Xàbia : Facts and Anecdotes...Did you know that in the old town of Javea there are over 35 devotional "hornacinas" ?
These were niches in a house façade with a religious figure in form of a statuette, painting or ceramics. These symbolic representations, usually of a saint or a Virgin Mary, served as transcendental intermediaries to God and were invoked especially in moments of need or crisis and for protection against sickness and agricultural disaster. There was usually one in a street which would serve the needs of all the neighbours, so that when someone was ill, the figure would be taken to the bedside of the infirm for quicker recovery. It would also be taken to the funeral service when there was a death. Thus most of the representations were originally statuettes which could be removed easily. This custom, however, has long been abandoned.
Although there have probably been devotional "niches" in Javea since the 16th-18th centuries, it seems that all but one were destroyed by anti-clerical elements during the Civil War ( 1936-1939 ). Those we see today are from the 1940s and later….