For many years, I looked at photos of Santa María del Naranco, the church that stands on a hill a few miles outside of Oviedo, Spain. It’s not the grandest of buildings but it does represent a significant example of pre-Romanesque architecture.
It was build in the 800’s, and to have remained standing all these years is testament to the ingenuity of it’s masons. The detailed carving is quite impressive as well:
When you visit this site, wear sturdy shoes and bring a bottle of water. The climb from the parking lot to the church is a steep grade over a paved path. The view from this hill can be astounding on a clear day as you see from the panoramic photo below. Click on it for full size:
I was glad to have finally seen this place in person. It was a bit of exercise, but worth the effort. While traveling, sometimes its not the most popular or largest of site, but rather the smaller more poignant ones that make the biggest impression.