a wonderful vista of the town, the valley and the mountains, a unique, privileged view of the area, including the historic Alcalá Pass and the Sierra de Irta.