Thursday, 5 September 2013

Oviedo – The Church of San Juan el Real

This church is a magnificent building tucked away amongst the streets of Oviedo. It’s not on a prominent square and there are no signs to tell you where to find it. Usually I don’t blog about churches as I’m not religious although I still appreciate the art of the architecture or the decoration of the building. This church however holds a special interest for me: this is where Franco got married.

I am fascinated by the Spanish Civil War and Franco as his regime ended quite recently (he died in 1975) therefore people still remember everything of that era. In Barcelona you cannot avoid learning about it as the bombing of the city and the oppression of the Catalan culture and tradition is related to Franco’s name. Here in Asturias people see history from a different angle.

Carmen Polo, Franco’s wife grew up in Oviedo and his family was living on Calle Uría, where only the wealthiest merchants owned a house. The Church of San Juan el Real was Carmen’s family church, that’s why they had the marriage there.

The wedding became famous for being postponed as Franco got promoted and his ambition was too great to let this opportunity go. As he was the country’s most decorated soldier he got a 40 day long leave in October and a royal permission to marry. His best man was King Alfonso XIII. 

Well, let’s have a look at this church.

The church can be found on Calle Campoamor, 1.

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