Puig de Missa Church is in front of a large forest covered hill called ‘Puig de Fita’ that overlooks the church and Santa Eulalia del Rio.
This beautiful old Church dedicated to Saint Eulalia ‘Puig de Missa’ was built as far back as 1568 although historic records show that a chapel dedicated to the saint as far back as 1302.
Despite the huge natural advantage of constructing the church on this hilltop, the small community of Santa Eulalia, employed the skills of military designer Giovanni Calvi to fortify the church as a fortress many years ago to help ward off the attack by pirates.
Calvi had a rounded bastion constructed in the style of the islands many watchtowers although the church’s bastion is solid and has no internal guardrooms.
The churches nave roof is higher than the Bastion which restricted the range and scope of any cannon placed on the bastion, although it is thought that at one time the roof may have been lower than the bastion.
The Porch of the church, added in the eighteenth century, is larger than most on the island and stands separate from the main church building.
It has multiple pillars and rounded arches which has been compared to the Moorish style of architecture, and this does compare well with a mosque and its prayer halls still seen on main land Spain.
The porch is probably the newest part of this church. On the west elevation of the church there is a small chapel which is topped with a plain stone dome complete with a lantern.
This chapel is an addition to the original church, and is entered through a ponderous arch bored through the massively thick walls, here the interior is square and rather small with the dome above supported on squat arches over each corner.
The lantern above has stained glass lights. There is another similar chapel on the opposite wall which gives the nave a footprint in the shape of the crucifix.
There is a gilded altarpiece which was brought and installed from Segovia in 1967, the rest of the church is very sparse and has been heavily restored due to the extreme damage done to the church by iconoclast Republicans during the Spanish Civil War of 1936 who viewed the church as a hotbed of sedition.
This is a must visit when in Santa Eulalia del Rio and a very nice walk up the hill, good to burn off some of the holiday tipple calories.