The gothic style Catholic Church of Santa Maria de Peniscola in the old quarter of Peniscola has been in pride of place since a fire destroyed it in the 15th century. Its pale walls and bell tower are distinctive landmarks which help to guide you through the narrow streets and although it is not as extravagant as the Knights Templar Church higher up the mount, it is a pleasant spectacle nonetheless.
The church was originally built in the 13th century and was given a new lease of life when Queen Maria of Castile requested that Pope Eugene IV assemble a group of benefactors to fund its rebuilding.
In the 1700s the church was expanded further and its orientation changed to accommodate a new “Chapel of the Communion”. The work began in 1725 and was completed in 1743.
The distinctive bell tower was a late addition to the church and appeared in 1862 after a design by Vicente Marti was approved.
In the 1990s more restoration work was carried out on the Church of Santa Maria de Peniscola’s facades. The job was undertaken as part of the ‘Sacred Landscapes’ exhibition and carried out by The Light of Images Foundation who completed the job in 2004.
Today the church is one of many attractions in the town of Peniscola and one which is often overlooked by visitors who either crave the beach or more glamorous sites such as the Knights Templar Church, the castle or Papa Luna.
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