Church of Santa Maria de Arbas

Villamanín, Spain

Church of Santa Maria de Arbas is a good example of late León romanesque, built during the 12th and 13th centuries. It once belonged to the regular order of Saint Agustin. The church has three naves and four pillars supporting the round arches that separate the naves.

It was officially founded in the 12th century by the Count Fruela, El Cid's brother in law.It was ruled as a Colegiata (Collegiate Church) and a Hospedería (Hostelry) by the Augustine monks.As a result of its decline, it became a simple parish church. It was restored after the Civil War. The building consists of fine grey limestone blocks. The gothic chapel was added later, in the 12th century. The sacristy, the tower, the portico and the vaulting of the main nave date from the 17th century.



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Founded: 12th century
Category: Religious sites in Spain

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User Reviews

Santiago Aldidea (3 months ago)
Beautiful building. Difficult to visit.
Manuel Muñoz (4 months ago)
I pass at least a couple of times a week; and I always try to imagine the steps in the winter, at the time when this ecclesiastical building was created. That had to be tough.
Luis Maria Escavias de Carvajal Janer (6 months ago)
It is an obligatory step in our pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela, previously visiting the Cathedral of San Salvador de Oviedo, traveling the section known as the Camino de San Salvador. It has been known since the Middle Ages the saying of who goes to Santiago and does not visit the Savior, goes to the servant's house and does not visit his master, there are several phrases to refer to the same thing, such as who goes to Santiago and does not visit the Savior , visits the servant and leaves the master or whoever goes to Santiago and does not visit the Savior, serves the servant and leaves the master. Around the year 1092, a monastic community, more specifically canons regular of San Agustín, settled in the town of Arbas. Given the strategic position of this town on the route to San Salvador de Oviedo and the settlement of the religious community, in the year 1116, still no document has been preserved in this regard, according to the historian Menéndez Pidal, a hospital was founded by order of Count Fruela , whose purpose was to be a hostel for pilgrims on their way to Oviedo. Despite being a very rough and poor construction, basically intended to keep the community's livestock, it had its importance and relevance since, apart from the pilgrims, it served as accommodation for the poor who requested it. It was also known as Casa de los Probes. It was precisely the existence of that hospital that led to the construction of the Church of Our Lady of Santa María de Arbas during the reign of Alfonso IX, more specifically in 1216, next to the hostel. The temple underwent a series of transformations over the centuries, among which we can highlight the attachment to the north aisle of some Gothic chapels. We can also talk about the entrance portico that is covered with a ribbed, where the ornamentation of certain parts with allusive shapes to the Camino de Santiago predominates, such as the cross of the Order of Santiago. In 1693 the construction of a tower was completed, attached to the foot of the church, where the choir was located, and which was conceived to act as a portico. Later, specifically in 1723, the so-called "Casa del Abad" was built, which corresponds to the current residence of the officiating priests in the area. During the Spanish civil war, the church was looted, the original image of the Virgin being burned by the flames in 1936, and being replaced by a copy, the work of the sculptor Seoane Otero, of the Virgin of the Gradefes Monastery. The original image is part of the relics of San Isidoro de León. In the 1960s, the General Directorate of Fine Arts commissioned the architect Luis Menéndez Pidal Álvarez to restore the building, being his last resting place, since his tomb is located in the northern wall of the collegiate church. It has been declared a Historic Artistic Monument since 1931.
GSUS (7 months ago)
The environment should be improved. Opposite are hideous buildings.
Rui Oliveira (9 months ago)
Muito interessante. Necessita de divulgação e muito apoio.
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