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Oviedo was founded about 761 A.D. by two monks Maximus and Fromestanus who built a monastery dedicated to Saint Vincent. King Fruela I (757-768) confirmed the foundation and also built a palace and a cathedral dedicated to Saint Saviour.
King Alfonso II the Chaste (791-842) moved the capital of the kingdom of Asturias to Oviedo in 791. He enlarged the city with a new cathedral, palaces, churches and city walls. Examples of these buildings which are still existing are: San Julián de los Prados, (St Julian in the fields), also called Santullano, the head of the church dedicated to San Tirso, (Saint Thyrsus), and the Cámara Santa, (Holy Chamber) which is a chapel which belonged to the palace of the king. During this period, it was discovered the tomb of the Apostle St James. The king sponsored and create the St James's Way to Santiago de Compostela in order to improve communications of the city and the kingdom as a way to open them to new ideas and influences from the rest of Europe. Its known that ambassadors from Charlemagne or Carles the Great visited Oviedo at the beginning of s. IX.
King Ramiro I (842-850) built the most important and brilliant buildings of the Kingdom of Asturias: Santa María del Naranco, (St Mary of Naranco), a hall for the king's rest, and San Miguel de Lillo, (St Michael of Lillo). These buildings are at the top of the Pre-Romanesque Asturian Art.
King García I (910-914) moved the capital of the kingdom to León in 910. Since then, the bishops of Oviedo will take the responsibility of the development of the city and also the population and the importance of the city decreased. Even the St James's Way moved to León and Oviedo was left apart.
The Arts Academy of Oviedo started in the 17th century.