CHURCH OF SAN FRANCISCO JAVIER
3. CHURCH OF SAN FRANCISCO JAVIER
This small looking church, features a short main aisle, with a wide transept and a rectangular presbytery. The temple has also a sacristy behind the presbytery. The church houses an original altarpiece made of marble from Cuenca, which depicts the Patron Saint over guilded drapery held by cherubs. The other altarpieces are made of wood simulating marble.
There are two different crypts in the church, made of bricks. One of them is placed beneath the main aisle and the other is bigger.Both were used for burials. There was buried Francisco Javier de Goyeneche, who died in Madrid the 4th of March of the year 1748. As it was written on the Book of Deceases of Nuevo Baztán, his body lied in the vault under the presbytery (second section, second niche) despite his desire to be buried next to his father.
Three square spired towers mark out the entrance, flanked by two pilasters and four columns. Here we can appreciate the doubts of Churriguera, mixing the baroque style of the towers with a classicist double pediment. Over the entablature, a vaulted niche with the image of San Francisco Javier is placed. The image has made by Churriguera himself, being the parish dedicated to this saint, co-patron of the region of Navarra. On the facade we can read this inscription: “PER NUTUS IN MIRO OPE LOCUTUS NE FACIS O XAVIE XA…. DEL IPSA LOQUI”, “D.O. IX OCT. MDCCXXIII”. This inscription refers to the time when Nuevo Baztán got its legal independence from Olmeda de las Fuentes. The facade depicts a deep sculptoric and baroque meaning, especially reflected in the use of light to shape and clarify the surfaces.
The building has two galleries and an elevated choir, one of this galleries was used by the Lords of Nuevo Baztán, who had the privilege of communicate directly from their residence with the church, avoidinf the necessity of having their own oratory.
The church has a semi-spherical dome with two sections and eight windows. As it was written by José de Aldea, second parish priest of this church, in the four angles of the dome are painted four saints, namely “S. Juan Baptistam, S. Fermín Obb y Mr., S. Francisco de Asís y San Ignacio de Loyola”.