ASSUMPTION CHURCH

In the 16th century La Vila Joiosa was one of the cities with the best artillery of the old Kingdom of Valencia and one strategic place to defend against the Berbers. Within the walls of the old town we find the Church of the Assumption, declared of Cultural interest, which belongs to the Catalan-Gothic style.

The Church has a character of strength being linked to the medieval wall by the header. The Gothic style, among others, is evident in the four first ogival vaults and in the presbytery of star-shaped vault. The main altar is an altarpiece similar to the altarpiece of the Colegiata of Gandía, with paintings from the 15th century or early 16th.

Access to the Church is through the square of the l’ Església, one of the most beautiful spots of the historical center. The main door was restored in neoclassical style in the 18th century. At the entrance of the Church is a Roman funerary altar, reused as a font of holy water. There we can see another inscription, perhaps corresponding to the consecration of the Church in 1558.

Inside the Church stands the chapel of Santa Marta from the 18th century. Its base was built with large blocks of stone from the Roman city. One of them, outside, shows a funeral inscription of the 2nd century, in memory of Alfio Zosimus and his wife Ulpia Diofanes. The main altar is similar to the altarpiece of the Collegiate Church of Gandia, with paintings from the 15th century or early 16th.

The date of consecration in 1558 is acknowledged as the date of the present Church, accepting that Berbers (from Barbary, nowadays Algeria) would have destroyed the earlier Church of the 14th century. This destruction could be only a profanation, because there are no records in the archives of the city government does not include major expenditures for construction or rebuilding of the temple in the years prior to 1558. But the church forms a whole with the medieval walls, from the 16th century, and the architectural style is also from the same century.

The temple was called Church of Santa Maria until the nineteenth century, when the influence of the Augustinians it was renamed The Church of the Assumption according to the historian and theologian Ernest Zaragoza. Vilajoiosa (early name of La Vila Joiosa), received the letter of settlement in 1301, according to Agustí Galiana, and probably that was when they began to build the Church. The first rector known was from 1312.

In any case, we can say that this is a monument with a historical and architectural value of the highest level.