• The University takes part in the design of the largest record of European ecclesiastical architecture between the 4th and 10th century

    December 04, 2015

    Groups from institutions from different countries collaborate in the publication of thousands of files with details of all the churches that belong to that historical period.

    Altar from Santa María del Naranco (Archeological Museum of Asturias).

    The objective of Corpus Architecturae Religiosae Europeae (CARE), a project joined by universities from different countries, Oviedo included, is to catalogue the ecclesiastical architecture of Europe in the period going from the 4th to the 10th century. The final aim, rather ambitious, is to revise the ecclesiastical buildings of those times in order to elaborate the largest database on architecture concerning that historical period.

    This corpus is a European project led by Miljenko Jurkovic, of the University of Zagreb, and Gian Pietro Brogiolo, of the University of Padua. It is supported by the International Research Center for Late Antiquity and Middle Ages (IRCLAMA, Motovum-Zagreb). The teams from different countries that make up this initiative work on an independent basis, they are funded by different research projects, but they share the same methodology so the results will be homogeneous. The ultimate purpose is the publication of the volumes on vocabulary and methodology, as well as the files of all churches that are known because of their monumental, archeological or documentary features.

    The first stage in the Iberian Peninsula has focused on Catalonia and Balearic Islands and the second one will revise the buildings of the old Kingdom of Asturias.

    Raquel Alonso Álvarez, professor of the Department of Art Music and Musicology of the University of Oviedo, explains that the results of some Italian regions have already been published in Brepols. "Italy and France, just to mention a few examples, have larger experience in this type of works and they also have more resources", she says. The section working in the Iberian Peninsula is called CARE-Hispania. The Hispanic corpus is beginning its work in the northeastern region and Balearic Islands for now, in the framework of ERAAUB, Archaeologic and Archaeometric Research Team of the University of Barcelona. Its principal researcher, Gisela Ripoll, has already registered more than one thousand buildings in this area, although at first it was expected no to exceed 400.

    This professor of the University of Oviedo explains that the first section of the corpus has reached an advanced stage. Once this is over, research is expected to continue in the area of Gallaecia, which approximately coincides with the old Kingdom of Asturias. The second stage of the research will be led by experts of the University of Oviedo, with Raquel Alonso as principal researcher. It is also expected to have the participation of other CARE members from different Spanish universities. "The objective is to rebuild the architectonic ecclesiastical background in Asturias, and know how it was created in that historical period", says Raquel Alonso.