Santa Cristina de Lena

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Church of St. Christine of Lena
Iglesia de Santa Cristina de Lena (Spanish)
Santa Cristina de Lena.jpg
Basic information
Location Spain Lena, Spain
Geographic coordinates 43°7′38.4″N 5°48′51.5″W / 43.127333°N 5.814306°W / 43.127333; -5.814306
Affiliation Roman Catholic
Province Asturias
Country Spain
Ecclesiastical or organizational status Inactive
Heritage designation World Heritage Site
Architectural description
Architectural type Church
Architectural style Pre-Romanesque
Groundbreaking 7th century
Completed 852
Direction of façade NE
Length 16 metres (52 ft)
Width 12 metres (39 ft)
Type Cultural
Criteria ii, iv, vi
Designated 1985 (9th session)
Parent listing Monuments of Oviedo and the Kingdom of the Asturias
Reference no. 312
Extensions 1998
State Party Spain
Region Europe and North America

St Christine of Lena (Spanish: Santa Cristina de Lena) is a Roman Catholic Asturian pre-Romanesque church located in the Lena municipality, about 25 km south of Oviedo, Spain, on an old Roman road that joined the lands of the plateau with Asturias.

The church has a different ground plan to Pre-Romanesque's traditional basilica. It is a single rectangular space with a barrel vault, with four adjoining structures located in the centre of each facade. The first of these annexes is the typical Asturian Pre-Romanesque vestibule, with a royal tribune on the upper part, accessed via a stairway joined to one of the walls. To the east is the enclosure with the altar, with a single apse, foregoing the traditional Asturian pre-romanesque triple apse, and going back to Visigoth influences. To the north and south respectively, there are two other enclosures through semicircular arches and barrel vaults, whose use was associated with the Hispano-Visigothic liturgy practised in Spain up to the 11th century.

One of the most particular elements of Santa Cristina de Lena is the existence of the presbytery elevated above floor level in the last section of the central nave, separated from the area intended for the congregation by three arches on marble columns. This separation, which appears in other Asturian churches, is not repeated in any other with a similar structure. Both the lattices over the arches and the wall enclosing the central arch were re-used from Visigothic origins in the 7th century.


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