The Asturian region has around 1 million inhabitants. Around 800.000 live in the cities situated in the central part of the region: Oviedo(the capital), Gijón, Avilés, Siero, Mieres and Langreo.
This area works like a big city. People live and work in these places and they can move among them in half an hour - 45 minutes.
The main characteristic is that this is a land of variety and contrasts “a land asleep among the mountains, the rain that darkens its deep valleys and a sea that invites to adventure”
Let’s see ...
Arturian region in a few sentences :
Sanctuary of Covadonga According to a legend, Pelayo, a Christian king, got refuge in these mountains in year 711, when the muslims conquered the peninsula. In the cave of Covadonga The Holy Virgin apeared before him and gave him the strenth to fight the muslims. That’s why it is said that this is the cradle of the reconquer. It is for sure the origin of Asturian kingdom and the most emblematic place in our region. Near the cave there is a fountain with three sources. If a young girl drinks this water she will get married within a year. There is also a well of wishes.
Sea side places... ...and high mountains Picu Urriellu: The north side slope is used to practise climbing. Gijón: sport harbour Tapia
Museums Cider Museum(Nava) Miner’s museum (El Entrego) Fine arts museum (Oviedo) Railway museum (Gijón)
Etnographic museum (Grandas de Salime) Jurasic museum (Some dinosaur footprints were found in Colunga. This museum building has the shape of a dinosaur footprint)
Economic activities Coal mining Fishing Cattle raising: most cattle live in the meadows all year, fed in a natural way and doing exercise. Asturian meat is excellent.
Dairy products factory Building to protect honeybees from the attack of bears Jet crafts (Cigua: jet craft with the shape of a fist which is supposed to protect against back luck)
A little lesson on History... There are several caves in Asturias with traces of life in the Neolitic period. Some of them have paintings.
Los castros In Asturias there are many remains of certain pre roman settlements, from an indetermined date. Probably Celts were their inhabitants. These people lived isolated from the rest of the land, by the mountains, and they probably had more relationship with people from the North of Europe, through the Bizcaia Bay (Mar Cantábrico) Some of our traditions are more similar to celtic traditions in France or Britain. The houses were made of stones and covered with straw. Usually round shaped. The building on the highest part of the settlement has a rectangular shape, may be it was a temple.
In some places, in the south – west of Asturias, this kind of buildings remain in use. They are called “pallozas”. Their owners use them as cabins and they repair the straw roof every year.
Roman bridge in Cangas de Onís (East of Asturias) Remains on roman bath in Campa de Torres (Gijón) The Romans conquered Asturias. They loked for gold. It was a hard work due to the difficulties of the ground and the warrior character of the inhabitants. Lugones. The Lugones people and culture dissapeared after the conquer by the romans. ROMAN PERIOD
During the 8th C, the muslims conquered the Iberic penninsula and the Christian got refuge behind the Asturian mountains.
Asturians under the leadership of legendary Don Pelayo and spurred on by visions of the Virgin of Covadonga, were the first in Spain to claim victory over the Moors. The kingdom of Asturias was born.
During the 9th C, the kingdom of Asturias turns into a kind of advance guard of Christianity.
A clearly defined architecture develops based on stone and vaulted buildings. Its beginnings date from the times of Alfonso II (789-842), but its greatest splendour is reached during the reign of Ramiro I (842-859)
A number of churches and other buildings from that time remain remain in Asturias, all declared Heritage of Mankind by UNESCO.
Buildings declared Heritage of Mankind San Julián de los Prados Foncalada Fountain San Miguel de Lillo Church OVIEDO Santa María del Naranco Palace
San Salvador de Valdediós (Valdediós, Villaviciosa) Some churches declared Heritage of Mankind Santa Cristina de Lena Santa María de Bendones
OVIEDO capital city Gothic cathedral Main Hall (right) and Santirso Church Campoamor theatre Prince of Asturias Awards Venue
There was room for animals and people in the same building. Animals were the main source of heating.
Now these houses are usually refurbished and the animal’s space becomes part of the house.
Once restored they are very valuable.
Ground Floor First floor Kitchen and living-room oven Animals barn Bedrooms The traditional house was (IS) made of stone. The roof is made of tiles which give to the asturian villages the characteristic red colour .
Old house (17th century) It has an old mill and iron worksho still working (West of the region)
Hórreos Attached to the rural house there is an “hórreo” a kind of building made to store the products safe from the mice.This is a very representative image of Asturias.
Rich Houses Rural house City houses from the 17th-18th centuries
These kind of buildings are spreckled all around the region. They are called “palacetes de indianos” ( little palaces). Thousands of Asturian people emigrated to America (Argentina, Mexico, Cuba...) Some of them were lucky, became rich and came back with a lot of money. They built these kind of big houses, as a copy of American ones.
Urban Buildings In the cities, most people live in flats Building in a wellfare part of Oviedo. Worker’s block of flats in Turón.
Mieres General view St. Johns Church Requejo Square The capital of our municipality
Palace from the 18th century. Now, a Secondary School Casa Duro A well known family in Mieres. Now, a museum. Mieres market.
Coal mines have been the life of this municipality for years, and, although the activity has decreased a lot, they continue to be a very important part of the economy, and, over all, of the soul of this area. Mine derricks are almost a natural part of hte landscape.
Monument in Miner’s honour in Mieres Inside the sculpture there is a flame which is always burning. Whenever a miner dies in a mine in where ever part of the world, the flame is stoked up to make the people remind the death of a miner.
Other villages in Mieres municipality Baiña Figaredo Cenera
Santuario de los Santos Mártires . St Cosme and St Damian (Cenera Valley) On teh 27th of September there is a festival in this place. Many people goes up to the Sanctuary walking from Mieres and other places, there is a mass in the morning and then people go in a kind of pic-nic. They make fire and roas a lamb on the fire. There is a market in the open air where the “shop assistants”, usually crafters, dress in the fashion of the 19th century. Traditional market
Turón Valley Villapendi School La Felguera (sight from the back part of our school