Location: in the Plaza de España, in the center of Briones, 34 kilometers far from Logroño, 8 km from Haro and 22 km from Santo Domingo de la Calzada.
The church of Santa María was declared a national monument in 1981 and is one of the main attractions of Briones, but the entire town deserves a relaxed visit in order to enjoy its palaces and stately homes, its nice views of the Ebro valley and the remains of medieval walls and towers.
The temple is an ashlar masonry construction from the sixteenth century, built in Renaissance and Catholic Monarchs styles, except for a Baroque tower that was erected in 1756 to replace the original one. The portal is richly decorated. Inside, the church has ribbed vaults and houses many interesting items.
The spacious sacristy contains frescoes, paintings and drawers from the sixteenth and eighteenth centuries. The large altarpiece was completed in 1650, after years of work by several artists, among which it’s worh highlighting the sculptor Juan de Bascardo. It includes a dozen statues and six reliefs. The organ is a remarkable Baroque work from 1767, made by Italian maestro Andrés de Gasparini. The access stairway to the choir also deserves attention.
Among the numerous chapels, the main ones are the chapel of the Hircio, from the sixteenth century, which includes an altarpiece by Pedro de Arbulo; the chapel of the Visitation, with paintings by Navarrete el Mudo and Juan de Borgoña; and the chapels of the Perea and Juan de Castrejana.
Briones has another temple in the old town, the church of Santo Cristo de los Remedios, from the eighteenth century, constructed in ashlar masonry too.