It's the capital of the Principado of Asturias in addition to being the capital of the homonymous parish of which is part within the council of the same name. The municipality is located in the centre of the Asturian Principality and is delimited by the rivers Nalón and Nora. Neither of the two crosses the town centre of Oviedo, which has significant unevenness in its topography. The origin of Oviedo, according to history, goes back to the High Middle Ages, to the eighth century or perhaps earlier, because according to archaeological discoveries it is believed that there may have been some population nucleus in the Roman period. On the hill called Ovetao or Oveto, the monks Máximo and Fromestano built a monastery dedicated to San Vicente. Later, when King Fruela I visited the place, he liked it so much that he decided to build a basilica dedicated to San Salvador and other dependencies that would serve as a residence for his wife Munia and so that his son Alfonso, the future Alfonso II the Chaste, would be born there. When he was king, he moved the capital of the kingdom to Oviedo and also turned it into an episcopal see. He built a wall to protect the city, and palaces, churches and other structures. In the walled area three districts were differentiated: La Villa, which grouped the religious and civil buildings, Cimadevilla, more merchant and related to pilgrimages, and Socastiello.
When the tomb of the apostle Santiago was discovered in Compostela in the year 812, King Alfonso II went to visit it, thus turning its route into the first pilgrim way, now known as the Primitive Way, and he into the first rosemary. In the 10th century, and with the advance of the Reconquest, the capital was moved to León, causing the city to lose part of its importance. King John I, in the year 1388, founded the Principado of Asturias, the first to bear the title was his son, Prince Enrique, and Oviedo became its capital. In 1521 a devastating fire devastated the city, and with its reconstruction and new urban structure, Oviedo saw how it developed, an aqueduct was built to supply water and at the beginning of the seventeenth century the University was founded. The nobility built remarkable palaces in the 18th century, and in the 19th century they were the first to rise up against the Napoleonic invasion. This century also brought important industrial growth, and in the 20th century it was administrative and commercial development that became more important. Today's Oviedo is a city that looks to the future based on solid historical and traditional foundations and that has, through the Prince of Asturias Awards, presented annually at the Teatro Campoamor, and the International Campus, which is attended by personalities of the highest world relevance, an increasingly growing international projection.
Oviedo is a city where you find beautiful corners that speak of its history, entering the old town and strolling through its pedestrian streets is in itself a full enjoyment. In the epicenter of the city and the monumental helmet, is the Cathedral of San Salvador, being fundamentally of Gothic style, constructed between centuries XIV and XVI and some later additions of baroque style, conserves part of the Romanesque like, its tower of San Miguel and in its interior lodges reminiscences prerrománicas, sample of it is the Holy Camera, where the relics of the city are kept, the Cross of the Angels, the Cross of the Victory, the Chest of the Agates or the Holy Shroud. The Cathedral square is surrounded by noble buildings, in it is the chapel of the Balesquida, from the 12th century, which keeps the image of the Virgen de la Esperanza, the palace of the Santa Cruz or the Rúa, from the 15th century, the house of the Llanes, the palaces of Heredia and Valdecarzana; The church of San Tirso, on one side of the Cathedral but separated by a street, was founded by Alfonso II the Chaste in the ninth century, from its pre-Romanesque era persists in time the front of the central apse with the trigeminated window. Adjacent to the Cathedral Square is Porlier Square, which in no way detracts from its neighbour, with buildings such as the palace of the Count of Toreno and Camposagrado, both from the 18th century, facing them is the building of the old University, inside a beautiful square cloister with arcades, yearns, perhaps, the walks in it gave Clarín or Father Feijoo, and in the center the statue of its founder in the seventeenth century, Valdés Salas.
The small and coquettish Square of Irrigation, the Constitution Square where the Town Hall is located, built in the seventeenth century, on its porticoed ground floor has a central arch that was the old gateway into the city, the gate of Cimadevilla, and that has for support the old wall, no doubt we must pay attention to the Clock Tower. The church of San Isidoro el Real was built between 1578 and 1740; close to this church is the square of Fontán, which was a marsh that the growing urban development of the city forced to dry out in the sixteenth century, becoming the first commercial center outside the walls, although the square did not finish urbanizing until the eighteenth, today is a charming corner porticoed buildings that keep a peaceful neighborhood and rural air. Mon and Santa Ana Street, Trascorrales Square or the curious Umbrella Square, as an enormous umbrella opened in the centre of the square, paying tribute to the regional climate, gives it its name; in this place, at the beginning of the 20th century, the old milk vendors, with their dairy farmers, kept and animated the atmosphere. The largest piece of the 13th century medieval wall is conserved in Paraíso Street, which is very close to this square. Museums and auditoriums, not forgetting the Campoamor Theatre, inaugurated in 1892, which is the setting, among other important events, for the award ceremony of the Princess of Asturias prizes. They are only a sketch, a touch of what this beautiful city offers to the visitor and if it already joins with the delicious gastronomy that can be enjoyed, no one will leave Oviedo without taking a pleasant memory and a great longing that will make you return soon to continue enjoying this beautiful city and its surroundings.
In Oviedo San Mateo is celebrated in all its glory, whose big day is 21 September, although its patron saint is San Salvador. At the end of May or the beginning of June, coinciding with the first Tuesday after Pentecost, Oviedo has a fiesta to celebrate the Tuesday of the Countryside or Tuesday of the Bollo as it is known to the festival of the Balesquida, the virgin of the Hope is processioned from the Chapel of the Balesquida to the church of San Tirso and during the day the bollu preñau and the bottle of wine are distributed between the cofrades. The Ascension Fair takes place about forty days after the celebration of Holy Week, in it the homage is the countryside, livestock shows, exhibitions of popular crafts, folklore and Asturian market are guaranteed.
The fiestas of San Mateo, in Oviedo, have their historical origin in the 9th century, in a religious festival called Perdonanza, when a large number of people and pilgrims came to Oviedo to venerate the relics of the Holy Ark, for which Alfonso II, the Chaste King, built the Holy Chamber and thus living the jubilee of the Holy Cross to get plenary indulgence, this happened between 14 and 21 September.
In the American continent there are several cities that share the same name with Oviedo, in Baja California, in Mexico, in Paraguay, in the Dominican Republic and also in Florida.
The Paxarines are traditional figures of different shapes that are made with breadcrumbs and eggs and given color with saffron. It is said that in the seventeenth century three figurines appeared on a pedestal of the Cathedral and it is since then that they are made and sold, on the day of St. Matthew, in the Cathedral square and say they protect from storms.
The main accesses to Oviedo by road are the N-634 which, together with the A-63 on one side and the A-64 on the other, joins it with both sides of the Cantabrian coast, the N-630 and the AP-66 which joins it with León and the plateau, also through the A-66 Oviedo joins it with the coast and the A-8 Cantabrian dual carriageway in Gijón. There are also several local and provincial roads that connect Oviedo with the different towns that surround it.
From Oviedo's bus station there are services from different companies with regional, national and international services that connect it with the main cities of the country as well as with Belgium, France, United Kingdom or Switzerland, in addition to localities of the CCAA. The bus station is located in C/Pepe Cosmen, s/n and the telephone numbers for further information are 902 499 949, 985 969 696 and 985 969 678. The urban bus lines of Oviedo bring not only points within the city but also towns of the City Council of Oviedo.
Railway services link Oviedo with the main municipalities of the community as well as with the rest of the Cantabrian coast, the plateau, the Levant and Cataluña. The suburban trains cover different routes through Asturias interconnecting Oviedo with Gijón, Mieres, Avilés...Oviedo has three stations, the North Station, which is the main one, is located in C/Uría, s/n and the customer service office has telephone numbers 985 981 441 and 902 320 320. Llamaquique, which is the first underground station in Asturias, is located under Coronel Aranda Street, a glass structure serves as the main access to the station and La Corredoria which is a passenger interchange and serves the town of La Corredoria.
Asturias Airport, located in Santiago del Monte, about 45 km from Oviedo and with the telephone number for information 985 12 75 00, offers direct flights to and from Alicante, Barcelona, Brussels, London, Lanzarote, Madrid, Malaga, Palma de Mallorca, Paris, Seville, Gran Canaria, Ibiza, Lisbon, Marseille, Menorca, Monastir, Paris, Tenerife Sur and Valencia.
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