Santuario de El Freisnu Ingles - ayto-grado
Our Lady of El Fresno Sanctuary
This is a church of sanctuary, dating back to the 17th and 18th centuries and was designed in the then popular Baroque style with some subsequent transformations.
The layout is of a lengthened Latin cross shape with lateral salient points and a square apse covered with a barrel vault.
At the east of the nave there is a bell tower that was rebuilt around 1870 after been damaged during the war of Independence when the Napoleon troops fortified the church and burnt the tower down. At the lower part of the tower we can find a narthex to which you can access by three hollows with semicircular arches flanked by barley-sugar columns and figures of the three archangels in the alcoves.
In the interior there is a single nave divided into two sections covered with groin vaults and separated by an arch, a circular dome and a square head capped by a barrel vault.
The church has several baroque altarpieces, the most striking of which is located in the presbytery. It stands out above the others due to the interesting Baroque Styled Crucified Christ and the image of our lady patron of El Fresno, the latter been a carving crafted from Lebanese cedar wood in Madrid in 1975 as the original image disappeared in 1936 after pillaging.
At the exterior there is a wayside cross indicating the passing by of the Jacobean Route; the Way to the Saint James to Santiago de Compostela.
The novena, celebrated at the end of September in honor of Saint Michael, brings a good number of pilgrims to the sanctuary because since olden times, there has been a profound religious devotion to the carving of the Virgin of El Fresno that is located here.
This location is one of the most beautiful vantage points to observe the basins of the rivers Cubia and Narcea and to the east, the city of Oviedo and the hill of Naranco.