Oviedo Tourist Attractions
Oviedo lies on the slopes of a hill some 30km/20mi from the north coast of Spain, on a fertile plateau enclosed by the foothills of the Cantabrian Mountains.
Chief town of the province, it is also the spiritual and intellectual center of Asturias, the see of a bishop and a university town. Its economy is centered on mining and industry (arms production). The town itself is not particularly attractive, though there are some pleasant squares around the cathedral.HistoryThe town grew up in the eighth Century around a monastery on the site of ancient Ovetum. Alfonso II moved the Asturian court to Oviedo, which from 810 to 924 was capital of the kingdom then warring against the Moors, until Asturias was united with León and Castile. Oviedo's development into an industrial town started in the 18th century, when mining began in the surrounding coalfield and the Royal Arms Manufactory was established. Most of the town dates from this period. During the 1934 rising of the Asturian miners and the almost two-year-long siege of the town by Republican forces during the Civil War (1936-37) many buildings, including the Cámara Santa, the cathedral and the university, were severely damaged. Since then a whole new district has been developed to the southwest of the town.
From the Parque de San Francisco to the Plaza Mayor
Parque de San Francisco
The central feature of Oviedo is the Parque de San Francisco (area 6 hectares/15 acres), at the northeast corner of which are the Plaza de la Escandalera and the premises of the Consejo Regional de Asturias. To the north, in Plaza del Progreso, is the Theater. From the Plaza de la Escandalera Calle de Uría, Oviedo's main street, which is particularly busy in the afternoon and evening, runs northwest to the Northern Station (Estación del Norte).
From the Plaza de la Escandalera the busy Calle de Fruela runs southeast to the arcaded Plaza Mayor. At the southwest corner of the square is the former Jesuit church of San Isidoro (1578), and on its north side the Ayuntamiento (Town Hall; by Juan de Naveda, 1662).
The Basílica del Salvador is a 13th to 14th C Gothic cathedral with a 16th C tower standing at 82 m.
Around the Cathedral
Plaza de Alfonso
In front of the cathedral is the spacious Plaza de Alfonso II, in which are a number of notable buildings.
Palacio de Valdecarzana
Casa de la Rúa
In the middle of the southeast side of the Plaza de Alfonso II is Oviedo's oldest secular building, the Casa de la Rúa (15th century), adjoining which is the church of San Tirso, originally dating from the ninth century but rebuilt in its present form in the 18th century.
Museum of Fine Art
To the south of San Tirso, in Calle de Santa Ana, is the Baroque Palacio de Velarde, now occupied by the Provincial Museum of Art, with a collection which includes works of the Renaissance and Baroque periods as well as pictures by contemporary Asturian painters.
On the south side of the cathedral in Oviedo can be seen the Bishop's Palace (16th-18th century)
Behind the Oviedo Cathedral, in the cloister of the old Convento de San Vicente (founded in the eighth century and rebuilt in the 15th), is the Archeological Museum. The ground floor is devoted to pre-Romanesque and Romanesque art, mainly from Asturias, including the altar-stone of Santa María de Naranco; on the first floor are Roman coins, sculpture, mosaics and other relics of the period of Roman rule in Iberia; and the second floor displays Stone Age material from the surrounding area.
Santa María la Real
Convento de San Pelayo
In the outlying district of Santullano (reached by way of Calle G. Conde, on the Gijón and Avilés road) is the largest pre-Romanesque church in Spain, San Julián de los Prados, measuring 25 by 30m (82 by 98ft). An unusual feature is the two-level apse, with the altar on the lower level and a concealed chamber above it.
This hill town in the Sierra de Naranco is home to two interesting historical churches.
Cueva de Candamo, San Roman
Cueva de Cándamo at San Román is located 20km/12.5mi northwest of Oviedo. Features: A series of chambers leading to a large hall; some 60 figures of animals (paintings and engravings); fine sinter formations.The paintings here are thought to date back to the Upper Paleolithic period, some 18,000 years ago.
Map of Oviedo Attractions