Jaime Rodríguez Miranda nº27Alejandro Ruiz nº28Nacho Galán nº13
History• The church of St Mary at Mount Naranco is a RomanCatholic Asturian pre-Romanesque Asturianarchitecture church on the slope of Mount Narancosituated 3 kilometres 1.9 mil from Oviedo, northernSpain. Ramiro I of Asturias ordered it to be built as aroyal palace as part of a larger complex that alsoincorporated the nearby church of San Miguel deLillo, 100 meters away. It was completed in 848. Itsstructural features, such as the barrel vault — withtransverse ribs corresponding one-to-one withcontraforts at the exterior, make it a clear precursorof the Romanesque construction.
History• Built as a recreational palace, it is situated on thesouthern side of Mount Naranco facing the city, andwas originally part of a series of royal buildingslocated in the outskirts. Its character as a civilbuilding changed in the 12th century when it wasconverted into a church dedicated to St. Mary. ThePalace of Santa María del Naranco, involved asignificant stylistic, morphological, constructive anddecorative renovation of Pre-Romanesque,supplementing it with new, innovative resources,representing a leap forward with respect toimmediately previous periods. This palacesinnovations amazed chroniclers, who repeatedlymention it over time. A case in point is the CrónicaSilense, written around the year 1015, about 300years after its construction, and which, ondescribing Ramiro I of Asturias.
Architecture• The palace, on a rectangular ground plan, has twofloors. The lower level, or crypt, quite low, has acentral chamber and another two located on eitherside. The upper floor is accessed via a doubleexterior stairway adjoining the facade, leading intoan identical layout as the lower floor; a central ornoble hall with six blind semicircular arches alongthe walls, supported by columns built into the wall,and a mirador at each end. These are accessed viathree arches, similar to those onto the wall, restingon columns with helicoidal rope moulding, typicalof Pre-Romanesque. The barrel vault is made fromtufa stone, and is held up by six transverse archesresting on consoles.
Architecture• Santa María del Naranco represented a step forward from adecorative point of view by enriching the habitual standardsand models with elements from painting, gold work and thetextile arts. The rich decoration is concentrated in the hall andmiradors of the upper floor, where it is especially worth notingthe cubic-prismatic capitals (), decorated with reliefs framed bycord decoration (from local tradition) in trapezoid andtriangular shapes, inside which there are sculpted forms ofanimals and humans. This kind of motif is repeated on thedisks with central medallions located above the blind archesintersections. The 32 medallions distributed around thebuilding are similar in size and shape, varying the decorativedesigns and the interior figures (quadrupeds, birds, bunches ofgrapes, fantastic animals), a style inherited from the Visigothperiod, in turn descended from Byzantine tradition.
Architecture• The medallions have decorative bands above them,again framed by rope moulding, inside which fourfigures are scuipted and arranged symmetrically; theupper two carrying loads on their heads and thelower two representing soldiers on horsebackcarrying swords. These figures seem to have somekind of symbolic social meaning; the warriors whodefend and support the men of prayer, oralternatively, the royal and ecclesiastic orderscomplementing each other.
Architecture• Santa María del Naranco shows other, equallybeautiful and important sculptural elements; for thefirst time, a Greek cross appears sculpted asemblem of the Asturian monarchy, at the same timeprotecting the building from all evil, somethingwhich was to become habitual in the populararchitecture of towns and villages. Other sculpturalelements, such as the capitals of Corinthianinspiration on the miradors triple-arched Windowsor the altar stone in the eastern mirador (make thispalace the most distinctive building in Pre-Romanesque, a singularity highlighted by being theonly palace complex that has lasted until the presentday with both Visigothic and Carolingian courtstructures.• .
Characteristics• Santa María del Naranco shows other, equally beautiful andimportant sculptural elements; for the first time, a Greek crossappears sculpted as emblem of the Asturian monarchy, at thesame time protecting the building from all evil, somethingwhich was to become habitual in the popular architecture oftowns and villages. Other sculptural elements, such as thecapitals of Corinthian inspiration on the miradors triple-archedWindows or the altar stone in the eastern mirador (make thispalace the most distinctive building in Pre-Romanesque, asingularity highlighted by being the only palace complex thathas lasted until the present day with both Visigothic andCarolingian court structures.
CharacteristicsCharacteristicsIn a lot of stones there are this text:In a lot of stones there are this text:Christe filivs dei qui in vtero virginis beatae mariaeChriste filivs dei qui in vtero virginis beatae mariaein gressvs es sine hv mana conteptione et egressvsin gressvs es sine hv mana conteptione et egressvssine corrvptione qvi per famvlvm tvvm ranimirvmsine corrvptione qvi per famvlvm tvvm ranimirvmprincipe gloriosvm cvm paterna regina conivgeprincipe gloriosvm cvm paterna regina conivgerenovasti hoc habitacvlvm nimia vetvstaterenovasti hoc habitacvlvm nimia vetvstateconsvmptvm et pro eis aedificasti hanc haramconsvmptvm et pro eis aedificasti hanc harambenedicbenedictionis gloriosae sanctae mariae in locvm hvnctionis gloriosae sanctae mariae in locvm hvncsvmmvm exavdi eos de caelorum habitacvlo tvo etsvmmvm exavdi eos de caelorum habitacvlo tvo etdimitte peccadimitte peccata eorvm qvi vivis et regnas per infinita saecvlata eorvm qvi vivis et regnas per infinita saecvlasaecvlorvm amen die VIIII0 kalendas ivlias erasaecvlorvm amen die VIIII0 kalendas ivlias eraDCCCLXXXVIADCCCLXXXVIA ..
TranslationTranslationTheThe translationtranslation is:is:Son of God, you came into the womb of the BlessedSon of God, you came into the womb of the BlessedVirgin Mary without human conception and came outVirgin Mary without human conception and came outwithout corruption, that by your servant Ramirowithout corruption, that by your servant Ramiroglorious prince with Queen cónyege Paterna youglorious prince with Queen cónyege Paterna yourenewed this abode consumed by the great antiquity,renewed this abode consumed by the great antiquity,and through them you built this altar of blessing toand through them you built this altar of blessing tothe glorious Saint Mary in this high place, hear fromthe glorious Saint Mary in this high place, hear fromyour dwelling from heaven and forgive their sins.your dwelling from heaven and forgive their sins.Who live and reign for ever and ever infinite, amen.Who live and reign for ever and ever infinite, amen.Ninth day of the Kalends of July was 886 June 23,Ninth day of the Kalends of July was 886 June 23,848.848.