A cultured City waiting to be discovered
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.
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.
Adjacent to the cathedral is the Church of San Tirso, which was established in 790s.
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.
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.
Plaza de la Constitución is another wonderful plaza with the imposing City Hall and Church San Isidoro El Real, gazing down upon it.
Plaza del Fontán
As your eye is intrigued to explore what is further along, you then stumble upon the pleasure of Plaza del Fontán.
This delightful square has been used as a marketplace for centuries, and is adorned with wonderfully decorated window boxes.
Also by the bustling Plaza del Fontán is the Mercado El Fontán
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.
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.
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.
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.
A helpful guide
I love nothing more than planning a trip and so often I use the DK Eyewitness books. I find them extremely informative, easy to follow and the pictures and maps tempt you into discovering more.
We used this version of the book to plan the northern part of our Spanish road trips.
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.
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.
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 Monastery of Saint Pelagius is a Benedictine convent for women.
It lost most of its Romanesque design prior to 16th century and has since been remodeled.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Segovia here we come
Inspired to visit Oviedo?
It's a city with a soul, full of interest and certainly worth exploring.
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