San Julián de los Prados

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San Julián de los Prados

Iglesia de San Julián de los Prados - Joaquin Ossorio-Castillo/iStock

Iglesia de San Julián de los Prados - Joaquin Ossorio-Castillo/iStock

In the capital of the Principality of Asturias we find the Basilica of San Julián de los Prados, also known as Santullano. This church, in addition to being one of the best preserved buildings of the pre-Romanesque style, is one of the buildings that best represents Asturian art from the 9th century. It was declared a Historic Artistic Monument in 1917 and a World Heritage Site in late 1998. It is a religious building dedicated to the martyrs San Julián and his wife Santa Basilisa, and was built by order of Alfonso II el Casto, king of Asturias up to 842.

The best preserved pre-Romanesque church

Although the Basilica of San Julián de los Prados stood out for its religious work, its well-preserved structure is the one that most surprises architects today. In addition to its masonry-based construction, this church stands out for its pictorial decoration, being one of the most important of all buildings in all of Western Europe of its time. It also stands out for its great size, which is much larger than other churches of this architectural style in Asturias with its 40 meters long and 30 meters wide.

From its interior we can say that its central nave is considerably wider than the 2 lateral naves, so it generates greater luminosity inside that draws attention to all the people who visit it. It also highlights the two marble slabs decorated with floral motifs and geometric figures, located in the central part and designed in a hexagonal shape.

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