Oviedo, in the heart of Asturias, Spain

In En-Route, Europe, Our Journeys, Spain, Trip-Types, World Travel by JanisLeave a Comment

A cultured City waiting to be discovered

Oviedo in northern Spain feels like a city on the verge of discovery, but equally wants to keep its small city vibe.

This was to be the 2nd destination on our 2016 Spanish road trip, hot off the heels of Bilbao via the beautiful village of Santillana Del Mar on the Camino de Santiago route.

Oviedio, Spain

Oviedo is the capital city of Asturias and has a wonderful historical past, dating back to the medieval period.

Evidence of this exposing itself around many of Oviedo’s squares and plazas.

Plazas and squares

Plaza Alfonso II el Casto houses the striking roman catholic Cathedral of San Salvador.

The Cathedral, Oviedo, Spain

This cathedral was erected in 1388 on the site of the previous cathedral, which was founded in the 8th century.

Over the years many architectural styles have influenced how the cathedral looks today, including Pre-Romanesque, Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque.

La Regenta and Cathedral at night, Oviedo, Spain

Adjacent to the cathedral is the Church of San Tirso, which was established in 790s.

The Church of San Tirso, Oviedo, Spain

The Great Fire of Oviedo in 1521 and the rebuilding of the church in the 18th century, removed most of the original features, except for a three-light window.

The three light window of the Church of San Tirso, Oviedo, Spain

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La Lechera

Oviedo’s pedestrian historical quarter, is such a pleasure to walk around. Just opposite the cathedral is Plaza Porlier, with some relaxing cafes to while away the time.

But just a short stroll south of the cathedral, along Calle Cimadevilla and passing by the Plaza Trascorrales which is home to the old fish market, is Plaza de la Constitución.

Calle Cimadevilla, Oviedo, Spain
The old fish market in Plaza Trascorrales, Oviedo, Spain
‘La Lechera’ a wonderful bronze detailing a milk seller and her faithful donkey, Oviedo, Spain

Plaza de la Constitución is another wonderful plaza with the imposing City Hall and Church San Isidoro El Real, gazing down upon it.

Cityhall, Oviedo, Spain
Church San Isidoro El Real, Oviedo, Spain
Cityhall tower, Oviedo, Spain

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Plaza del Fontán

As your eye is intrigued to explore what is further along, you then stumble upon the pleasure of Plaza del Fontán.

Tables outside Plaza del Fontán, Oviedo, Spain

This delightful square has been used as a marketplace for centuries, and is adorned with wonderfully decorated window boxes.

The view along Plaza del Fontán, Oviedo, Spain
Plaza del Fontán as dusk sets in, Oviedo, Spain

Also by the bustling Plaza del Fontán is the Mercado El Fontán

A stall in the Mercado El Fontán, Oviedo, Spain
Mercado El Fontán, Oviedo, Spain

As this lovely square is pedestrianised it is a fantastic place to bring all the family to enjoy.

Then there was dancing

To the west of Oviedo cathedral just opposite the Theatre Campoamor is Plaza de la Escandalera.

Theatre Campoamor, Oviedo, Spain
Plaza de la Escandalera, Oviedo, Spain

We were lucky enough to be at this plaza on a Sunday morning, and were able to catch a wonderful Asturian traditional folk band ‘Banda Gaites Naranco’, performing their local art.

The drum player, Oviedo, Spain
Bagpipe player, Oviedo, Spain
The band leader, Oviedo, Spain
Traditional dancing, Oviedo, Spain

Sculptures and Sidrerias

Oviedo is not all about squares and plazas, it also appears to have built up a reputation for being home to a large gathering of sculptures, dotted around this attractive compact city.

One of its most famous faces being, Woody Allen (who knew). A life size figure dedicated to the American filmmaker/actor, after receiving the Premio Príncipe de Asturias de las Artes.

Me, You & Woody , Oviedo, Spain

You wouldn’t be mistaken to notice that apples play a prominent part in Oviedo, so much so it has a Boulevard dedicated to it. As orchards encompass the wonderful landscape around Asturias, an art form has been acquired to the process of drinking it.

Along Calle Gascona (Boulevard of Cider) you will come across sidreria after sidreria, to watch this display being performed check out our cider house post.

This bustling part of the city really comes alive at night.

Calle, Gascona at night, Oviedo, Spain

San Francisco

If you have managed to survive Calle Gascona from the previous evening, then head to the lovely park of Campo de San Francisco, which was dedicated to San Francisco de Asis.

Turtles in the park, Oviedo, Spain

This tranquil park has many shaded spots to relax and watch the world go and has two lovely fountains at the top of the park.

The green frog fountain, Oviedo, Spain
The fountain, Oviedo, Spain

There’s more

There is such an amazing mixture of architecture in this attractive city, it is a pleasure to stroll around.

Building was completed on the Church of San Juan el Real in 1915, on the site of a previous church demolished in 1882.

The Church of San Juan el Real, Oviedo, Spain
The side of the Church of San Juan el Real, Oviedo, Spain

The Monastery of Saint Pelagius is a Benedictine convent for women.

The Monastery of Saint Pelagius, Oviedo, Spain

It lost most of its Romanesque design prior to 16th century and has since been remodeled.

Plaza de Feijoo, Oviedo, Spain

Cuisine

One evening in Oviedo we spent at La Gran Vetusta Sidreria Restaurante, but due to our lack of Spanish, we weren’t too sure what we were ordering.

Hey that’s the fun of travelling, so we ended up with a plate of sardines, calamari & octopus.

It was actually fairly tasty, but wasn’t quite what we expected.

A bite at La Gran Vetusta Sidreria, Oviedo, Spain

Breakfast we prefer to eat at a local café, so we chose El Reloj de Porlier and sneaked in our first churros of the trip.

Churros for breakfast, Oviedo, Spain

Octopus

For a quick stop for lunch we popped into Terra Meiga Pulperias.

Terra Meiga, Oviedo, Spain

Here you can watch the delicacy of octopus being whipped out of a cooking pot with a hook, have its arm sliced up and then lovingly placed in a dish before being and drizzled in olive oil.

Octopus, Oviedo, Spain

I must admit I didn’t try it at this restaurant, but it looked like it was going down a treat, particularly with a cider.

After an evening stroll we spent our last night at Casa Gonzalez Suarez a jamón bodega.

Casa Gonzalez Suarez, Oviedo, Spain

Here we enjoyed a couple of glasses of wine and of course jamón and queso.

Vino tinto, Oviedo, Spain

Accommodation

Our accommodation for the 2 nights we were in Oviedo was at NH Hotel Oviedo Principado. It was in a very central location, we opted for a junior suite as the prices were quite reasonable.

Segovia here we come

The next step on our road trip was Segovia, but before we headed there we went off to visit Mount Naranco Along with the two wonderful churches of Santa Maria del Naranco and San Miguel de Lillo, which are both listed on the UNESCO World Heritage site.

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Inspired to visit Oviedo?

It’s a city with a soul, full of interest and certainly worth exploring.

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Oviedo, in the heart of Asturias, Spain

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About the Author

Janis

Janis, the co-founder of Our World for You, was born in London and raised in Kent and the Isle of Wight. Along with Gary her partner, they have been travelling part time since 1995. In 2016, they decided that enough was enough with the 9 to 5, so armed with the knowledge and experience that they had gained on their adventures, that they wanted to inspire others to travel the world near and far.

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