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Point of heritage interest

Sant Martí parish church

  • Sant Martí parish church
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Description

Sant Martí de Sales de Llierca parish church is located in the town square, next to the town hall. You can get there by taking the local road GIV-5236. The present building was constructed between the end of the 17th century and the beginning of the 18th, on top of a previous Romanesque construction. In the east, there is the main façade, built in Gothic style, with a double-wing wooden door. Over it, there is a recess with the image of the patron and a rose window. Onto the south part of the façade stands the bell tower, with a square floor plan and made of small blocks of stone. The apse, orientated to the west, is built differently from most of the other churches in the area, since half of it has a round shape and the rest has straight walls. This is due to the sacristy, built at a later date. The inside is semi-circular, with half-barrel vault and an image of its patron, Saint Martin. The church has a single rectangular nave with side chapels dedicated to Saint George, Our Lady of Sorrows, as well as Saint Cosmas and Damian. An iron ledge goes all over the inner perimeter. The first two halves of the nave have a slightly pointed barrel vault and the central part has a dome with sculpted figures of the four evangelists. The inner construction, as well as the ornamentation work which decorate it, are Gothic style. Although being documented for the first time in 1228, the old church disappeared for unknown reasons. However, there are more references of the present one: its construction started by the end of the 17th century, it was finished by the end of the 18th and, during the Spanish Civil War, the church caught fire. Despite the efforts made to restore it, it remained closed for more than twenty years until, in 1996 and coinciding with Saint Martin's Day, it was restored and reopened to the public. However, the restoration work and the decoration did not finish until the year 2000. Finally, in 2007, during the town's festivities, celebrated on the 11th of November and coinciding with the feast of the patron saint, an image of Saint Martin was placed on the recess of the main façade.