Oviedo in Asturias is the capital of Asturias and an important stop on the pilgrimage route, the Camino de Santiago.
It is said that Oviedo was founded by 2 monks, Maximo and Fromestanus, in 761 who then built a small church dedicated to St Vincent. Alfonso II the Chaste established the city as the capital of his kingdom and during this time the Camino deSantiago was created, putting Oviedo on the map as a pilgrimage destination with its relics housed inside the Camara Santa, now inside the Cathedral of San Salvador, and many pre-Romanesque churches - an architectural style unique to the region. During the 12th to 16th century, the medieval city grew and built a city wall and an aqueduct but it is in the 17th century when Oviedo really begins to expand with the founding of the Laboral University for which it is still famous today. After growth in industry in the 19th century, the 20th century, and today, sees Oviedo as a thriving commercial and administrative centre where the old and the new sit comfortably alongside each other. The prestigious Prince of Asturias Awards are held here annually to celebrate international achievement. Previous award winners have included Bob Dylan and Google.
The Cathedral of San Salvador is a wonderful mixture of styles including Romanesque, Baroque and Reniassance but what is most impressive is the collection of priceless religious relics inside the Camara Santa, the Holy Chamber, such as the Victory Cross, the Cross of the Angels and the Agate Box. Oviedo has many other museums including the Archaeological Museum of Asturias, housed in the cloister of the St Vicente Benedictine monastery, the Museum of Fine Arts of Asturias that is located across 3 buildings in Oviedo's attractive Old Town, and the Museum of the Church of Oviedo, inside the cathedral's Gothic cloister and showcasing religious objects including chalices, sculptures, religious robes and more. For cultural enthuasiasts there are some great theatres and an opera house in the city and it hosts several festivals throughout the year including the Procession of the Three Wise Men on the 5th January, a colourful carnival, Easter celebrations and La Balesquida (Country Tuesday) which is celebrated every first Tuesday of Pentecost with a procession of La Virgen and the eating of bollu preñeau (bread stuffed with chorizo). Oviedo also has over 1,000,000 sqm of parks and open spaces to relax in and the St Francis Park in the city centre and the Winter Park to the south are two of the best. Why not go for a walk or cycle along the greenways built on the city's old railtracks?
If you fancy some shopping then Calle Uria is the place to go for designer boutiques and department stores and Oviedo also has an open-air market that sells everything! In Oviedo you can enjoy food from several different growing areas with a mixture of country, alpine and sea foods. Popular local specialities are el pote de antruxo (chickpea stew with salted cod and spinach), carne gobernada (vegetable soup) jamon (cured ham) and the carbayon (a sweet puff pastry wih smooth almond filling coated in a firm lemon syrup). Don't forget to try the region's famous cider known locally as sidra!
Why visit Oviedo?
- The Cathedral
- The Museums
- Country: Spain
- Region: Asturias
- Province: Asturias
- Population: 224,000
- Coordinates: 43.372114,-5.848949
Coordinates shown are based on the WGS84 system, please check driving directions before departing.