The city of Oviedo (capital of Asturias) dates back to the 8th century. It was founded thanks to
the Fromestano Monastery which was built upon a hill called Ovetao, later a town
followed and in the 18th century it became the capital of the Region
of Asturias. Both the Camino de Santiago, which passes through Oviedo,
and the university have helped to keep Oviedo on the tourist map.
The city has
become more and more popular with visitors in recent years thanks to the increasing
popularity of Asturias among Spaniards as a rural tourism destination. As a result,
the standard of variety of services and lodging possibilities has shown a marked
improvement (see hotels in Asturias for reviews of Oviedo's best hotels)
Monuments in Oviedo
Pilares Aquaduct (c/ Roberto S. Velázquez-Los Pilares ): This was built
in the 16th century in order to provide the city with water and was used until
1875. Originally it contained 41 arches of which only 5 now remain. It was built
by Juan de Cerecedo and by Gónzalo de la Bárcena.
Wall (mainly in c/ Paraíso): This has medieval origins. When it was
built around the city it measured 1400 metres. Now only bits of it remain dotted
around the city. It is now a Historic-Artistic monument.
Fountain: This was built in the middle ages by the Asturian king Alfonso III
el Magno who reigned between 866-910. It was built for public use and to protect
a natural spring.
The Town Hall (Plaza del Ayuntamiento, Tel: 985
98 18 00): It is located near the city wall, Baroque, built by the architect Juan
de Naveda. it was renovated in 1939. The marble lion on its front door is the
symbol for the city. It used to be located in the Plaza Mayor. It symbolizes the
custodion of democratic values.
La Reconquista Hotel ( c/ Gil de
Jaz, 16): This is in a former 18th century Baroque palace which was used as a
hospital. It was built under the orders of king Fernando VI by the architect Pedro
Antonio Menéndez. It is an incredibly beautiful building. This is where
all celegbrities stay as well as the Spanish Royal family when the annual ceremony
where the Príncipe de Asturias prizes are awarded by the crown prince.
The 'Patio de la Reina' is especially interesting, it was named after Queen Isabel
II to commemorate her visit.
The Market and Plaza del Fontán (the Fontan square): This is a beautiful square surrounded by arches in the
old part of the city. It was built in 1792 by the architect Francisco Pruneda
and Cañal as a market square. At present it is a meeting point in the city.
Although on Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays an interesting market is still held
The Campoamor Theatre (c/ Pelayo): This is a Neoclassic theatre
built between 1883 and 1892 by Juan Miguel de la Guardia, in accordance with plans
designed by José López Salaberry and Sirgo Borrajo Montenegro. It
was built by public subscription by the bourgeoisie who felt the need to have
a larger theatre to meet their high demands. In its day it was built to include
all the latest technology and luxuries from that period. When it was opened in
1892 it became the central point of the city and is now the setting for the annual
Príncipe de Asturias Arts and Science award ceremony. It is in perfect
condition following several renovations over the years.
Cathedral (Plaza Alfonso II, Tel: 985 22 10 33 ): The Cathedral incorporated
both Gothic and Baroque styles. It was built in the 9th century upon the remains
of the San Salvador pre Romanesque church dating back to 761 which had been destroyed
by the Arabs. King Alfonso II ordered it to be rebuilt and dedicated it to the
same saint and the 12 apostles. It is a very interesting building and possess
many interesting features like: la Camara Santa (the Saint chamber which is now
a museum), the Angels' cross, the old tower, the church museum, the pilgrims'
cemetery, the Capitular room and the cloisters. It has been perfectly restored
because for centuries no restoration work was permitted.
- Iglesia de San Isidoro el Real (Plaza de la Constitución):
This is located opposite the Town Hall. It is Classicist with Baroque elements.
It was built between 1616 and 1681 by the architect Francisco Menéndez
Camina. The facade is quite sober although in contrast to its severe exterior
the interior is decorated luxuriously. In 2004 three 18th century carvings were
restored and put on display, one of which is of San Isidoro, the patron saint
of the city. It is a Historic-Artistic monument.
- Santo Domingo Convent (Plaza Santo Domingo): This is located in the Champillín gardens. It
was founded in 1518 by the Jesuites. It is now used as a college by the Dominicans.
It has an interesting church which became a national monument in 1944. It was
built by Juan de Cerecedo "El Viejo". It is a mixture of Baroque, Plateresque,
Gothic and Neoclassic styles. The alterpiece, Nuestra Señora del Rosario
chapel and the Baroque altarpiece of the Nazareno chapel are interesting. It has
a Neoclassic entrance with very beautiful Plateresque details.
Señora del Rey Casto Chapel: Built in the 18th century upon the remains
of the 9th century pre Roman basilica of Santa Maria. It is the pantheon of the
Asturian Kings. In 1705 a bishop called Tomás Reluz was responisble for
the construction of this chapel which was built by the architect Bernardo de Haces.
The pantheon is right at the entrance of the chapel and is separated from the
rest of the building by a grill on which the names of the kings buried there are
- Iglesia de San Juan El Real (you can enter it through
3 streets Campoamor, Doctor Casal and Melquíades Álvarez): It was
built upon the remains of a previous church which was destroyed. Built between
1921 and 1915 in a Romanesque style. The outside of the building is notable for
its polychrome and pretty shapes (2 square bell towers and a neo Romanesque entrance).
The modern stained glass windows and the frescos on its dome are interesting...
Pelayo Monastery (c/ San Vicente, 5) : This belongs to the Benedictine order
called las pelayas. Built in the 10th century by King Sancho el Gordo de
León's widow who ordered the remains of San Pelayo to be moved there. This
is a pre Romanesque monastery. It is located next to Santa María la Real
de la Corte church. The church belonging to the monastery was completed in 1601
by Bernardo de la Cajiga and Diego de Villa. It has a Herreriano facade. The Asturian
Baroque facade of the vicarage next to the monastery is also worth a look.
- Iglesia de San Julián de los Prados (Bº de Santullano): Built
between 812 and 842 under the orders of King Alfonso II el Casto. It is the largest
pre Romanesque temple in Spain and is World Heritage Site. It is also a national
- Iglesia de San Tirso (Plaza Alfonso II): 9th century.
Although it was originally built in a pre Romanesque style, following numerous
renovations over the centuries only one window in this style remains.
and Castles in Oviedo
- La Rúa Palace: (Plaza Alfonso
II El Casto, the Old Part): Late Gothic, built at the end of the 15th century
byAlonso González de la Rúa. A sober palace with a military air
to it. The facade and the main entrance are interesting.
- Los Marqueses
de Camposagrado Palace (Plaza de Porlier, casco antiguo): Baroque, built in
1710 by the architect Francisco de la Riba Ladrón de Guevara under the
orders of José Bernardo de Quirós, III Marquis of Campo Sagrado.
It is a square palace with 4 floors and a central patio. The most striking feature
is its Rococo facade on the Plaza de Porlier, the other facade is more discreet
and is found on c/San Juan. It became a Historic- Artistic monument in 1943 and
is now used as the High Court for Asturias.
- Regional Palace (C\Fruela
17): Neo French. This palace was built by the government in 1910 to be the headquarters
of the Provincial government. It was built upon the remains of the San Francisco
Convent by the architect Nicolás García Rivero. Its most striking
features are inside the building: its staircase, the furniture, pretty decorative
details and the room where the regional parliament holds sessions. It is now used
as the headquarters of the Asturian regional government.
- Los Duques
del Parque Palace (the Old Part): The 7th Marquis of Vallecerrato, decided
to built this palace which was designed by the architect Francisco de la Riba
Ladrón de Guevara. Baroque. It has an interesting fountain situated on
its left wall known as Cañu de Fontán, which was built in 1657 and
restored in 1989.
- Toreno or Mallena Palace (Plaza de Porlier,
the Old Part): This is Baroque. The politician and historian José María
Queipo de Llano, VII, count of Torenoes, was born here. The count of Toreno ordered
this palace to be built in 1673 by the architect Gregorio de la Roza. Its original
asymmetrical facade, its interior patio with Tuscan style columns and its main
entrance also framed by columns are all of particular interest. It is a Historic-Artistic
monument and is currently used as the headquarters of the Royal Institute of Education
for Asturia (RIDEA) and belongs to the regional government.
Palace (Plaza de Alfonso II El Casto, the Old Part): Baroque, it was built
in the 17th century by the Marquis of Valdecazarna. Later in the 18th century
it was inhabited by Antonio Heredia Velarde, mayor of the city who ordered the
architect Manuel Reguera to build the facade. It was used as a casino during the
19th century until the first republic was declared. Now it is used by the regional
- Santa María del Naranco Palace: This is located
on a hill on the outskirts of Oviedo. It is pre Romanesque and was built by King
Ramiro I, for his personal use between 842-850.
- Santa de la Capilla Palatina Chamber: A world
heritage site, it is situated within Oviedo cathedral. It was built in the 9th
century under the orders of King Alfonso II. The treasures and sacred relics belonging
to the cathedral are kept here. It is a world heritage site.
- The Asturias
Archeological Museum: (C/ San Vicente, 3, Tel: 985 21 54 05): Located behind
the cathedral, it is situated in the former San Vicente monastery. The museum
was built in the 20th century. It houses archeological finds as well as ethnography
found in Asturias since the palaeolithic period. It is especially interesting
for its pre Romanesque artefacts.
- The Historical Archives of Asturias:
(C/ Del Aguila): The City's Historical Museum;
The Bellas Artes Museum: (C/
La Rúa, 8 and Santa Ana, 3, Tel: 985 21 30 61): Since 1980 it has been
housed in the former Velarde palace, which was built in 1767 by Manuel Reguera.
- The Tabularium Artis Avulienses Museum: (Cardenal Inguanzo,
6, Tel: 985 21 36 44): Created and sponsored by Joaquín Manzanares Rodríguez-Mier,
mostly consists of Asturian pre Romanesque and archeological artefacts.
Area around Oviedo
Oviedo is located in the centre of Asturias in an
area full of valleys and mountains. It is an ideal place for adventure and mountain
sports such as hiking, rafting, bungee jumping, canoeing, skiing (you can also
go on skiing courses here), cycling, horse riding and treking...The areas around
Oviedo are: Quirós, Belmonte de Miranda, LLanera, Grado, Nava, Cabranes,
Noreña, Proaza, Somiedo, Las Regueras, Tameza, Tevergal, Riosa, Ribera
de Arriba, Sariego, Santo Adriano, Salas and Siero.
The Somiedo Natural Park. Horse riding.
- Grado: Pico de Caldoveiro
protected natural area. Founded by Alfonso X el Sabio in 1256. There are remains
of the medieval city wall.
- Miranda-Caldecarzana Palace: 16th century,
it was restored in the 17th and 18th centuries. Now the Casa de Cultura (culture
house) is based here.
- Los Dolores Chapel: This is the most
emblematic building in the city. It was built under the orders of the 3rd marquis
of Valdecarzana between 1713-1716. The family crypt was desecrated in the civil
war. It is a Baroque chapel built by the architect Francisco de la Riva Ladrón
- Fernández Miranda House: Neoclassic and Baroque
- 18th century.
- Proaza: Pico de Caldoveiro, a protected natural
area, ideal for hiking.
- Iglesia de Sta Mª de Bandujo: Romanesque
del Oso: This is a museum about the building of the railway and the Senda
del Oso (the bear route).
- Tameza: Pico de Caldoveiro, a protected
- Tevergal: Pico de Caldoveiro, a protected natural
- Quirós: Sierra de Aramo and Peña Ubiña
protected natural areas.
- Morcín: Sierra de Aramo protected
natural area. Paleolithic origins.
- Prehistoricos artefacts: Iron
Age tools have been discovered in Castiellu and Peñerúes.
Tower: This is a 12th century defensive medieval tower which is a historic
- San Miguel Chapel: King Alfonso II kept the
the Arca Santa here which contained relics from Jerusalem to protect against
the infidels. From then on the chapel was called the Cámara Santa (saints
- Molín Cave: Cave paintings. It has been
declared as cultural tourist attracton.
- Ermitas de Arriba These
chapels are dedicated to Santa Catalina, Santiago, Santa María Magdalena
de Monsacro. They became national historic monuments in 1992.
de Santa Eulalia: 9th century Pre-Romanesque
- Riosa: Sierra
de Aramo, a protected natural area.