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Ibiza Winter Days Out - Sagrat Cor de Jesus

A mini Christ Statue, not dissimilar to the one in Rio de Janerio on Ibiza? Yes indeed and it has its very own story to boot.

Before last week, if anyone had asked me to name one thing that Ibiza and Brazil have in common, my answer would probably have stretched no further than to the gorgeous Brazilian dancers who grace the clubs every summer.

However, it turns out that, high on the hills between Ibiza Town and San Rafel can be found an interesting, yet little known, connection between the two. You all doubtless know of one of Brazil's most visited tourist attractions…the statue of Christ on the Corcovado mountain in Rio de Janeiro, but did you know that there is an almost identical statue, just fourteen metres shorter, right here on Ibiza? No, nor did I. Ibiza Spotlight decided it was time to investigate.

The story dates back to 1936 and the Spanish Civil War when, even on Ibiza, priests were being killed and churches set alight. Bishop Antonio Cardona Riera (Bishop of Ibiza between 1950 and 1960), known to the locals as "Frit" fled to the hills near Puig d'en Valls where he was given sanctuary and a place to hide by the local people. To show his appreciation after surviving the uprising, Frit ordered the construction of a statue of Christ, strongly resembling the famous statue of Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro.

The memorial was completed on 12th October 1947, but was not officially celebrated until its sixtieth anniversary in 2007, when the community of Santa Eulalia installed floodlights so that the monument can be seen night and day.

Finding It…

Not surprisingly, the Bishop's former place of refuge is not easy to find, and we hope that the photos at the end of this article will help you find your way a little easier. Take the main road from Ibiza Town to San Antonio. You will see a huge ‘Hiper market' (image 1, below) on your right hand side, and at the very first mini-roundabout you reach afterwards, turn right towards the industrial estate. Drive straight ahead, into the countryside (image 2, below) and up a hill and when you see the sign for Can Farraret, (image 3, below) bear right, then take an immediate right uphill. My companion and I parked in the small car park below the monument.

The first thing we noticed was that, even though there are a few residential houses nearby, there is a real sense of peace and tranquillity about the place. We stood looking up at the statue of Christ, in some awe, it has to be said, and for a while neither of us spoke…it felt right to silently take in this impressive white monument of cement and stone, and to wonder how, at 23 metres tall and weighing 4,300 kilos, it can have possibly remained one of Ibiza's best-kept secrets for over sixty years.

Just like its bigger Brazilian counterpart, the statue of Christ gazes upwards, arms outstretched giving the impression, to me at least, that he was blessing the whole of Ibiza…which was doubtless Frit's intention.

In the lower section of the pedestal is a pretty altar with many statues and pictures of Jesus and Mary, vases of fresh flowers, well-tended plants, candles and various offerings made by the faithful who had made the trek before us to visit Sagrat Cor de Jesus.

And this was a trek my companion and I were both sincerely glad we had made. In addition to a sense of satisfaction at having found our way to such an awe-inspiring, yet little-known piece of Ibiza, the views from up here were also a delight, with Dalt Vila, the harbour, and the bay of Talamanca clearly visible.

A great winter Ibiza day out which only goes to show that, in the most astonishing and pleasing of ways, this island never fails to surprise!

Quick Facts

What Sagrat Cor de Jesus

Where Puig d'en Valls

When Any time

Why To experience something not many people know even exists!

Average Spend Absolutely free of charge

Room for Improvement Signposts…maybe

Top Tips Take a little offering to place in the altar...I wished I had.

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