Church of San Salvador de Valdediós

Villaviciosa, Spain

The church of the Holy Savior of Valdediós (Iglesia de San Salvador de Valdediós) stands in the Boides valley (Villaviciosa), the place where Alfonso III of Asturias was detained when he was dispossessed by his sons, and where there used to be an old convent governed by the Benedictine Order, substituted in the 13th century by the Cistercians. The church known as the 'Bishops' Chapel' was consecrated on 16 September 893, with seven bishops in attendance.

The church stands on a classic basilica ground plan with a triple sanctuary, separating the central nave from the side aisles with four semicircular arches. At the western end, there are three enclosures, the central one used as an access vestibule, and two located on the left and right which may have been used to house pilgrims. The vault over the central nave, like the one over the apses, is barreled with a brick ceiling and decorated with al fresco wall painting, alternating a variety of geometric designs.

The royal tribune is located above the vestibule, separate from the area intended for the congregation (spatium fidelium) in the central nave, and this from the area devoted to the liturgy by iron grilles, now disappeared. Particular elements of this church include the covered gallery annexed to the southern facade at a later date or Royal Portico, the 50 cm square columns on the central naves arches, the triple-arched window open in the central apse, and the room above it, exclusively accessed from the exterior by a window which here has two openings, compared with the habitual three.



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Villaviciosa, Spain
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Founded: 893 AD
Category: Religious sites in Spain

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4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

el cor (14 months ago)
Exemple de prerromanic asturià a petita església i altre convent modificat amb diferents estils. Lloc..molt agradable
Rachel (15 months ago)
Extremely interesting edifice dating back 1200 years. Access is with guide only, tours of this and the other buildings on the site were commencing on the hour when we visited in May 2022. Car parking area outside the monastery site, fairly accessible but not ideal for those dependent entirely on wheelchairs, the site is quite flat with only a few steps so those with reduced mobility should be ok
Nacho Gonzalez (17 months ago)
Fascinating church. Worth a visit.
Blanca Rubio Navarro (2 years ago)
El lugar precioso, por el precio de la entrada la visita magnífica y muy detallada. Sobre todo, la guía impresionante y un encanto, imprescindible su compañía para entender y poder apreciar el conjunto. Un diez.
Julio Llera (2 years ago)
Valley of God ... Nothing more to say! Great beauty. Of course, to enter is with a guided tour. Very well explained everything
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