Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Oviedo, Asturias (Day 2 - afternoon cont.) - The Metropolitan Cathedral Basilica of the Holy Saviour - The 14th and 15th of June 2013


The Metropolitan Cathedral Basilica of the Holy Saviour or Cathedral of San Salvador was set on the site of an old Basilica founded by King Fruela I of Asturias in 781 AD and later enlarged by his son Alfonso de Asturias, also known as Alfonso the Chaste.

I decided to go on a guided visit of over one hour and must confess it was really worth it, though all of the photos I was allowed to take were from either the exterior or the cloister.

Jardin de los Reyes Claudillos with its sculpted ensemble

The statue of King Alfonso II the Chaste

A relief in bluish grey marble sculpted  in 1731 of the transfiguration of the "Saviour" could be seen above the main façade (1510-1530) with two medallions of Our Lord and St. John Baptist as boys (right) and the Cathedral shield (left).

The profusely carved wooden doors of the portico made by the Baroque sculptor José Bernardo de la  Meana in 1746 show "the Saviour", patron of the Cathedral and St. Eulalia, patron saint of the Diocese, the city of Oviedo and the Principality of Asturias.

The visit took me along the chapels and altars of the North and South aisles, some of which were in Baroque style, whilst others were in Gothic but truth should be said, most of them were breathtaking. The most striking image I can recall though was the Hispano-Flemish Gothich-style high altar incorporating  twenty three gilded scenes in relief portraying the life of Christ, the Virgin and the Apostles.

I also visited the Holy Chamber, whose interior dates back to the early Medieval epoch (9th century), as well as the Oviedo Church Museum set up in the upper floor of the cloister. Of its amazingly valuable art pieces I was particularly impressed with the Gothic diptych of  the Passion dating back to the late 14th century.

The dome of the chapel of King Alfonso II the Chaste (left)

The rectangular Gothic cloister with sides of three and four bays was particularly interesting because of its highly carved stone buttresses, corbels, capitals and mullions enclosing a small lawn covered courtyard.

As I walked around it I came across several Baroque doors, stone tombs, inscriptions shields and reliefs, many of which were quite interesting.

The cemetery courtyard (right)

The High Choir

 The exterior façade of the cloister and the Limona door (right).

Decorations on the old tower (Romanesque, late 11th century)

Despite the fact that it was a bit damp and cold inside the Cathedral and I couldn't take as many photographs as I would have liked to I must say it exceeded my expectations.

Before heading to The Museum of Bellas Artes de Asturias just around the corner I sat at one of the small restaurants and had a slice of tortilla

(To be continued)

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