In Asturias 14 buildings with less or greater degree of conservation are located, mainly in the center of the region. AND in the Monte del Naranco, at whose feet the city of Oviedo grows, coincide two of the most representative monuments of Asturian pre-Romanesque art. In them it is clear that architecture and sculpture are closely linked. They are stretched buildings but of proportional dimensions and without great fuss. Utilitarian forms, of austere ornament, which basically propose very good stylistic arguments, an aesthetic unity of all the elements that surprises more for the early date in which it arises.
The city of Oviedo, as the capital of the kingdom of Asturias that was, guards notorious architectural jewels that were forged during 200 years of monarchy and Asturian pre-Romanesque art. From the beginning of the reign of Don Pelayo in 722 until the death of Alfonso III in 910, when the royal capital moved to León.
Santa María del Naranco
The popular palace of Santa María del Naranco was originally devised as royal residence, hunting palace and resting place of Ramiro I. Its beauty and functionality were already admired in the Middle Ages. It consists of two floors, the upper one is a large vaulted room that opens to the outside through two large bay windows. In the same century of its construction, the XNUMXth century, it was transformed into a church.
Its Byzantine capitals, yes, with the typical Asturian rope, and representations of animals and human figures. In the vicinity of the monument there is a Interpretation Classroom, and its explanatory panels illustrate the different stages of Asturian Pre-Romanesque Art.
San Miguel de Lillo
At a short distance we find San Miguel de Lillo or Liño. A royal temple that is supposed to correspond to the palace nearby the monarch. This monument has reached our days very altered. In the thirteenth century it sank partly due to the poor conditions of the land on which it sits. Of its original layout only the western body and the first section of the ships are conserved. The decorative section is very interesting, the reliefs that are in the jambs of the doors are of an exquisite invoice; as well as the latticework and the interior tribune, designed to dignify the religious ceremonies that the king attended.
If we are not in too much of a hurry we can continue up to the top of the mountain. There we can enjoy truly aerial views of the city of Oviedo.
San Julián de los Prados
Another beautiful example of Asturian pre-Romanesque architecture is located at the entrances to the city on its eastern slope. It is none other than the church of San Julián de los Prados or Santullano , as it is popularly known. King Alfonso II the Chaste dedicated to San Julián and his wife Santa Basilisa this beautiful church. It dates from the ninth century and at that time was integrated into his palace outside the walls of Oviedo. It is the largest pre-Romanesque temple that is preserved in Spain. It has three naves with a transept and three square-headed apses. In parallel to its architecture, Santullano retains a pictorial repertoire that turns it into one of the most singular churches of the Spanish high medieval art. It is known that the frescoes covered the entire interior, including the roof, and have been linked with mural paintings of the Pompeian tradition.
The fountain of Foncalada
The fountain of Foncalada
It is located in an area…
Text: © Ramón Molleda for asturias.com