# # # # # #

Iglesia de la Mare de Déu dels Desemparats

Les Coves de Vinromà

The historic centre or old town of Les Coves de Vinromà is perched atop a rocky hill that rises above the valley of the Les Coves River. At the peak, with its back to the Les Coves river and marking the edge of the town stands the Iglesia de la Mare de Déu dels Desemparats, the town’s old parish church. A gothic construction with Renaissance elements,

It was formerly the old mosque, built in the 9th century, oriented from east to west, as Islam prescribes in Sunna and therefore facing Mecca. Its pointed keel arches demonstrate this further, particularly the wall that corresponds to the hermit's house.  The coffered ceiling was no doubt notable in its day, as one of its shoes remains in full along with its serrated twin, replaced by the current gothic-style vaults from the early second period. At its current entrance the base and dome of the Florid Gothic-style nice chapel still stand, which was surely one of many embellishments added upon being consecrated as a Catholic place of worship of shortly after. The mosque itself was decorated with a base of tiles of great artistic value, since disappeared. Consecrated as a Catholic place of worship, the mosque had an altarpiece of Flemish panels, not a trace of which remains.

During the last civil war, a line of fire was established on the opposite side of the ravine, with church being affected. By the end of the war, part of the presbytery was left in ruins, ultimately demolished in the 60s to prevent it from collapse. The section at the end of the church suffered the same fate due to similar circumstances and to widen the street.

In 1983, the town of Les Coves de Vinromà undertook a restoration project. The works were carried out from October 1986 to March 1988, the criteria being consolidation and classification as of the existing ruins.

The old church is currently used as a space for cultural events and, above all, as the town’s Interpretation Centre where you can learn about the history of the town through the museum collection.