Crosses and Oratories

There are four red marble crosses in Vinça. Some of them retain the date of when they were constructed and the name of the patron who had them erected.

A former damaged cross, which is no longer in the village, was sculpted in the early fifteenth century and is inscribed in Catalan “Mossen Guille(m) Riba, alias Maco, had me built”.

There are as many as 27 places of popular devotion, meditation and contemplation known as oratories or shrines, scattered throughout the village. They were installed to commemorate Christian saints and they contain relevant statues, some of which are quite naive while others are very refined.

The oldest ones date as far back as the seventeenth and eighteenth century  As was the case for the crosses their location was carefully chosen to show the way to a church, to a site of pilgrimage or a village, often at a crossroads or at a pass. In the more remote locations these oratories invited the passers-by to commune with the saint and to pray in the open air without having to go to a church. Building these shrines and oratories was often a way of giving thanks to particular saints and their attributes. Some are particularly honoured in Vinça : for example the Virgin, Saint Sebastian for protection against the epidemics, Saint Galdric, the patron saint of farmers and agricultural workers for a plentiful supply of water, Saint Anthony of Padoua for the recovery of health and  thanks for wishes granted.