The priests at the Cathedral were kind enough to grant us special access to the bell tower to take some shots of Oviedo from above. The stairs are in poor condition, so it’s understandable why the tower is normally closed to the public. Looking out over the city, Juergen and I both became melancholic. Our three months in Oviedo had come to an end.
Some more random Cathedral images:
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October 24, 2010 at 12:51 pm Comments (2)
The Teatro Campoamor is Oviedo’s most important theater, home to the annual Prince of Asturias awards in October and the scene of operas and theater pieces throughout the year.
The building was completed in 1892, and named in honor of one of Spain’s most popular poets, Ramón de Campoamor, who was born in Navia. Campoamor adhered to the Spanish realism movement, and achieved great fame during his own lifetime.
Built to replace the creaky old Teatro del Fontán, which is today the public library, the Teatro Campoamor was an instant hit among the burgeoning Oviedo society. The neoclassic architecture has a distinctly Italian feel and, in fact, the theater was designed mainly to stage major Italian operas.
Every October, the Teatro Campoamor becomes the focal point of all Spain, when the Premios Príncipe de Asturias are held here. All of Oviedo turns out for a chance to see some of the country’s most famous people enter and exit the theater, including the dashing Prince Felipe of Asturias, who’s in charge of the proceedings.
Location of the Teatro Campoamor on our Oviedo Map
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October 24, 2010 at 10:27 am Comment (1)
Every day, thousands of people fly right past the most well-preserved and impressive Pre-Romanesque church in all of Spain: the Iglesia de San Julián de los Prados. Also known as the Santullano (from Sanct Iulianus), the ancient church lays along the highway which unites Oviedo and Gijón.
The Santullano was built in 812 by King Alonso II, making it even older than the Santa María del Naranco. It’s endured very little damage, and is one of the largest Pre-Romanesque churches still standing. 1200 years old. Mind-blowing.
It’s little wonder that King Alfonso would choose to christen his church in honor of Saint Julian, an 3rd century Egyptian forced into marriage with Basilissa. Julian and Basilissa decided to leave their marriage unconsummated, and were chaste until the day they were tortured and killed as Christian martyrs. Alfonso likewise would die a virgin. Originally his Santullano was part of a large religious and administrative complex outside the new capital of Oviedo, but the church is the only structure to have survived the centuries.
The Santullano is impressive for its architecture: the Roman influences and austere facade. But what most stands out is the interior artwork. 1200-year-old mosaic depictions of pastoral scenes, city buildings and geometric figures. These are the most well-preserved works of their time period in all Western Europe, and are unique in that they don’t portray any human forms, or the kinds of images normally associated with religious artwork.
Although it’s just a kilometer outside of the city, and entrance is less than two euros, the Santullano is something all too many people skip on. Don’t make that mistake.
Location on our Oviedo Map
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October 23, 2010 at 6:36 pm Comments (0)