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The Holy Chamber in the Catedral (Cathedral) of Oviedo...

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Camino(s) past & future
Jul-Sept 2019: Ruta Asturianos Lebaniego / Apr 2018 Asturias / May 2016 CP: Portuguese
I've been trying to find a list of all the items in that AMAZING Holy Chamber. The Catedral's website doesn't list all of the contents. If you know where I can find a list or forum thread or book, anything to learn about the contents in this room please, tell me. I was there last year and think there was a slideshow but, not 100% sure. Thanks in advance!
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Terry Callery

Chi Walker
Camino(s) past & future
"Portuguese Camino - In Search of the Infinite Moment" Amazon/Kindle books authored
"Slow Camino"
I probably should have flown into Oviedo, which would have avoided the five hours at the train station Chamartin in Madrid followed by a five hour train ride. But then I would have missed the absolutely spectacular hour when my high speed
electric train passed over the Cantebrian Mountain range. It was like taking a train through Switzerland!
Now I know why the Moors who controlled almost all of Spain in the 8th and 9th centuries, never decided to take the Northern most kingdoms in Galicia and Asturias.
Oviedo became the capital of Asturias for precisely this reason. The mountains are rugged and steep and were covered with snow as my train slowed down to 40-50 km Per hour...instead of the 200 -240 km Per hour that it reached from Madrid to Leon.

Hotel Vestusta in Oviedo was just 35 euros/$40 which is cheep for a hotel in Spain in a big modern city like Oviedo. It was wise to have spent two night there since I was really tired from the long trip.
As it was I ending up seeing only a fraction of the sights in this historic and vibrant city. I got my pilgrim credentials stamped at the magnificent Oviedo Cathedral which has its roots in the ninth century. After the Battle of Covadonda where Pelayo stopped the Muslims advance on the Iberian Peninsula, the King of Asturais, Alfonso the Chaste,had this Pre-Romanesque church built to house the most holy of the Catholic relics.
Of which the blood-stained cloth that is said to have covered the head of Christ after his crucifixion is the most important. The primitive basilica was enlarged over time and most of it was replaced by a massive structure in the classic and flamboyant gothic styles.
This is the cathedral, I saw. However enclosed within the Cathedral is part of the original, now know as the Camara Santa.
The shroud, known as the Sudarum, is taken out just twice a year from the atmosphere controlled box it is stored in....but there were high resolution photos..."blood stain from
the nose" said one caption with a little arrow pointing to the brown dark spot.
Very medieval, and to tell the truth pretty creepy as well.
Actually the audio tour makes no mention that carbon dating has the age of the shroud at 600 AD. About the time when the blood-stained cloth showed up from Jerusalem.
Also inside the heavily gated room is a gem-studded Greek cross said to have been carried by Pelayo in the battle of Covadonga. Perhaps the most surreal claim is the
the agate box containing one of the 30 pieces of silver Judas took to "rat out" the Lord Jesus. Well that's if you don't count the vial of Virgin Mary's breast milk that
is said to be in the same holy box.


Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy to Santiago via the Frances 2012-2013. EPW2015
Aragonese & Frances 2016
Burgos to Muxia 2017
There was good money to be made hawking relics to the gullible.


Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Lots ;0)
Oviedo also lays claim to (one of) the holy foreskin(s), various fragments of the Cross and a variety of other relics that were moved North ahead of the Moorish advance and aggregated in Oviedo. The explanatory guides in the Camara Santa were very good if your Spanish (and medieval Latin) are up to scratch.

Texas Walker

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Norte (2017 summer)
Portugues (2015)
Frances (2014)
When we visited the Camara Santa, I got the impression that a lot of the, um, odder items had been destroyed when the leftist terrorist blew up the saint's chapel below and seriously damaged the Camara Santa in 1930-ish. The photo at the top of the thread doesn't resemble the chamber as it is today.
The Cross of Victory had gems added, to honor it, later. There's a wooden one underneath all the sparklies. (This is separate from the other precious-metal cross on the other side.)
Rather like the very sparkly 10-inch or so cross in the Diocesan Museum in Astorga. If you look v-e-r-y closely there are a couple of plain wooden splinters in between all the gold and gem encrustations. These are the reason for all the gems.
The Camara Santa has a kneeler there for pilgrims to use. Otherwise the visitors' side of the room is pretty much bare. All of the remaining relics and treasures of the room are on the far side of a viewing window. At least that's how I remember it.

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