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Route of the Romanesque in the area around Oviedo

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  • Church of Santa Eulalia de Lloraza © Principado de Asturias

    Church of Santa Eulalia de Lloraza © Principado de Asturias

  • Monastery of San Salvador de Comellana, Salas © Principado de Asturias

    Monastery of San Salvador de Comellana, Salas © Principado de Asturias

  • Santa María la Real Monastery, Obana © Principado de Asturias

    Santa María la Real Monastery, Obana © Principado de Asturias

  • Church of San Pedro in Plecín © Principado de Asturias

    Church of San Pedro in Plecín © Principado de Asturias

  

Romanesque art and architecture between the mountains and the sea

The valleys in central Asturias, around its capital, Oviedo, are home to a series of unique churches in the Romanesque style. A tour of these sites offers the perfect opportunity to learn more about the landscapes and the peoples of Asturias: everything from its beaches, the estuary and the palaces of Villaviciosa, through to the wild natural landscapes to be found in the valleys of Teverga and Quirós, in the heart of the Cordillera Cantábrica mountain range.
 

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A good way to do this route is to divide it into two days, starting and ending in the city of Oviedo. The first day can be spent visiting the Romanesque churches located to the west of the capital, and the second day to a tour of the churches to the east. A large part of this route runs along the pilgrim route of the Way of Saint James, along its northern path.
The route towards the west leads first to the church of San Juan de Priorio, located 10 kilometres away. This is reached by taking the N-634 main road until the turnoff to the spa town of Las Caldas. This Romanesque church (12-13th centuries) underwent subsequent additions (18-20th centuries). Another interesting visit 6 kilometres away is to the church of San Esteban de Sograndio, also dating from the 12th century.
If we continue on along the valley of the Trubia river –an important transport route between Asturias and León in Roman times for the minerals mined in the valleys– we come to the district of Teverga, 32 kilometres away along the AS-228 road.
This is the site of the 11th-century collegiate church of San Pedro, featuring elements reminiscent of the pre-Romanesque art of Asturias. Continuing on for another 5 kilometres we come to the village of Villanueva de Teverga, where the church of Santa María (11-12th centuries) is well worth visiting.

If we retrace our steps from Villanueva de Teverga to the village of Arrojo, 23 kilometres along the AS-229, we can see the lovely rural-style church of San Pedro (12th century). At a distance of 40 kilometres we come to Cornellana, the home of the Benedictine monastery of San Salvador, with its 13th-century Romanesque church and Baroque monastic site dating from the 17-18th centuries.
The second day of this route includes a tour of several Romanesque monuments located very near the road to Villaviciosa. The first two visits are to the churches of San Esteban de Aramil (16 kilometres) and Santa María de Narzana (7 kilometres), both in the rural style and modestly proportioned.
Then after crossing the pass known as the Alto de la Campa, the gateway to the district of Villaviciosa, we take a turnoff towards the valley of Valdediós. At the end of the valley we come to the monastery of Santa María de Valdediós (11 kilometres), an attractive Cistercian monastic site dating from the 13th century and located beside the pre-Romanesque church of San Salvador de Valdediós.
Once again on the road to Villaviciosa, another turnoff takes us to the 12th-century rural church of San Andrés de Valdebárcena,. Finally, on the outskirts of Villaviciosa (5 kilometres further on) we come to the church of San Juan de Amandi (13th century), one of the finest examples of the Asturian Romanesque style. The return trip to Oviedo –our point of departure and arrival– is a distance of about 45 kilometres.
 

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Oct 21, 2017

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