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The Asturian Pre-Romanesque art is something unique in the world. It is worth to create a day trip or tour with a rented mini bus around some of the towns and cities of Asturias. During this bus trip you can learn not only about the more about Pre-Romanesque art and sites but also about the local cuisine and good food.
Into the capital of Asturias, Oviedo, you can find most of the more important Romanesque monuments. I recommend you to start by the jewels of the cathedral, and then up to Mount Naranco to enjoy both art and landscape. You can have lunch right there and then take the bus back to Villaviciosa. In this town you can, while enjoying the Romanesque art drink the authentic Asturian cider.
The driver can leave you very close to the Cathedral, in the bus stop at Jovellanos Street opposite the Monasterio de Las Pelayas. (Bus stop only to drop off and pick up passengers, to park for longer, there is a free parking for buses at the Palacio de los Deportes, which is very near).
From that pedestrian street you can already see the tower of the cathedral.
The Oviedo Cathedral has taken to build more than three centuries and therefore you can see various architectural styles. Within it is the Holy Chamber, a well-known example of Asturian Pre-Romanesque art that has been declared World Heritage..
Besides the structure of the Holy Chamber, you can see several jewels: the Box of the Agates, the Victory Cross, the Cross of the Angels, which is the emblem of the city of Oviedo, and the Holy Ark, where the "Holy Shroud" is guarded. , This is supposed to be the cloth that was wrapped around the head of Jesus Christ after his death. (it is different from the one in Turin, Italy)
The Holy Chamber was built in the ninth century and since has suffered wars, fires, reconstructions and theft, but fortunately they were able to restore the original appearance and all its treasures.
On leaving the cathedral you will see the Basilica San Tirso el Real, another sample of Asturian art where several original pieces and altarpieces were kept inside.
I encourage you to take a walk through the Old Oviedo and who wants to know more about Romanesque art can visit the Archaeological Museum of Asturias, at San Vicente, 3. For the rest of you, I recommend to go to Cimadevilla street number 7 to Diego Verdú, a traditional shop where you can buy delicious spanish sweets in winter, nougat and shortbread, and ice creams in summer.
When I was a child, Pre-Romanesque monuments of Naranco Mount were our favorite sites. They used to have free access, no entry was paid and we used to bring snacks to eat sitting on the balcony -viewpoint of Santa Maria del Naranco, dangling our legs.
The monuments were part of our entertainment, fun and culture. Even one of my friends got married there! Now the monument is protected and you have to pay entrance, except Monday, which is free. I recommend you hiring a tour guide who will tell you the details and anecdotes. Visit this site for more information. They’ll inform you in detail about the timetables of the two monuments at Naranco Mount and you can see great 360 views.
The bus can park at Buenos Aires Grill after leaving you close to the monuments, and after the visit, you can walk down for lunch.
There are two separate buildings by approximately 200 m. The first one you will see is the Church of Santa Maria del Naranco, which was built as a classroom and resting place for the King and later became a church. It's my favorite building and the most famous work of Romanesque Asturian art. When you go up the road, you will meet San Miguel de Lillo Church, bigger and very high. Both were built by order of Ramiro I King, in the ninth century.
On your way up you will see them: Casa Lobato Restaurant, and the restaurant Los Monumentos, both offer traditional and innovative cuisine. Depending on the season, you can eat fresh fish and seafood from the Cantabrian or our typical stew and taste their extensive wine list, don’t forget the traditional desserts such as rice with milk. I suggest you drinking wine at lunch, as for dinner I will propose a tripto Villaviciosa, the most famous city of Asturian cider, our traditional drink.
From Naranco Mount you can easily take the A66 motorway. Pay close attention because in the highway, before leaving Oviedo on the left, you will see the third pre-Romanesque church of the city: San Julian de los Prados.
In Villaviciosa there are also great and many examples of Romanesque Asturian art. The best known is the church of San Salvador de Valdediós, called "El Conventín" (the little convent) belonging to the Monastery of Santa Maria, which can also be visited. Besides seeing the buildings, if you have luck, you can listen to their very famous organ.
Open Tuesday to Sunday. Mornings: 11:00 to 13:30 - Afternoons: 16:30 to 19:00
If your group is over 25 people, than make a reservation via this phone number +34. 670 242 372
Location: San Pedro de Ambás.Villaviciosa
Access: from Oviedo to Villaviciosa (35 min), you must first take the A66 (Avilés-Gijón / Santander / La Coruña / Airport) and then take the Exit 26 (A64) direction Langreo / Santander, Follow until the exit 12 for the AS-267, direction La Secada / Vega Sariego / Villaviciosa.
Before reaching Villaviciosa, on the left, you will find signs for San Salvador de Valdediós.
Getting back on the bus by the AS-267 you will arrive in 20 minutes at Restaurante El Verano, in the village of Argüeru, where you can eat just like at home. Scorpion fish cake, fresh seafood and all kinds of meat, in a friendly family atmosphere. Of course you should drink the Villaviciosan cider, you will notice the difference!
Just book a table !! Tel: +34 985999109
Access to Restaurant El Verano from Valdediós Tell the driver to re-take the AS-267 towards Villaviciosa and then joins the AS-256. After 15 km you will find the exit to VV4 and immediately the restaurant is on the left.
Get back on your journey to the AS-256 and by the village of DEVA you can take the E70 / A8 to go to Oviedo, Gijon and Aviles, in 40 minutes. To go to Ribadesella, Llanes or Santander, go back to Villaviciosa on the AS-256 and then take the E70 / A8 towards Santander.
More or less, it will be an hour and a half bus ride which gives you time to digest what you have experienced today and time to think about what are you going to visit tomorrow. Maybe the beaches you are seeing through the window ?
Have a good rest, you've earned it!
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