(active around 830 in Oviedo)

Interior view

c. 830
San Julián de los Prados, Oviedo

The small city of Ovetum was built by Fruela I (reg AD 722–68) around the Benedictine abbey of S Vicente, founded by Abbot Maximo in 761. Ovetum was sacked by the Muslims in 789 and rebuilt by Alfonso II (reg 810–43), who established it as the capital of the Asturian kingdom and endowed it with monumental architecture appropriate to its role as the symbol of resistance to the Muslims. Remains of the Asturian period survive in Santa Maria de Naranco and San Julián de los Prados in Oviedo.

San Julián de los Prados is one of the greatest works of Asturian art. Its construction was ordered by Alfonso II of Asturias and it was built by the court architect Tioda c. 830. It is dedicated to the martyred Egyptian saints Julian and Basilissa.

The church has a basilican plan with a nave and two aisles separated by square piers which support semi-circular arches and with a transept of impressive height. The iconostasis, that separates the sanctuary from the rest of the church is remarkably similar in appearance to a triumphal arch.

The church has an important pictorial decoration with aniconic frescoes.

View the cross section and ground plan of the building.

© Web Gallery of Art, created by Emil Krén and Daniel Marx.