Sant Francesc de la Font
The uniqueness of this hermitage (approximately the late seventeenth or the beginning of eighteenth century), among other things, is the involvement of Castellón’s people, specifically, of the members of the Germandat dels Cavallers de la Conquesta, an entity deeply rooted in the city of Castellón for its traditions, its festivals and its history. In the year 74, Miguel Mulet Ortiz, a member of the Germandat (brotherhood), on behalf of the Germandat asked the city council to cede to the association this chapel, which was in total ruin and kept standing practically by a miracle.
Despite a lot of obstacles, difficulties, problems, and an enormous reluctance from the municipal authority, Miguel Mulet continued to insist until the cession was finally made. This was a place that for the municipal authority had no value, in fact, the whole plot was valued at about 30,000 pesetas of that time, taking into account that it was a building, which later had an incredible artistic value, it was derisory.
Between 74 and 76, that was the year of the reconstruction’s inauguration, there were very important months of history and intra-history that was always the most interesting; and, taking over from Miguel Mulet Ortiz (rest his soul in peace), the young journalist, who is still alive, Eduardo Mas del Rio with a group of young people, entrepreneurial, very motivated and with a lot of enthusiasm, finished the reconstruction, even with all the problems that there were.
What is peculiar about this hermitage is that the city council gave a few thousand pesetas of that time, an almost testimonial amount. This hermitage is built and rebuilt practically by the will of the people of Castellón and the Castellers de la Conquesta; a lot of individuals participated in reconstruction: the businessman, who had cement, brought the trucks of it for the construction work, the members of the Germandat council who were coming to work as masons, two students from the university college of Castellón (predecessor of the Universitat Jaume I), Ferran Orucha and Josep Miquel Francesc with sponges and soap were removing the lime from the interior of the walls and were rescuing those illusionistic baroque wall paintings that are unique in the monuments of this region. All this was coordinated by Josep Miquel Juan Vicent, who was secretary of Germandat as I have already said. People who had a carving of Saint Francis of Assisi in their home, which was cut up and hidden to save it from the iconoclastic persecution of the 1930s, donated it to the Germandat so that there could be an image of the saint for their Christian worship in the hermitage. Finally, at the end the hermitage of Sant Francesc de la Font is raised, rebuilt, and tidied up by the will of the Germandat dels Cavallers de la Conquesta. The families, companies, individuals, making small or large contributions in a particular way, with the help of donations collected through the special account opened for this purposes and monte de piedad of Castellón, all these enthusiasts managed to make this hermitage a unique place at the crossroads in this part of the area and even in the whole province and region of Castellón.