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San Julián de los Prados

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Title: San Julián de los Prados  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Oviedo, 9th century in architecture, Asturian architecture, La Cava Bible, Spanish architecture, Church of Santa María de Bendones, Church of San Pedro de Nora, Church of San Salvador de Priesca, Cámara Santa
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

San Julián de los Prados


Church of San Julián de los Prados

Facade of the church of San Julián de los Prados

Basic information
Location Spain Oviedo, Spain
Geographic coordinates 43°22′3.7″N 5°50′14.1″W / 43.367694°N 5.837250°W / 43.367694; -5.837250Coordinates: 43°22′3.7″N 5°50′14.1″W / 43.367694°N 5.837250°W / 43.367694; -5.837250

Affiliation Roman Catholic
Province Asturias
Year consecrated 9th century
Ecclesiastical or organizational status Church
Heritage designation World Heritage Site
Architectural description
Architect(s) Tioda
Architectural type Church
Architectural style Pre-Romanesque
Direction of façade SE
Length 30 metres (98 ft)
Width 25 metres (82 ft)
UNESCO World Heritage Site
Monuments of Oviedo and the Kingdom of the Asturias
Name as inscribed on the World Heritage List
Type Cultural
Criteria ii, iv, vi
Reference UNESCO region Europe and North America
Inscription history
Inscription 1985 (9th Session)
Extensions 1998

San Julián de los Prados, also known as Santullano, is a Pre-Ramirense church from the beginning of the 9th century in Oviedo, the capital city of the Principality of Asturias, Spain. It is one of the greatest works of Asturian art and was declared an Historical-Artistic Monument by the Spanish Ministry of Culture in June 1917 and a World Heritage Site by UNESCO on 2 December 1998.

The church's construction was ordered by Alfonso II of Asturias and it was built by the court architect Tioda c. 830.[1] It is dedicated to the martyred Egyptian saints Julian and Basilissa.


The spacious church clearly displays the characteristics of its style. It is of 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 size and originality of the church stands out and distinguishes it from works of Visigothic art. However, without doubt, that which most attracts attention to this church is the pictorial decoration, with aniconic frescoes (stucco, very well executed), painted in three layers, with architectural decoration that bears clear Roman influences. Although it appears more a monastic rather than a royal church, a gallery was reserved for the king in the transept.

Of the three original entrances to the church, two have been filled in.



The only sculptural decoration that has survived to the present day is that of the marble capitals on which rest the semi-circular arches. There are also two marble flagstones with hexagonal geometric figures and floral motives that are found in the central chapel.


The pictorial decoration is the most important element that can be seen in the church. It is without doubt the most important of its time, in its extent and conservation as much as in the variety of icons represented, in all of Western Europe.[2][3]

See also



External links

  • Page with information on the church and opening times (in English).
  • Page with lots of photos of the church
  • Spanish Pre-Romanesque Art: San Julian de los Prados
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