I am extremely pleased we meet again for another memorable Royal Endeavors breathtaking episode, still dedicated to Basque Country – a wonderful occasion to be grateful for the opportunities this country offered to me to get in touch with myself and to discover the many distinguished aspects of a fulfilling life.
As I have previously mentioned so many times in other travel episodes, art and beauty not only raise vibrations to a higher level of (self) consciousness and confidence but also nurture our souls with the divine energy of creation, representing the very core of a luxurious simplicity accessible to the humankind. I know I get deep but let’s hope my example will pave the way of self-discovery and personal development for some, as I believe the academic foundation of having studied Psychology and Education definitely shines out.
I am having a wonderful time lately enjoying a book of Dominique Loreau on The Art of Refinement and Luxury, preaching the priceless experiences of spicing up life with memorable but little gestures or activities that feed the soul, such as traveling to see an art exhibition, sipping coffee or tea from beautiful cups or acquiring only top quality garments which will last a lifetime. Having the chance to admire the stunning masterpieces created by blessed minds and divine hands definitely resonates to the idea of affordable luxury, whose positive impact can bring joy to any heart.
I will start this precious storytelling journey with Oviedo, the capital of the Principality of Asturias in northern Spain, an elegant and enchanting city known for its medieval old town and the site of the Gothic Oviedo Cathedral with its 9th-century Holy Chamber. When describing Oviedo the words “Charming” and “Historic” always come to mind. One can feel the sense of history in every step, while discovering the impressive Old District and strolling among Palaces, Churches, Convents and ancient buildings.
We only had a few hours to wonder around, visit the Museum of Fine Arts of Asturias (one of the best in Spain) or The Archeological Museum of Asturias, the 13th century Cathedral of San Saviour and eat if we still had time therefore I sacrificed the last to fully enjoy the art.
I only had a big slice tortilla in the last 5 minutes prior to the group meeting before our departure, that being, surprisingly, the cheapest food I ever tasted in Basque Country, which I compensated with my favorite sparkling water, San Pellegrino.
The Museum of Fine Arts of Asturias
Santa Ana, 1.
Tuesday to Friday: 10:30am-2:00pm and 4:30pm-8:30pm
Saturday: 11:30am-2:00pm and 5:00pm-8:00pm
Sunday and holidays: 11:30am to 2:30pm
Summer (July and August):
Tuesday to Saturday: 10:30am-2:00pm and 4:00pm-8:00pm
Sunday and holidays: 10:30am to 2:30pm
Closed on Monday
+34 985 213 061
The visit to the incredible Museo de Bellas Artes de Asturias is indespensable; it is the main museum in the Principality and houses the largest public collection of art in the region, ranging from paintings and prints, to photography and applied and industrial arts.
The collections encompass the period from the Middle Ages to the 20th century. Especially worthy of note are the Spanish paintings and the significant examples of other European schools, in particular the Italian and Flemish ones.
Outstanding among all the works on display are El Greco’s The Apostolate, painted by the artist between 1585 and 1590; and masterpieces from Dalí, Picasso, Sorrolla, Goya and more.
The museum occupies three buildings in the old quarter of Oviedo, very close to the cathedral: the Velarde Mansion (1767), a masterpiece by the architect Reguera; the Oviedo-Portal House (1660), the work of Cantabrian architect Melchor de Velasco; and a building dating from the 1940s housing different museum services (offices, warehouses and stores, shops, meeting facilities, etc.)
The museum is much bigger than it appears to be from the outside, and is set to expand even further in the near future, therefore you should expect to spend a couple hours, to get through all the rooms.
El Greco’s Twelve Apostles artwork was stunning indeed, but I also fell in love with the watercolor painting “Metamorfosis de Angeles en Mariposa” of Salvador Dalí, which was one of my favorites.
The Museum of Fine Arts of Asturias, its impressive space, superb masterpieces and accessibility are the definition of affordable luxury and a fine investment of anyone’s precious time.
The Metropolitan Cathedral // Basilica of the Holy Saviour
Plaza Alfonso II El Casto S/N,
33003, Oviedo (Asturias)
January, February, November, December: Mornings from 10 am to 2 pm / Afternoons from 4 pm to 6 pm
March, April, May, October: Mornings from 10 am to 2 pm / Afternoons from 4 pm to 7 pm
June: Mornings from 10 am to 2 pm / Afternoons from 4 pm to 8 pm
July, August: Uninterrupted schedule from 10 am to 8 pm
September: Uninterrupted schedule from 10 am to 7 pm / from the 14th-21st from 10 am to 5 pm. (Jubilee).
Tourist visits must start at least one and a half hours before closing in order to be able to complete the entire tour.
Closing time on Saturdays all year is at 6 pm.
+34 985 219 642
Oviedo Cathedral has been one of the main destinations for pilgrims since yesteryear. Here, the Way of St. James began during the reign of the Pius King Alfonso II the Strong, hence the saying: «Who goes to Santiago but not to Salvador, visits the servant but not the Lord». Its architecture is supposed to express, symbolically, the will of God that dwells in the heart of man and that is manifested by an impulse towards infinity, expressed in an upward volumetric trend.
The cathedral is the image of the heavenly Jerusalem, which is spoken of in the book of Revelation: the heavenly city whose gates are defended by powerful towers and which descends beside God as like a bride adorned for her husband. In Christian tradition, Christ is always the husband and the church, his wife.
The Cathedral of San Salvador of Oviedo today displays an array of architectural styles, from Pre-Romanesque to Baroque, including Romanesque, Gothic and Renaissance parts. It began as a large Pre-Romanesque basilica in the present location of the Gothic cathedral, but nothing more is known about that first building, built by order of King Alfonso II of Asturias. It is also known as Sancta Ovetensis, referring to the quality and quantity of the relics found within its walls.
The building known as Cámara Santa (“Holy Chamber”) is the most important surviving structure from the primitive pre-Romanesque royal complex: it is a two-story building with a rectangular plan, which shelters several burials in its lower floor and keeps a collection of royal treasures and relics in the upper floor, like the well-known Cross of the Angels (“Cruz de los ángeles”) and the Victory Cross (“Cruz de la Victoria”) – both of them important symbols of the Asturian monarchy – and the Agate Box or Agate Casket. Bishop Pelagius relates that the Agate Box, a coffer made by the disciples of the Apostles and containing the most precious relics of the Holy City, was taken from Jerusalem to Africa, and after residing in several locations was finally placed at Oviedo by Alfonso II. In the 16th century, Bishop Cristóbal de Sandoval y Rojas wished to open it, but could not, being overcome with religious fear. The Cathedral is also the place where the Sudarium of Oviedo can be found, which is said to be the cloth that was wrapped around the head of Jesus Christ after his death.
Oviedo also marks the beginning of one of the most important stages of the Camino of St. James (Route of Santiago). This part of the route is called “The Primitive Way” that starts from Oviedo and leads you towards Santiago de Compostela in Galicia. Oviedo is an essential stopping point for pilgrims who wish to visit the Cathedral of San Salvador (The Saviour) before leaving for Santiago.
That’s it, ladies and gentlemen, I kept it rather short this time as I am definitely eager to welcome the much expected freedom required to make my new memories come to life, as soon as I deliver the last two Basque Country dedicated episodes (I have a feeling I’ve been saying that for a while now). Expect more artsy religious pics from Gothic Cathedrals and Baroque Museums.
That’s what I like.
See you soon! 🌕🌕🌕
The One and Only,