San Tirso Church

Oviedo, Spain

The Church of Saint Thyrsus (Iglesia de San Tirso) was established in the 790s. Dedicated to Saint Thyrsus, it was built by Tioda, the royal architect of Alfonso II of Asturias. The Great Fire of Oviedo in 1521 and rebuilding in the 18th century removed most of the original church, except for a three-light window.

The building has suffered so much from alterations over the centuries and only the general plan has been preserved. It is that of a basilica with nave and aisles divided by rude stone piers set at unequal intervals, from which round arches spring. In the easternmost bay, however, owing to the smaller span, the arch was made sufficiently pointed to raise its crown to the same height as the others. This irregularity was already typical of Imperial Roman times, when barrel vaults were given a pointed form in order to make the height of rooms of varying size uniform, as it was necessary to raise the crown of the vault in some of them. This is illustrated by various chambers in the House of Tiberius on the Palatine.

There is no satisfactory explanation of the 'many angels' the building is said to have presented in the Codex Vigilianus.

In the rectangular sanctuary atriplet round-arched window 2 by 2 metres is preserved. With its pre-romanesque bases, rough brick arches, and capitals with rude packed leaves, it gives an idea of the better style of building and carving in the time of Alfonso II of Asturias. It is known that the church of San Tirso housed Royal Chapel.



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Founded: 790s AD
Category: Religious sites in Spain

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ANGEL Suarez (3 months ago)
Right in the center, next to the Cathedral is this building, the foundation of King Alfonso II el Casto in the 9th century. With numerous transformations and modifications, it was completely transformed at the end of the 12th century, in the Romanesque period, and in the 14th century, when a large part of the temple was rebuilt. Destroyed by fire in 1521, The last modification occurred during the 20th century. Of the primitive church, only the head wall of the head remains, the upper part being visible and the lower part being one meter below street level. Listed as a Site of Cultural Interest, a Historic-Artistic Monument since 1931.
Pisadiel (6 months ago)
Church of San Tirso el Real (9th-16th century), in the cathedral square, called Alfonso II el Casto, in Uviéu (Asturies). It was part of the primitive palatial complex d'Uviéu, a new royal seat, the capital transferred from Santianes de Pravia. Its author could be the master architect Tioda. It has the wall of the front seen at the head-half buried over 3 m. and with a trífora window, perhaps from the supra-apse chamber, discovered in 1912- from its original pre-Romanesque construction (9th century), during the reign of Alfonso II d'Asturies (783 / 791-842), it has a Romanesque reform to ff. s. XII and another reform of the s. XIV. It was almost destroyed on the surface by the fire d'Uviéu of 1521, so it had a Renaissance reconstruction. It has a rectangular plan, with three naves between pillars that support semicircular arches, a triple head, a portico and buttresses on the façade. Three levels -two underground that correspond to the primitive temple-. Chapel of Santa Ana (1574) with a half point entrance arch, ribbed vault inside on corbels with angels with coats of arms and Plateresque decoration. Baroque main altarpiece by the master architect and sculptor from Oviedo, José Bernardo de la Meana (1715-90). Image of San Tirso by the Seguntine master sculptor Antonio Borja (1660-1730). Triptychs of the Oviedo painter Francisco Reiter Elze (1736-1815). Tomb on a pillar of Velasquita Giráldez -founder of the hospital and chapel of the Balesquida-, a lady of Frankish origin, married to Fernando Gonzalvi. King Alfonso III d'Asturies (866-910) donated this temple to his wife Queen Ximena (848-912).
Cesareo Suarez (11 months ago)
For its historical significance
Pepa Sanz (2 years ago)
Cozy parish where there are them. One feels comfortable and well attended and the liturgy is worth it.
Aique Rodríguez López (4 years ago)
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Quimper Cathedral

From 1239, Raynaud, the Bishop of Quimper, decided on the building of a new chancel destined to replace that of the Romanesque era. He therefore started, in the far west, the construction of a great Gothic cathedral which would inspire cathedral reconstructions in the Ile de France and would in turn become a place of experimentation from where would later appear ideas adopted by the whole of lower Brittany. The date of 1239 marks the Bishop’s decision and does not imply an immediate start to construction. Observation of the pillar profiles, their bases, the canopies, the fitting of the ribbed vaults of the ambulatory or the alignment of the bays leads us to believe, however, that the construction was spread out over time.

The four circular pillars mark the start of the building site, but the four following adopt a lozenge-shaped layout which could indicate a change of project manager. The clumsiness of the vaulted archways of the north ambulatory, the start of the ribbed vaults at the height of the south ambulatory or the choice of the vaults descending in spoke-form from the semi-circle which allows the connection of the axis chapel to the choir – despite the manifest problems of alignment – conveys the hesitancy and diverse influences in the first phase of works which spread out until the start of the 14th century.

At the same time as this facade was built (to which were added the north and south gates) the building of the nave started in the east and would finish by 1460. The nave is made up of six bays with one at the level of the facade towers and flanked by double aisles – one wide and one narrow (split into side chapels) – in an extension of the choir arrangements.

The choir presents four right-hand bays with ambulatory and side chapels. It is extended towards the east of 3-sided chevet which opens onto a semi-circle composed of five chapels and an apsidal chapel of two bays and a flat chevet consecrated to Our Lady.

The three-level elevation with arches, triforium and galleries seems more uniform and expresses anglo-Norman influence in the thickness of the walls (Norman passageway at the gallery level) or the decorative style (heavy mouldings, decorative frieze under the triforium). This building site would have to have been overseen in one shot. Undoubtedly interrupted by the war of Succession (1341-1364) it draws to a close with the building of the lierne vaults (1410) and the fitting of stained-glass windows. Bishop Bertrand de Rosmadec and Duke Jean V, whose coat of arms would decorate these vaults, finished the chancel before starting on the building of the facade and the nave.

Isolated from its environment in the 19th century, the cathedral was – on the contrary – originally very linked to its surroundings. Its site and the orientation of the facade determined traffic flow in the town. Its positioning close to the south walls resulted in particuliarities such as the transfer of the side gates on to the north and south facades of the towers: the southern portal of Saint Catherine served the bishop’s gate and the hospital located on the left bank (the current Préfecture) and the north gate was the baptismal porch – a true parish porch with its benches and alcoves for the Apostles’ statues turned towards the town, completed by an ossuary (1514).

The west porch finds its natural place between the two towers. The entire aesthetic of these three gates springs from the Flamboyant era: trefoil, curly kale, finials, large gables which cut into the mouldings and balustrades. Pinnacles and recesses embellish the buttresses whilst an entire bestiary appears: monsters, dogs, mysterious figures, gargoyles, and with them a whole imaginary world promoting a religious and political programme. Even though most of the saints statues have disappeared an armorial survives which makes the doors of the cathedral one of the most beautiful heraldic pages imaginable: ducal ermine, the Montfort lion, Duchess Jeanne of France’s coat of arms side by side with the arms of the Cornouaille barons with their helmets and crests. One can imagine the impact of this sculpted decor with the colour and gilding which originally completed it.

At the start of the 16th century the construction of the spires was being prepared when building was interrupted, undoubtedly for financial reasons. Small conical roofs were therefore placed on top of the towers. The following centuries were essentially devoted to putting furnishings in place (funeral monuments, altars, statues, organs, pulpit). Note the fire which destroyed the spire of the transept cross in 1620 as well as the ransacking of the cathedral in 1793 when nearly all the furnishings disappeared in a « bonfire of the saints ».

The 19th century would therefore inherit an almost finished but mutilated building and would devote itself to its renovation according to the tastes and theories of the day.