Before I begin to describe my life here in Oviedo, I think it’s important to first explain a little about the history. Oviedo is the capital city of Asturias, a principality in northern Spain. It is a city richly steeped in history and culture, founded allegedly in 761 by two monks: Máximo and Fromestano. King Alfonso II transformed it into the capital of Asturias during his reign, and it stayed that way until the capital was changed to León after the death of Alfonso III.
Since it is such an old city, it makes sense that many of the buildings are old as well. This past weekend we visited the Santa María del Naranco, a palace transformed into a church (built in the 9th century). We also visited another small 9th century church nearby the Santa María del Naranco, called San Miguel de Lillo. Each church has been worn down from years of wind and rain, but they're here today against all odds.
Probably my two favorite historic buildings are the Cathedral of San Salvador and the Basilica of San Julián de los Prados. Both are incredibly ornate and extravagant (and extremely helpful for navigating the city due to their height). Masses still take place in both, and it’s crazy to me that people can worship in such old buildings on a regular basis. To me, it’s a tourist attraction. For them, it’s their home church. Sometimes I feel as if I've magically traveled back to a different time in the past. That is, until I see a Dunkin Donuts. Then I know I'm still in the 21st century after all.