A Tour of Oviedo's Most Impressive Monuments

Santa María del Naranco, Oviedo, Asturias
Santa María del Naranco, Oviedo, Asturias | © Marianoog / WikiCommons
Esme Fox

The northern Spanish region of Asturias and the city of Oviedo have been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site because of their unique and historic architecture. Most of the notable buildings are religious ones that date back to the Romanesque and pre-Romanesque periods. Follow us as we take you on a tour of some of the city’s most impressive monuments.

1. Oviedo Cathedral

Cathedral

Catedral de San Salvador, Oviedo, Asturias
© javier.losa / WikiCommons

The gothic cathedral of San Salvador, also called Oviedo Cathedral, lies along the Camino del Norte and is a major stop for pilgrims on their way to Santiago de Compostela. Built in the late 13th century, it comprises a tower, cloisters and chapterhouse. Also located in the cathedral complex is a holy house known as the Cámara Santa. It’s pre-Romanesque in style and was built in the 9th century, and has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

2. Palacio de Santa María del Naranco

Church

Santa María del Naranco, Oviedo, Asturias
© Marianoog / WikiCommons
Santa María del Naranco is located just three kilometres (two miles) outside the city of Oviedo. It was originally built as a palace for King Ramiro I in 848, but was later converted into a church. Today, it’s a magnificent UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of Oviedo’s most famous monuments.

3. San Miguel de Lillo

Archaeological site, Church, Ruins

San Miguel de Lillo, Oviedo
© José Antonio Gil Martínez / Flickr

The Church of San Miguel de Lillo is located on Mount Naranco, close to the old Palace of Naranco, just outside the city of Oviedo. It was built by King Ramiro I in the 9th century as his private chapel, and is Romanesque in style. Today, however, only part of the building remains, including the choir stalls and the three naves.

4. Iglesia de San Julián de los Prados

Church

Iglesia San Julián de los Prados, Oviedo
© manuel m. v. / Flickr

The Church of San Julián de los Prados can be found in the city of Oviedo and is one of the monuments in the region that have been designated as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Also known as Santullano, it was the largest Christian building in Spain until the 11th century. Built between 812 and 842, it’s pre-Romanesque in style and is made from wood and stone. Look out in particular for the beautiful colourful murals on the walls inside.

5. Fuente De Foncalada

Memorial

Fuente de Foncalada, Oviedo
© Sitomon / WikiCommons

The Fountain of Foncalada is one of the best examples of hydraulic engineering from the late Middle Ages and is part of Oviedo and Asturias’ UNESCO World Heritage status. It’s based on a Roman model and was built during the reign of Alfonso III the Great (866–910). The outer housing protects a natural drinking fountain, which is fed by spring water brought up from underground.

6. Iglesia de Santa Cristina de Lena

Church

Iglesia de Santa Cristina de Lena, Asturias
© Ángel M. Felicísimo / Flickr

The Church of Santa Cristina de Lena lies just south of Oviedo and is part of the region’s UNESCO World Heritage status. It is an interesting example of Romanesque and Ramiro styles and was built around 850. As well as the church, visitors can see the Educational Hall, located in the old railway station nearby, which dates back to the pre-Romanesque period. Inside, visitors can learn all about the historic and artistic context in which the church was built.

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