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La Foncalada

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Title: La Foncalada  
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Subject: Oviedo, 9th century in architecture, Asturian architecture, List of World Heritage Sites in Spain
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

La Foncalada

UNESCO World Heritage Site
Monuments of Oviedo and the Kingdom of the Asturias
Name as inscribed on the World Heritage List
Type Cultural
Criteria ii, iv, vi
Reference UNESCO region Europe and North America
Inscription history
Inscription 1985 (9th Session)
Extensions 1998

Coordinates: 43°21′55.1″N 5°50′45.8″W / 43.365306°N 5.846056°W / 43.365306; -5.846056 The Foncalada is a fountain of potable water located outside the city walls of Oviedo, Asturias, Spain; it was built by king Alfonso III of Asturias in the 9th century. This building remains the only surviving civil architectural item for public use of the Early Middle Ages. Its name was given after the inscription in Latin: fontem calatam written on it. Built in Pre-Romanesque style, it is included in the UNESCO World Heritage Site list since 1998.

It was originally placed near the city walls, next to an ancient Roman road. The decoration on top depicts the Victory Cross, symbol of Asturias.


This public fountain is erected over a spring. The source is a rectangle of about 4 metres (13 ft) wide. It has a shape of a vaulted chapel and is crowned by the royal ensign of the Victory Cross. Below the Asturian Cross, two inscriptions remain:

(Hoc Sign) O Tvetvr Pivs, Hoc Signo Vi (Ncitvr, Inimicvs)
"With this sign the pious are protected, With this sign you shall defeat the enemy"

(Signvm Salvtis Po) Ne Domine In Fonte (Ista Vt Non Permitas) Introire Angelvm Percv (Tientem)
"Lord, put the sign of the salvation on this fountain to not allow hitting angel to enter"

External references

  • Mirabilia Ovetensia:Ficha, reconstrucciones infograficas, y visita virtual al monumento.
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