Asturias, Spain

Oviedo is a city that stands out for its important architectural complexes, many of them declared World Heritage Sites such as the Cathedral of Oviedo, the church of Santa María del Naranco and the chapel of San Miguel de Lillo. Other places of interest are the Old Town with its Museum of Fine Arts, where hosts paintings of El Greco or Picasso. Is also important the Campoamor Theatre, where the Princess of Asturias Prizes are given.

Oviedo is the capital of Asturias, an important commercial, administrative and university centre. It has 220,301 inhabitants. Its climate is warm and temperate, with a certain amount of rain throughout the year. The annual average temperature is 13ºC The son of Alfonso I, the Asturian king named Fruela, founded Oviedo in the eighth century. Afterwards, Alfonso II made it the capital of Asturias by transferring there the headquarters of the bishopric. He also built a wall, churches and palaces in that city.

During a long time Oviedo was not really developed, but towards the end of the eighteenth century it started to progress culturally, with the creation of the Economic Society of the Friends of the Country (“La Sociedad Económica de Amigos del País”), an important cultural and political group.

In Oviedo there is art everywhere. There are many buildings and other places worth visiting and many of them are World Heritage Sites, such as the Cathedral of Oviedo, built between the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries and dedicated to the Savior. The Sacred Chamber of the Cathedral is World Heritage Site since 1998. Another one is the Church of Santa Maria of Naranco, a palace of the ninth century, San Miguel de Lillo, which is a ninth-century chapel too. They have both been World Heritage sites since 1985. One more World Heritage building is the Basilica of San Julian de los Prados.

Besides everything mentioned previously, it is interesting to visit the Square and Market of Fontan, at the old part of Oviedo and the Museum of Fine Arts, with creations of very famous painters such as El Greco, Picasso, Dali and Sorolla and of many others. The Escandalera Square and the Campoamor Theater, where the Princess of Asturias Prizes are awarded every year and the San Francisco Park, one of the greenest spots of Oviedo, are all worth visiting too. On Mount Naranco we can see a monument which is dedicated to the Holy Heart (of Christ), also named Christ the Redeemer.

When visiting Oviedo, we can taste all the typical Asturian dishes, but the most characteristic ones of the city itself are some sort of a soft cake made of scorpion fish, and the “carballones”, which are small desserts made of puff pastry filled with a mixture of almonds, wine, syrup and eggs.

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