When you drive into Carcaixent, the marvelous ceramic dome of the Church of the Assumption of Carcaixent (Església de l'Assumpció) sparkles and catches your eye in the sun. Once you get to the center of town, you will find this Catholic temple located in the main town square.
I was very fortunate to be able to photograph this wonderful, historical monument while the glorious Jacaranda tree was in full bloom.
I was not able to get inside the church but there was enough uniqueness on the outer construction to hold my attention and provoke me to explore for more clues to this historical artifact.
Let's get started with our exploration...
* Report by Arts Historian and Educator , Karla Darocas, Hons. B.A. (SpainLifestyle.com)* Copyright Karla Darocas 2018* (no part of this text or photos may be replicated)
The construction of this parish church started in 1434. It was a Gothic temple.
It steadily grew in membership to the point whereby in 1547 the church was allowed to dedicate itself to the dogmatic yet feminine concept of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, as the story goes.
At this time, the Carcagentinos were urged to extend the temple. The expansion works continued until 1576. By 1604, the church had added a bell tower, a new sacristy and church archive.
In 1632, the floor plan was modified to take on the Roman Catholic cross form.
In 1736 the main altar was set on fire, arson expected. The archive and other facilities were also affected. Sadly, the post-Gothic organ that was built and installed in 1604 by the Alzira born organ master Baltasar Merino, burned too. What a treasure lost.
In 1739 the restoration was completed.
An earthquakes in March and April of 1748 caused damage to the belfry, the roof and the vault of a chapel.
In 1751, a new Baroque organ made by Matías de Salanovawas was installed.
On May 13 and 14, 1936, at the beginning of the civil war, the church was set on fire. The outer structure of the building did not suffer damages, but the contents of this beautiful Baroque temple were lost as well as the organ.
The Carcagentinos started their repairs after the war in 1939. In 1942, they restored the transept and the dome to its now beautiful multicolored ceramic spender.
The identifying temple elements are the unique ceramic tiled dome on a Renaissance lantern with 8 rectangle windows separated with Corinthian order columned pilasters and corbels all around - and - a slender Baroque rectangular bell tower, which was raised for the second time in 1913, higher than the previous one, has a single archivolt over the roman arch style windows.
Main public portal door missing its full Baroque alter design but maybe it looked like the side procession door, which is still in tack with its pilasters, pinnacles, lintel surmounted by a triangular columned pediment.
As the temple is named after the Assumption of Mary, the public portal is topped with a carved relief medallion that shows Mary on her clouds as she floats up to heaven. Her crown of glory waits for her.
On the other portal, still in its original form, is a remarkable relief of the Assumption with recognizable symbols such as Mary's feminine crescent moon, the angels, the rays of sun, her crown and the big M.
Upon looking up at the façade, one can see how tall the buttresses are giving a good idea on how high the nave must be inside.
The bottom is the patron saint of Carcaixent : Saint Boniface
The story goes...
The remains of Saint Boniface, were transferred to the Santa Ciríaca cemetery in Rome, ten withdrawn and donated by Cardinal Carpineo to the Viceroy of Naples, Francesca d'Aragó and Sandoval, on January 2, 1695.
On June 2, in the same year, the Royal Palace of Naples, Virreina donated the relics of the Saint to the Dominican monk Tomàs Fuster i Llansola, who then resided in the Corpus Christi of Llutxent Convent.
However in 1703, the inhabitants of Carcaixent, were faced with a health epidemic, several atmospheric calamities and other crisis due to the War of Succession. They were in bad shape and clinging to Divine Providence in order to achieve mercy.
Luckily, so the story goes... Carcaixent felt they needed divine protection and decided to elect a patron saint. Once the authorities of the town discovered that the remains of the Holy Martyr Saint Boniface were in Llutxent, they asked for a donation. In the end, the church received the arm of the great Saint on February 26, 1704.
On May 13 and 14, 1936, our parish church was assaulted, the glazed urn and the remains of the sacred body of Saint Boniface martyred and burned.
On June 4, 2003, the directors and brotherhood of St. Boniface Martyr, agreed to give another bone to become a relic for veneration by the good people of Carcaixent.
This request, according to the norms approved by His Holiness Pope John Paul II, was ratified by the Hon. and Rvdmo. Monsignor Agustín García-Gasco and Vicente, Archbishop of Valencia, on September 19, 2003.
After the appropriate procedures, on November 31, 2003, a teak box closed with red thread and stamped with the seal of the government arrived by mail in Carcaixent.
In the box was a new relic of the Glorious Martyr St. Boniface, together with a certificate of Authenticity, signed by the Hon. and Rvdmo. Mr. Piero Marini and with the stamp of the Office, dated in Rome on October 23, 2003.