San Julián de los Prados Santullano
The church of San Julián de los Prados, also known as Santullano, in Oviedo, was built during the reign of Alfonso II “the Chaste” (791-842), devoted to the Holy Martyrs Julian and Basilissa.
Build outside of the walls of the city of Oviedo, its foundation was recorded in the final decade of the ninth century in the Codex Rotensis version of the Chronicle of Alfonso III, where it states that “he built a church, quite far from the palace, in honour of Sts. Julian and Basilissa, with two altars in great style and in a magnificent arrangement”.
The church is built at a transportation hub of Roman origin and as indicated in the Chronicles of Asturias, it had formed part of an architectural ensemble with thermal baths and other rooms of the palace and had been situated on the plot of the monastery of Santa María de la Vega, of which nothing remains, at a distance of roughly 400m.
The architecture of the church is of a remarkable beauty: the basilica floor plan is structured into three naves separated by semicircular arches resting on square-shaped pillars with impost capitals and a wooden ceiling. The transept is of striking dimensions and height, illuminated by the large opening in the southern wall and communicating with two adjacent spaces or sacristies in the north and south façades.
In the chevet, there are three chapels with vaulted ceilings and openings with lattices, and small shrines or tabernacles adjoining the back wall. The main chapel features blind arcades, and above there is a chamber of unknown purpose only accessible from outdoors through a bay with three semicircular arches supported on columns with capitals, which is typical of pre-Romanesque architecture in Asturias.
The decorative program consists of exceptional sculptures and paintings, and its relevance for the celebration of ceremonies before the king left for battle and after his return has also been underscored.
The sculptural decoration is concentrated in the holiest space, in the blind arcades of the Main Chapel, featuring many reused pieces: capitals, base, shafts and pilasters of Roman and Visigothic traditions with exceptional contours and quality.
The frescoes with clear classical roots feature a marvellous array of plant motifs and geometric and architectural motifs, together with the image of the True Cross, depicted again and again over the expanse of the walls.
This is a complex symbolic universe that refers to the Celestial Jerusalem inspired in the St. John’s vision in the Book of the Revelation or Apocalypse: “(…) its wall was made of jasper, and the city of pure gold, as pure as glass. The foundations of the city walls were decorated with every kind of precious stone. The first foundation was jasper, the second sapphire, the third agate, the fourth emerald, (Ap. 21, 18-19).
The current state of the building is the result of work carried out by the researcher and philanthropist Fortunato Selgas and the architect Vicente Lampérez in the years 1912-1915. The work of these experts restored the original architectural configuration of the building, while eliminating additions from the Baroque and rough plaster coats on the interior walls, which led to the discovery of the ensemble of paintings from the High Middle Ages, among the most important from the High Middle Ages conserved in Europe.
San Julián de los Prados continues to operate as a parish in the present day.
Plans of the monument
Floor plans of San Julián de los Prados or Santullano of Oviedo that can be viewed in the following button.
Selection of photos of San Julián de los Prados or Santullano of Oviedo that can be viewed in the following button.
Calle Selgas 2, 33011 – Oviedo
+(34) 687 052 826
De Octubre a Abril
Lunes a sábado: 10:00, 10:45 y 11:30 h.
Mayo y Junio
Lunes: 10:00, 10:45 y 11:30 h.
Martes a sábado: 10:00, 10:45, 11:30, 16:00, 16:45 y 17:30 h.
Julio, Agosto y Septiembre
Lunes: 10:00, 10:45, 11:30, y 12:15 h.
Martes a viernes: 9:30, 10:15, 11:00, 11:45, 12:30, 16:00, 16:45 y 17:30 h.
Sábados: 9:30, 10:15, 11:00 y 11:45 h.
Lorenzo Arias Páramo
SAN JULIÁNDE LOS PRADOS
District of Santullano, 1899. Anonymous (Museum of the People of Asturias)
CHURCH OF SANTULLANO, 1910. Post card. REV. M.G. Oviedo. Anonymous (Museum of the People of Asturias)
CHURCH OF SANTULLANO, 1920. Post card. Rev. Grafos. Anonymous (Museum of the People of Asturias)