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Is this Parroquia San Martin De Laspra?

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Rexistrau: 02 May 2003
Mensaxes: 205
Llugar: Virgina

MensaxePublicao: Sab Xun 28, 2003 9:02 am    Asuntu: Is this Parroquia San Martin De Laspra? Responder citando

While searching the web I found a site called www.miasturias.com. In it I found a photo stating it was of Iglesia San Martin. I just wanted to know if this is a photo of San Martin De Laspra where my grandparents were baptized. The photo is located on the following link:


I would truly appreciate any help. THANKS! Very Happy
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Rexistrau: 24 Feb 2003
Mensaxes: 1738
Llugar: Connecticut and Massachusetts

MensaxePublicao: Sab Xun 28, 2003 11:55 am    Asuntu: San Martinez de Laspra Responder citando

Yes, the photo is of San Martín (Samartín n'asturianu) de Laspra. In the botton photo (the top one did not load for me in four or five tries), the small window just to the left of the bell tower is a ventana prerromanica preserved from an earlier structure. I think that "prerromanica" refers to an architectural style. It is not really from before the Roman occupation of Asturias. The most used entrance to the church is around the corner of the bell tower to the right, under a sheltering porch. The Cementerio de San Martin de Laspra is immediately behind and slightly to the right of the site from which the photo was taken.

My father, my brother and I found the graves of some of our relatives there, including my grandfather's sisters Julia and Obdulia. We also discovered that, in contract with the situtation in the US, the graves are only occuplied for so long. The bones are then removed to a common ossuary (I don't know the location) and, I suppose, the graves are reused. A little further to the right is a pasture with cattle that overlooks (and provides a good view of) part of Piedras Blancas.

I have some photos of the church, the three altars within it, and the window that I will look for, scan and ask Art to post on the website.
I think that the name Laspra is related to the name of a kind of stone that exists in the area. Perhaps one of our asturianu/a members can confirm this.

Bob Martinez
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Rexistrau: 17 Feb 2003
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MensaxePublicao: Dom Xun 29, 2003 11:14 pm    Asuntu: Responder citando

Bob's probably right that the Romanesque and Pre-Romanesque are mostly architectural terms, although I'm pretty sure that there were also other typical forms of art and music.

I should warn you that I'm not an expert on the following, but here goes....

Romanico / Romanesque

The Romanesque literally means "in the Roman style" or "like the Roman." As Bob said, it isn't Roman, but occurred much much later. I heard a lecture once in which it was claimed that large buildings weren't being built much in the "Dark Ages". It was an era (a little like our own past few years) during which investment in buildings and infrastructure didn't seem reasonable because of the waves unstablity accompanying the invasions by Germanic peoples (various Goths, for example) and perhaps later the Moslems. When things began to settle down, large building projects for things like palaces and churches were once again started. The buildings are said to be a revival of the Roman architectural style which is true architecturally, to a degree.

It strikes me that this version of history may not be wholly accurate. I suspect that the lecturer (and art history in general for this period) was focused on mostly on France. In Spain, the Visigoths ruled for quite a while. As I recall, very few Visigothic buildings survive, although we do see pieces of buildings like pillars and ornamentations. One sources says that Toledo, the Visigoth capital, had wonderful, first-rate monuments and buildings, comparable to best works of the same era found in Italy and the eastern Mediterranean. Most or all (?) of these are now lost. And what about the Islamic architectural wonders of immense size in the south of Spain? Perhaps the lecturer was intentionally ignoring Moslem achievements and ignorant of the Visigothic and Asturian accomplisments of the era. Or maybe this lecturer was simply repeating the old myth (now discredited) of the so-called "Dark Ages" as a cultural wasteland.

Pre-Romanico / Pre-Romanesque

"Preromanico" is translated as "Pre-Romanesque." The Pre-Romanesque, as I understand it, is primarily an Asturian architectural form which is generally thought to presage the later Romanesque. This precursor to the Romanesque may have appeared in Asturias because Asturias is so difficult to access from the south and because it had no large towns to pillage or control. Apparently, the Moslems didn't consider as very important the Asturians (along with refugees from the south who I believe had moved to the mountains in the south of Asturias). Nonetheless, the reconquest began in Asturias with a success at the Battle of Covadonga in 722. From this arose a small but powerful monarchy, which lasted until about 910. For a while, the Asturian monarchy was a major political force on the Iberian Peninsula and even in relations with France. The Asturian monarchy, which saw itself as hier to the Toledo-based Visigothic kingdom, at one point (I think) controlled Asturias, Galicia, the Basque lands, and Leon.

During this period of the Asturian monarchy, a number of churches, monasteries, and palaces were built that are called "Pre-Romanesque." The Asturian influence probably spread east to France as a result of the contact pilgrams to Santiago de Campostela had with Asturian architecture.

At any rate, it is Asturian works created during this period of less than 200 years that are called Pre-Romanesque. Major sites include: Santianes de Pravia, San Tirso, San Julian de los Prados, Santa Maria de Bendones, San Pedro de Nora, Santullano (Oviedo), Santa Maria de Naranco, San Miquel de Lillo, Santa Christina de Lena, San Salvador de Valdedios, Santiago de Gobendes, San Salvador de Priesca, the Foncalada, San Gines de Francelos (outside Asturias), and San Pedro de Teverga.

There are sculptural and painting elements related to this period, so I think it probably goes beyond architecture.

As always, I hope any one who has a better grasp of this history will correct any errors or add to it.
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Rexistrau: 02 May 2003
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Llugar: Virgina

MensaxePublicao: Llu Xun 30, 2003 7:57 am    Asuntu: San Martin Responder citando

Does anybody know when San Martin de Laspra was built? Does it have an interesting history?
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Rexistrau: 04 Xun 2003
Mensaxes: 24
Llugar: New York

MensaxePublicao: Mie Ago 06, 2003 10:32 pm    Asuntu: Responder citando

San Martín de Laspra, the parish, is quite old. As reported by P. Garralda
(current archpriest of the Avilés area) in his book "Avilés, Su Fé y Sus Obras", the earliest documents of the Asturian dynasty mention it by name, along other nearby parishes like San Miguel de Quiloño. On a pilgrimage path to Santiago, this church was of importance comparable to that in Avilés, in the early part of the past millenium.

The current church building in San Martín is quite more recent. At home, I will look at Garralda´s book and see if he identifies the date of its construction.

"Laspra" apparently was spelled L'Aspra, and it means "The Hill", whether its ethymology is from Latin directly or through Asturian. I will try to look this up also.
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