It is located in a busy and central area of the current city, on the street with the same name, Foncalada (from the Latin untouched fountain), but at the time it was built next to the Roman road that linked the north and south of the region and that also passed by the church of San Julián de los Prados.
Was built during the reign of Alfonso III the Great (866-910), it has a rectangular floor plan with an arch and a sloping barrel vault, the upper part finished off in a double slope, to the north and south, and ends laterally in a smooth nacelle impost.
On its pediment is carved embossed Victoria Cross. Below the cross, there are two well-preserved inscriptions -others show a degree of deterioration so great that it makes their reading and interpretation difficult- that can be translated as follows:
(HOC SIGN) OR TVETVR PIVS, HOC SIGN VI (NCITVR, INIMICVS)
· This sign protects the pious. This sign defeats the enemy.
(SIGNVM SALVTIS PO) NE DOMINE IN SOURCE (ISTA VT NON PERMITAS) INTROIRE ANGELVM PERCV (TIENTEM)
· Lord, put the sign of salvation on this fountain so that you do not allow the striking angel to enter.
It is a source of drinking water, the only example of its kind preserved to this day within Asturian pre-Romanesque art, and is considered to be the oldest civil monument in continuous use in Spain.
Foncalada was restored in the 90s, as it had deteriorated greatly, and was declared UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1998 as part of the denomination Monuments of Oviedo and the Kingdom of Asturias.
Asturian Pre-Romanesque Route in Oviedo
There are many architectural gems that were forged during 200 years of the Asturian monarchy. An extensive heritage of great value that has a good number of monuments in Oviedo, although outside the municipality of Oviedo we can also enjoy: Santa Cristina de Lena, the church of Santianes de Pravia, San Pedro de Nora in Las Regueras, Santiago de Gobiendes... and many more representative monuments of a local art.
The Asturian pre-Romanesque of Oviedo
The most native architecture of Asturias loses its roots more than a thousand years ago. The traces of the…
Text: © Ramón Molleda for asturias.com