The Mitja Vila Fountain and the Chapel of the Angels

16th–17th C.
Audio guide: 

The Font de Mitja Vila (Mid-Town Fountain) is the second public fountain built in the town after the one in the castle. It dates from 1519. Next to the fountain, in the late sixteenth century, the old Capella dels Àngels (Chapel of the Angels) was built where the town’s weighing house had stood.

Keywords: fountains, camí del Rec, chapel.

The Mitja Vila Fountain

Until late in the twentieth century, most of the squares or courtyards in the town had public fountains to provide running water to the population. Yet until the sixteenth century there was only one public fountain in the entire town, the one in the castle. That is why in 1519, on the orders of La Selva Council, another was built, the New or Mitja Vila (Mid-Town) Fountain.

The Mitja Vila Fountain initially received water from “the sakia (waterwheel) of La Calsinada courtyard”, but in 1665 it was decided it should carry water from the Rec de la Vila (town water channel), which was considered cleaner. Later, new fountains were built in most courtyards in the Old Town along the Carrer Major, such as those in Plaça de l’Hospitalet, Plaça Major, Portal d’Avall or Portal de Matas, nowadays most of which have disappeared.

In the 1950s, the fountain was repaired due to its poor state of conservation. It was at this time that the decision was taken to move it further back towards the buildings and to create a square in front. It was also decided to demolish the old Chapel of the Angels at this time.

The Chapel of the Angels

The Capella de la Mare de Déu dels Àngels (Chapel of Our Lady of the Angels) was erected next to the fountain. It dated from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Before this, however, this space was where the town’s weighing house stood, which controlled the measurement of products that were generated and bartered in the town. In 1765, repair work was carried out on the chapel and a hewn stone portal was built bearing the town crest above its central keystone.