In full rise to Natural Park Montgó, there is one of the most visited hermitages in Dénia and the starting point of many hiking routes: the Pare Pere hermitage. It is dedicated to the religious Fray Pedro Esteve, the "Pare Pere" (Father Pedro, in Spanish). The hermitage is also well known in Dénia as the "Caseta del Pare Pere", because next to it is the small hut where the hermit spent the last years of his life, in direct contact with nature. As it is in the Natural Park, the hermitage does not have around it services such as restaurants or shops, only houses and urbanizations.
Next you have an index with all the points that we are going to deal with.
Location and plan
The Pare Pere hermitage is located in the I walked from the Cova de l'Aigua (the path of the Cueva del Agua), and you can access it in your private vehicle, on foot or by bicycle, since no public transport gets there. This is the map.
There are two itineraries: one leaving from Diana street and going up the Camí de Sant Joan, and the other starting from Plaza Jaume I and going up the Camí Pou de la Muntanya. The two accesses are suitable for cars, cyclists and walkers, however, the one from the Camí Pou de la Muntanya is narrower in some sections and presents more difficulty for large vehicles.
Along the Camí de Sant Joan
We leave from the roundabout on calle Diana, intersection with Joan Fuster and the beginning of the Camí de Sant Joan.
After about 600 meters, before the urbanization Al-Khalif (You will see a tower of Arabic inspiration), we come to an islet with a carob tree where we have to take the detour to the right and continue until we come to a crossroads. Once at this point, we will take the path to the right, the Camí Assagador de Santa Llúcia, to a new junction located about 300 meters away where we will see indications. We follow the path to the left and climb about 400 meters, until we find the Pare Pere sculpture in front of the hermitage.
Along the Camí Pou de la Muntanya
The second itinerary starts from Plaza Jaume I, from where we take Avenida del Montgó. Once we crossed the tracks of the trenet, we continue up the Camí Pou de la Muntanya until the path narrows, and there we will see indications to the hermitage. Take the detour to the right and follow the Camí de la Colònia, a road that runs through the woods with many curves and that goes up towards the mountain. Once at the top of this path we turn left in search of the hermitage.
Routes that start from there
The Pare Pere hermitage is the starting point of the most popular hiking routes on the Montgó.
Route to the top of Montgó
This is one of the ways to reach the summit (there are two more, from the shooting range and from Jesús Pobre). Here you can download the Wikiloc track for this route.
Routes to Cova de l'Aigua, Racó del Bou and Cova del Gamell
History of Pare Pere
Fray Pere Esteve was born in Dénia in 1583, and has great devotion. He lived many years of his life in his hut, next to what is now the hermitage, devoted to retreat, meditation and prayer. He died in 1658 in a house in the Loreto street which has a commemorative plaque of that fact (in the section between Forn d'Algarra and Bretxa streets).
He is credited with the beginning of the festivities in honor of the Holy Blood, patron saint of Dénia: they say that in 1633 there was a cholera epidemic in Dénia, and that Pare Pere had the image of the Sang Santíssima, and bless some loaves that the sick later ate. According to tradition, they were healed.
Construction and characteristics of the hermitage
According to recent studies by local historians, the house was built long before the time of Pare Pere, but he used it to protect himself from bad weather. Currently this house, built in stone and with a gabled roof, serves as a place for prayer and has become a corner where many faithful light candles and ask for their loved ones.
The hermitage is very recent: it was completed in 1975 and opened to the public in 1983. Since that year the hermitage has been guarded by the Franciscan Enrique Oltra Perales, vice postulator of the cause of beatification of Pare Pere. It is dedicated to the Most Holy Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ.
Between 1984 and 1991 the temple was decorated with passages from the life of the friar and some passages from the life of Jesus Christ, all of them painted in ceramic by Antonio Bordonau, from Onda (Castellón). During those years the Calvary is also built. The Pare Pere hermitage has a Way of the cross outside, among pines and vegetation.
Although the chapel and its exterior can be visited daily Masses are held only on Sundays at 12: 30 noon.
Pare Pere's body starred in a tense episode during the Civil War: it was verified whether his remains were human or a wood carving was being venerated. Here you have the full story.
In addition to this hermitage in his honor, Pare Pere has a street dedicated to him in the center of Dénia.