SAN ADRIANO DE TUÑÓN
- Declared Monument of Cultural Interest on June 4, 1931.
- Preserves the most ancient Mozarabic paintings known so far.
- After two restauration processes in the previous century, a second cleaning and wall consolidation campaign took place in 2008, protecting the paintings for further study.
This small church that has survived in good shape was founded by Alphonse the Third and his wife Jimena de Navarra on January 21st, 891, as a monastery church though it went through large transformations at the beginnings of the twelfth century. In spite that it was restaured in the last century eliminating part of the modifications that had taken place through different periods, today it still preserves at its feeet a sort of nartex and a triple portico that do not correspond to the original building.
Although small in size and with a poor building quality for being a church of a small rural monastery, its structure is the usual one in churches built by Alphonse the Second and Alphonse the Third. I has a three-nave basilical plan, covered by a wooden roof, without any crossing nave, probably for not being important: with three apses covered by barrel vaults forming a flat chevet, and the usual secret chamber in the central apse. Besides, and also in line with said structure, there were two lateral compartments, of which only the one in the southern side has survived. In its interior, the three naves divide themselves in three stretches formed by round arches, supported upon square pillars without any imposts, finishing in the three apse’s chapels. It is probable it had at its feet a triple portico covered by a tribune, as is the case of the churches of that period. As we have mentioned, its construction is of poor quality, in rough stone and small ashlars with ashlars in the corners only. It is interesting to notice the double-round arch window in brick with a central column and capital above the main chapel as the sole access to the secret chamber.
The illumination of the church is achieved through a window on each apse and three at each side of the main nave, upon the separation arches with the aisles; all of them with decorated lattice work.. In the interior, the only sculptured decoration consists of the rests of a marble inner door and the two capitals of the access arch to the central apse, though having sometimes been considered as reutilized from the Visigothic period, we think they are contemporary with the church, although of poor quality, and with Mozarabic influences. The paintings in the main apse are more interesting, of clear Mozarabic influence, where we find, besides the alegories to the sun and the moon, a frieze of battlements and another one of flowers.
We are sorry to have to warn the visitors of how unfriendly is the person in charge of opening the door and show the church. It seems he is an employee of the Bishopric Of Oviedo, since, on top of his scarce knowledge about the history and characteristics of the church, he does not allow to make photos even with no flash -the photo that heads this file was shot during our first visit over twenty years ago, whereas the ones of the exterior are from August 2006- and he does not allow to get in the church wih cameras, so it is necessary to go back to the parking lot, which is quite far away, to leave them in tha car before going in San Adriano. Therefore we recommend our readers to try to make their visit coinciding when the priest is there, an information that can be obtained at any of our Collaborator Hotels.
Other interesting information
Access: Take A-63 to leave Oviedo to Grado La Espina; take N-634 until exit 9 towards Trubia and then, AS-228. Tuñón is at 9Km distance. The church stand at the left, within the village. Park in the village (the highway parking is not near the church). Total distance: 23Km. GPS Coordinates: 43º 17′ 30,70″N 5º 58′ 53,48″W.
Group visit: For visits of groups of more than five people call the local Ecomuseum. Telephone 985 76 14 03. Visiting Hours: For visits of less than five persons, the pastor should be consulted in advance at 629 86 70 42.
Arte Pre-románico Asturiano: Antonio Bonet Correa
SUMMA ARTIS: Tomo VIII
L’Art Preroman Hispanique: ZODIAQUE Ars Hispanie: Tomo II
Arte Asturiano: José Manuel Pita Andrade
Guía del Arte Prerrománico Asturiano: Lorenzo Arias Páramo