Originally built in 1238, shortly after the Reconquista, the Iglesia Catedral-Basílica Metropolitana de la Asunción de Nuestra Señora de Valencia is the religious center of the Comunidad Valenciana. It’s located in the heart of the capital, sandwiched between the city’s two most important plazas: La Reina and La Virgen.
Following the San Martín Obispo and San Esteban, the San Juan de la Cruz completes Valencia’s trio of churches which have been recently restored to their original Baroque brilliance. Like its brothers, this is one of the city’s oldest churches, founded in 1343, immediately after the Reconquista. And also like its brothers, it’s just… wow.
The San Esteban is among the oldest churches in Valencia, and has become a popular spot for baptisms. Along with the nearby San Martín and San Juan de la Cruz, it forms part of the city’s trio of exquisite baroque churches.
Back in 2010, Valencia unveiled the results of an effort to restore three of its most impressive Baroque-era churches: the San Martín, San Esteban and San Juan de la Cruz, all located a short distance from each other in the city center. If any of these had been my childhood church, I might have grown up with a different idea of “God”: not some wizened, white-bearded grump sitting on a cloud, but a flamboyant show-off with a flair for the extravagant.