In a place called Ligno Ramiro I (842-850) built a temple which, at least since the 12th century, has a dedication to San Miguel. It is found some 300 metres to the Northeast of Santa María de Naranco. The divergences between the project and the execution are important enough to infer they do not correspond to the actions by the same master or workshop.
The history of this temple is accident-prone. Towards the end of the 11th century it suffered a collapse affecting two thirds of its original construction. Only the western sector remained unscathed. After demolishing the ruins, the remaining structure was consolidated and completed with an unrefined eastern chapel, built in the same 11th century or in the first years of the 12th century.
The original floor was made up by a 20x10 m rectangle, in which a triple header was inserted, with three rectangular chapels built in a single front wall, a possible transept inscribed on the floor, three naves divided by brickwork arches on columns and a complex western front part. It had no lateral chambers to the North and South of the naves. All the quarters of the building are barrel-roofed.
The sculptural decoration is particularly important, both reused pieces and those expressly created forming part of this and, therefore, reducing the stylistic unity of the building. Externally, that which most stands out is the series of fretted latticework, of which two originals are preserved on the Western façade and the Southern façade. The large columns of the arches dividing the naves stand out inside, supported on aged bases and crowned by truncated pyramid-shaped impost capitals. The bases, of which twenty have been conserved, constitute one of the most original y sculptural sets of the entire High Middle Ages. These are prismatic blocks, divided into quadrangular sectors by cable moulded lines, inside which the Symbols of the Evangelists (Tetramorphs) are found.
This sculptural set proves the diversity of hands that have worked on the temple of El Naranco. The summit work of the Lillo sculpture is found in the portico jambs. These are two monolithic pieces crowned by an impost of notes. On its faces, divided into three fields, different patterns related to Roman circus games have been carved. The upper field represents the consul between two civil servants. The central field has the carving of circus scenes, with the taming of a lion, standing on two paws before the trainer, with his stick and whip, and a tightrope walker, exercising the balance on a pole, seeing the cage or box the animal exited from in the background.
Inside the temple there are important remains of the original pictorial coating. Patterns of caissons similar to those of the chapel of the header of Santullano, formed by interlinked octagons and hexagons with flowers and stars inside them, can be observed in the vaults of the naves.
Hillsides of Mount Naranco.
(3 Km from Oviedo/Uviéu).
Bus line A1 and A2. Information on timetables and stops: www.tua.es
Tel.: 985 21 26 60 (parish) - 638 26 01 63 (warden).
From 1st January to 31st March and from 1st October to 31st December:
Tuesdays to Saturdays, from 10:00 to 14:30 h. (last visit).
Sundays, from 10:00 to 12:30 h. (last visit).
Free entry on Monday mornings (without any guide service), from 10:00 to 12:30 h.
Closed, 1st and 6th January, from 14th January to 31st May, 11th October, 1st and 15th November and 6th, 24th, 25th and 31st December.
Check on timetable for the Christmas Period.
From 1st April to 30th September:
Tuesdays to Saturdays, from 09:30 to 13:00 and from 15:30 to 19:00 h. (last visit).
Free entry on Monday mornings (without any guide service), from 09:30 to 13:00 h.
Closed: from 14th January to 31st May and 8th and 21st September.
General: 4 €.
Children from 8 to 14 years old: 3 €.
Groups: 3 €.
Check on discounts.
Free entry on Monday mornings (without any guide service).
Visits: Visits commence at Santa María del Naranco and the tickets are collected there.
On winter timetable mondays, Santa María opens on the hour and San Miguel de Lliño at half past hour, and on summer timetable Mondays, Santa María del Naranco opens half past the hour and San Miguel de Lliño on the hour.
More information: www.santamariadelnaranco.es.