The Parish Church of Asuncion, Navarrete (La Rioja)
The Parish Church of Asuncion -one of the most relevant Classical monuments in La Rioja- began to be built in 1553. It stands over the ruins of two former churches that were not big enough to accommodate the increasing population of the flourishing town of Navarrete.
The church was not completed until 1645. The temple has three naves, being the side aisles narrower and lower, transept and large chancel crowned by an octaedral apse with five piers and flanked by two chapels as a double transept. These chapels contain the first example in La Rioja of barrel vaults with Renaissance decoration and the typical Corinthian columns with ring-like shafts.
The naves are covered by star-shaped ribs with curved cambers on semicircular archs and cylindrical piers. In the last section the side aisles have a cupola. At the foot of the Church stands the tower divided into three sections and a pyramidal spire made of ashlaring. The first section has a projection, the second has an order of flat spans and the third contains coupled pilasters.
Inside the temple can be noted the altarpiece, a key piece in La Rioja Baroque Art. It is the synthesis of all the artistic tendencies that coexisted in La Rioja at end of the 17 and beginning of the 18 C. It has a great variety of decorative motifs and gold is abundant. The portal is also a work of art in this innovative building.
Framed in an arch of little depth, it is conceived as a retable with two bodies and two bays, with Ionic colums at the low body and Corinthian at the high body. The niche houses an image of the Asuncion, patroness of the parish church. On the bays are shields of the town.