SANTA EULALIA DE BÓVEDA
- Discovered a few years earlier and given to know in 1926. It was declared
National Monument in 1931 and Heritage of Cultural Interest in 1996.
- Since its discovery it has gone through several interventions and studies, that
in some cases have generated more damage than infomation and have not achieved
so far to date its initial construction nor its consecutive modifications.
We find ourselves in front of one of the best singular buildings of all Spanish architecture.
From this monument, that had not been thoroughly studied until 1947, we know it was recorded on a document of the 8th century, where the upper church of Santa Eulalia is mentioned. This indicates it was a double plan building and that its lower vault was damaged when the upper plan was tried to be fitted out for burials. It is now manifested as a series of unknown factors, extremely difficult to decipher due to the existing incompatibilities between some typical characteristics of the Roman architecture, as the painting in the interior decoration and the design of its structure, clearly classical; and others of basically barbarian and pagan sign, like the sculptured decoration of the external walls or the existence of a nave’s entrance door with the most ancient horseshoe arch in Spanish architecture as a structural element, as before then, it had only appeared in the decoration of some Roman steles.
This makes dating very difficult, since if it were Roman or Paleo-Christian, it should be located in the 4th century, whilst we consider the carved decoration on the outside and, above all, the existence of the horseshoe arch, it could be thought as a Swabian construction of the 6th century.
Some traces of the nave that existed originally upon the lower one that we have described are still preserved. This lets us assign Santa Eulalia de Bóveda to the group of double vault monuments that follow the syle started in Spain with the Mausoleo de la Alberca. It seems obvious that the upper nave had the same characteristics as the lower one, though probably with the entrance door at the opposite side. In the attached reconstruction we have had in mind that in the rear side the floor level was at the same height than the lower vault, since the building is buried on that side. We can also suppose that the upper nave was also covered by a barrel vault with a saddle roof. It is also possible that the referred door was a horseshoe one, as the three portico’s arches, like the one that is still preserved.
In the main façade formed by stone blocks in horizontal courses are worth mentioning the rectangular windows with a triangular discharging arch that flanks the door. This one has a horseshoe arch in bricks radially placed, prolonging a fourth of the radius, what would have been less surprising for a Visigothic church of the 7th century. In some of the stones of the façade a sculptured decoration may be noticed, clearly of the same period of the original construction, that consists of dancing figures that have no relation with the Roman sculpture.
In the interior, the barrel vault, recoverd with stucco, keeps a decoration based on geometrical, vegetal and animal motifs, maintaining the Roman pictorial tradition recalling also in the drawings of birds, some of the sculptured decorations of later Visigothic churches, such as Quintanilla de las Viñas that had a great influence in the Asturian painting of the 9th century.
Other interesting information
Access: Sta. Eulalia de Bóveda (27233) LUGO, freeway A6 up to exit 523; take N-VI southbound, some 4 Km.
GPS Coordinates: 42º 58′ 48,67″N 7º 41′ 9,24″W.
Information Telephione: (034) 609 237 779
Visiting Hours: open all the year round. Ask for timetable.
L’Art Preroman Hispanique: ZODIAQUE
SUMMA ARTIS: Tomo VIII
Hispanie: Tomo II
de Cibeles La Magna Mater (Santa Eulalia de Bóveda)
Santa Eulalia de Bóveda
Evolución constructiva de Santa Eulalia de Bóveda
Eulalia de Bóveda: ochenta años de bibliografía
descubrimento y las actuaciones arqueológicas en Santa Eulalia de Bóveda
Posibilidades de la aplicación de la Arqueología de la Arquitectura
en Santa Eulalia de Bóveda