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San Salvador de Valdediós

Valdediós, cradle of the Cistercian in Villaviciosa

San Salvador de Valdediós

Valdediós, cradle of the Cistercian in Villaviciosa

In the surroundings the patrimony is environmental and unique: forests of oak, chestnut and soto forest of heather, yew and broom, which alternate with areas of prairie and farmland.

The valley is a place to be carried away by nature, but even more by history, reviewing all ages of man.

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The monumental site is located at the head of Valdediós Valley, near the town of San Pedro de Ambás, in Villaviciosa. In 1985 he obtained the declaration of Heritage by UNESCO.

El Císter and San Salvador de Valdediós

In the proximities of the enclosure prehistoric and tardorromanos remains were found, although its epoch of splendor is located in Average Age, in century IX, when Alfonso III commands to raise the temple of San Salvador, and later, in the s.XIII the monks of the Cîteaux They decide to build the monastery. After centuries of expansion, decadence begins, culminating with the confiscations. The building is then occupied for different tasks, which partly modified its physiognomy and partly halted the deterioration to which it was exposed.

En 80 years, the School-Workshop takes the reins of the enclosure with a double objective: to recover the artisan crafts intimately linked to the Restoration and at the same time, to restore the past splendor to these walls.

San Salvador de Valdediós, popularly known as «The Conventín», as it has already been said was founded by Alfonso III, and consecrated in the 893 year with the assistance of six bishops.

The building is from the beginning a sacred site, its purpose was the celebration of worship. The existence of the call Royal porch and grandstand, they make suppose that Alfonso III attended the cult.

This temple, in keeping with the Pre-Romanesque Asturian, it has a basilical plan, its barrel vaults and its carved capitals with typical ornaments of the last Asturian style. It also conserves some original paintings and others later of s.XVIII.

But Valdediós is not only the church of San Salvador, in this space it was developed over the centuries a architectural framework of the first order. He Cistercian monastery of Valdediós goes back to the year 1200, when the king Alfonso IX and his wife Doña Berenguela grant in Santiago de Compostela a Fundamental Charter, giving privileges and land to the new Cistercian monastery.

It was built in «white stone and carefully carved» faithful reflection of ascetic spirit and sober of his architectural ideology: simplicity, sobriety and proportion. From the thirteenth century only the church remains standing, a fire and a flood caused the destruction of the old enclosures.

In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries the growth of the enclosure does not slow down, the stables, the refectory, part of the hostelry, the secret ones and the abbatial house are created. The monastic dependencies are extended throughout the XVIII and XIX centuries, the Cloister is completely configured, a new Chapter House, three baroque altars are placed ... a constant change and improvement of the facilities.

Today it is above all a monument open to admiration. Few are the visitors who do not find in this place the pleasure of the look or the spiritual calm of this antiquism island in the midst of the contemporary.

Text: © Ramón Molleda for desdeasturias.com

coordinates Latitude: 43.4380264 Length: -5.5071545


The AS-113 that joins the towns of Villaviciosa and Sariego is the one that brings us closer to the monumental site. In the town of San Pedro de Ambás there is a detour that leads us to the heart of the valley itself.

More information about the convent: www.monasteriovaldedios.com

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