Church of Santa María de Bendones

Bendones, Spain

Santa María de Bendones is an Asturian Pre-Romanesque Roman Catholic church situated in Bendones, Spain, build between 792 and 842.

The structure is similar to the church of San Julián de los Prados, although the ground plan is not the typical basilica of the Pre-Romanesque churches, but has three enclosures at the western end, the central one as an entrance vestibule and two side areas possibly to house parishioners or ecclesiastics. This entrance leads into a single nave with a wooden ceiling, the same length as the entrance enclosures. The nave adjoins two rectangular side areas, also with a wooden ceiling, whose use seems to associated with the liturgical rites of the period. this nave joined with the sanctuary by three semicircular brick arches, each of which leads into its corresponding chapel, of which only the main or central one is covered with a brick barrel vault, the other two with wooden ceilings.

Above the main chapel is the 'typical' chamber, only accessible from outside, through a trefoil window with the standard Pre-Romanesque features; central arch larger than the side ones, resting on two free-standing capitals with rope moulding, and the upper rectangle framed by simple moulding.

Independent from the church structure, though close to its southern facade, stands the bell tower, on a rectangular ground plan.



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Founded: 792-842 AD
Category: Religious sites in Spain

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4.4/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Olga S (5 months ago)
Pre-romanesque church, that was ruined and rebuild. With original tower. Great view. Near to Oviedo. Unfortunately it's impossible to enter.
valentin VS (8 months ago)
Destroyed during the civil war and restored in the 50s. That is why it is only a national monument and not a UNESCO monument like Lillo and Santa María del Naranco (essential to see) Unfortunately it is closed The tower is separate from the church. It is located in a village 10 minutes from Oviedo
Víctor Piedras (9 months ago)
Another wonder of the Asturian Pre-Romanesque located in the council of Oviedo. Be careful, it is difficult to see the interior and difficulty finding parking outside. It is from the same period as San Julián de los Prados. Built around the 9th century during the Asturian reign of Alfonso II. It was burned and destroyed, like many others, by the Republicans during the G.C. in 1936 and years later, in the 1950s, rebuilt. Declared a National Monument since 1958. The bell tower (the only pre-Romanesque monument with a tower) is external and has been restored, not without some controversy.
Luciana de Magalhaes Nunes (2 years ago)
It is worth traveling to Bendones, just 5 kilometers from Oviedo, to see it. The church has many architectural similarities as well as the type of materials used with that of San Julián de los Prados. Simple in construction but despite this, it is worth noting that this temple is an exception to Asturian pre-Romanesque architecture because it has a gabled wooden structure, while the usual thing is a vaulted roof. In front of the church, in its southwest corner, a bell tower has been rebuilt.
Raúl Ramos Solar (2 years ago)
The beautiful Santa Maria de Bendones It is the only Asturian pre-Romanesque church that has a bell tower. Pre-Romanesque church probably built in the time of the monarch Alfonso II. Destroyed in 1936, and its ruins identified in 1954 by Joaquín Manzanares, it underwent a controversial reconstruction in 1958. The current temple has a single central nave, a tripartite chancel and a narthex at the foot. In the north and south walls there are two compartments that communicate with the interior of the church. In front of the church, in its southwest corner, a bell tower has been rebuilt. The exterior of the temple is decorated by brick arches and reconstructed lattices. However, in the temple there are original pieces such as the alfiz with triple arches that illuminates the hidden chamber located above the central chapel. The interior of the temple has a wooden roof, except for the chapel of the central nave, which is covered with a vault. Like other pre-Romanesque temples, it was decorated with mural paintings of which remains remain on the arch on the south side.
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