As you drive into Carcaixent, the wonderful ceramic dome of the Church of the Assumption of Carcaixent (Església de l'Assumpció) catches your eye, sparkling in the sun. As soon as you reach the town centre, you will find this Catholic place of worship in the town's main square.

I was lucky enough to photograph this wonderful, historic monument while the magnificent jacaranda tree was in full bloom 

I was unable to go inside the church, but the uniqueness of the exterior construction was enough to catch my attention and make me look for more clues about this historical artefact.

Let us begin our exploration...

* Report by Karla Ingleton Darocas, Hons. B.A. (c) no part of this text or photos may be replicated


The construction of this parish church began in 1434. It was a Gothic temple. 

It grew steadily until 1547, when the church was given permission to devote itself to the dogmatic but feminine concept of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary.

At this time, the Carcagentinos were urged to expand the temple. The extension work lasted until 1576 and by 1604 the church had received a bell tower, a new sacristy and a church archive 

In 1632, the floor plan was changed to take the shape of the Roman Catholic cross 

in 1736 the main altar was set on fire, probably by arson. The archive and other furnishings were also affected. Unfortunately, the post-Gothic organ, built and installed in 1604 by the Alzira-born organ master Baltasar Merino, also burnt. What a lost treasure 

In 1739, the restoration was completed.

An earthquake in March and April 1748 caused damage to the bell tower, the roof and the vault of a chapel 

in 1751 a new baroque organ by Matías de Salanovawas installed 

On 13 and 14 May 1936, at the beginning of the Civil War, the church was set on fire. The outer structure of the building was not damaged, but the contents of this beautiful baroque temple were lost, as well as the organ 

After the war, in 1939, the Carcagentinos began repairs. In 1942, they restored the transept and the dome to their present beautiful multi-coloured ceramic covering.

The distinguishing elements of the temple are the unique ceramic tile dome on a Renaissance lantern with 8 rectangular windows separated by columns with Corinthian columns. There are corbels all around, and a slender rectangular bell tower in Baroque style, raised for the second time in 1913, higher than the previous one. There is also a single arch above the windows in Roman arch style.

The door of the main public portal is no longer fully Baroque in design, but perhaps it looked like the processional door on the side, which is still preserved with its pilasters, pinnacles and lintel surmounted by a triangular columned pediment.

As the temple is named after the Assumption of Mary, the public portal is crowned by a carved relief medallion showing Mary on her clouds as she soars into heaven. Her crown of glory awaits her.

On the other portal, which is still preserved in its original form, there is a remarkable relief of the Assumption with recognisable symbols such as Mary's female crescent moon, the angels, the sun's rays, her crown and the capital M.

If you look up at the façade, you can see how high the buttresses are, which gives you a good idea of how high the nave must be inside.

Finally, two tiles are set into the façade of the church. The upper one depicts the Virgin and Child.

The lower one represents the patron saint of Carcaixent: Saint Boniface

The story continues...

The remains of Saint Boniface were transferred to the cemetery of Santa Ciríaca in Rome, taken down ten times and given by Cardinal Carpineo to the Viceroy of Naples, Francesca d'Aragó and Sandoval, on 2 January 1695.

On 2 June of the same year, the Royal Palace of Naples, Virreina, donated the saint's relics to the Dominican friar Tomàs Fuster i Llansola, then residing in the Corpus Christi Monastery of Llutxent.

But in 1703, the inhabitants of Carcaixent were hit by a health epidemic, several atmospheric disasters and other crises due to the War of Succession. They were in a bad way and clung to Divine Providence for mercy.

Fortunately, so the story goes... Carcaixent felt they needed divine protection and decided to choose a patron saint. When the authorities of the town discovered that the remains of the holy martyr Boniface were in Llutxent, they asked for a donation. Finally, on 26 February 1704, the church received the arm of the great saint.

On 13 and 14 May 1936, our parish church was raided, the glass urn and the remains of St Boniface martyred and burned.

On 4 June 2003, the presbyters and the brotherhood of the martyr Boniface agreed to donate another bone as a relic for veneration by the good people of Carcaixent.

This request, in accordance with the norms approved by His Holiness Pope John Paul II, was made by the Venerable and Rvdmo. Monsignor Agustín García-Gasco and Vicente, Archbishop of Valencia, on 19 September 2003.
Following the appropriate procedures, a teakwood box sealed with red thread and bearing the government seal arrived by post in Carcaixent on 31 November 2003.

Inside the box was a new relic of the Glorious Martyr St. Boniface, together with a certificate of authenticity signed by Hon. and Rvdmo. Mr Piero Marini and bearing the stamp of the Office, dated in Rome on 23 October 2003.

Resource Books written by
Karla Ingleton Darocas 
and published by