(active 842-850 in Oviedo)

Exterior view

Palace auditorium, Monte Naranco, Oviedo

Only fragments have survived of the Pre-Romanesque Christian architecture in northern Spain from the time of the kingdom of the Asturias. The most significant monuments are found near the old capital of Oviedo. Here King Ramiro I (842-850) built a palace complex with audience chamber at the Monte Naranco, which was extended by his successor Ordoño I with the construction of a church, San Miguel de Lillo (in Asturian Samiguel de Lliño). Both buildings feature a remarkable wealth of architectural articulating elements, such as pilaster strips, blind arches, and cornices, and many ornamental shapes in relief.

Its structural features, such as the barrel vault with transverse ribs corresponding one-to-one with contraforts at the exterior, make it a clear precursor of the Romanesque construction. The exterior decorations, as well as the use of stilted arches mark the intended verticality of the composition.

At each end of the auditorium (12 x 4 meters) a spacious solarium was created.

The palace auditorium, shown in the picture, is unique for its period. It was converted into a church (Santa María del Naranco) at the end of the 13th century.

View the ground plan of the building.

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