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San Pedro de Villanueva
Cangas de Onís (Eastern Asturias)
Contact Address
33540 Villanueva
Period

Romanesque

Remarks

The cloister may be visited.

San Pedro de Villanueva
Now re-converted into a Parador luxury hotel.

The Benedictine Monastery of San Pedro de Villanueva in Cangas de Onís was one of the most important in eastern Asturias. It consisted of a church, a cloister, the tower and the typical elements of a monastery: chambers, refectory, choir and cells, the church being the only Romanesque architectural element that has endured over time.

It has recently been renovated to fulfil various functions, converting it into a Parador luxury hotel.

It is believed that the monastery was built in the time of Alfonso I, although it has not been possible to corroborate this fact, since the first news we have of it dates back to the 12th century, when the church was built. Work took place in the monastery in 1685 to replace the old Romanesque tower with the one it retains today, at the same time as renovating the cloister, most likely replacing another Romanesque cloister.

The wooden ceiling was replaced in the 18th century by stone vaulting. Finally, it was restored in the middle of the 20th century after a long period of neglect. The monastic Romanesque church follows the Benedictine scheme of a single, rectangular nave, topped by three semi-circular apses, the central one being higher. The apses are communicated via semi-circular arches. Three other triumphal arches separate the body of the church from the apses. The ceilings are vaulted, although the nave originally held a wooden gable roof. It has three portals: one is closed off, another opens onto the cloister, and the third, in the southern wall, is the entrance to the church. This portal is one of the most beautiful examples of carved stone in the Asturian Romanesque style. Four semi-circular archivolts decorated with rosettes rest on magnificent capitals, adorned with floral patterns on the right and beautiful scenes of chivalry on the left.

The apses are adorned with interesting figurative capitals, arranged in the triumphal arches and in the bays which connect these apses. Their key feature is the duality or conflict between birds and monsters, angel and devil, opposing Good against Evil as the path of Salvation.

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San Pedro de Villanueva
GPS:43.366849,-5.151152