And the village of Mallecín, or Maicín in Asturian, which is like the entrance hall of the village of Salas on the primitive Jacobean route, are located in the Nonaya river valley. This river crosses Salas, which sits on its banks and is protected by the watchful eye of the sacred mountain of El Visu. Mallecín and Salas are part of the parish and the council of Salas, located in the western-central Asturias. Although vestiges of ancestral settlements and cultures have been found throughout the council of Salas, from the Palaeolithic to the Roman occupation, passing through the Celtic castros, the first written reference to Salas dates back to medieval times, in 896, when Prince Gonzalo made a donation, including the church of San Martín, to the bishopric of Oviedo. In the following two centuries it is mentioned again, also referring to it in different donations.
In other writings they name it as Salas de Nonaya, which shows that the river has had its importance in the history of the town that grew under the protection of the castle, donated by Doña Urraca to Count Suero in the twelfth century. Although the founding charter of the town of Salas has not been preserved, it is known that it was Alfonso X who granted it, constituting it as a town. Feudal lords, struggles for power and territories, brotherhoods of councils in search of defending their acquired rights and freedoms, run parallel to the passage of centuries. The 16th century left in Salas the mark of the birth of one of its most illustrious sons and one of the most influential figures in Spain at the time, Don Fernando de Valdés, archbishop of Seville, inquisitor general and president of the Council of Castile, founder of the University of Oviedo and who in Salas ordered the construction of the Collegiate Church of Santa María La Mayor, in the year 1549. In the 19th century the town of Salas also suffered the ups and downs of the wars, the Napoleonic war, the Carlists... Today it is a modern town that has managed to maintain its beautiful medieval appearance.
On the edge of the Way, Mallecín shows its houses and hórreos before the visitor immerses himself in the beautiful medieval town of Salas, where even today the Castle Tower which houses the pre-Romanesque Museum of San Martín, seems to keep an eye on the daily life of its people. This tower, known as the Village Tower, although reconstructed in 1959, dates from the 15th century and communicates by means of an arch with the neighbouring palace of the Valdés family, which dates from the first half of the 16th century. Fernando Valdés Salas, archbishop, inquisitor and who ordered the construction of the Collegiate Church of Santa María la Mayor, whose works were finished in the middle of the 16th century, was born in this palace. This beautiful Gothic building, which was born to be a family pantheon and which houses the mausoleum of Archbishop Valdés Salas, became a parish church in the 19th century. In San Roque square is the chapel of the same name that belonged to an old pilgrims' hospital, is from the seventeenth century and you can also find what was in his time stop of posts and inn, the house of Malleza of the same time.
On the façade of the palace of the Countess of Casares, typically Asturian built in the seventeenth century, the Malleza coat of arms stands out. Walking through its streets you can also see the house of Miranda and the Regent both of the seventeenth century. While in Salas you should not miss the visit to two important monuments that are located in the same place, the salense cemetery, one is the Tejo de Salas that its 16 meters high make it stand out in the middle of the whole place and whose trunk perimeter comes to be about seven meters, and the other is the church of San Martin, its first construction was pre-Romanesque between the eighth and ninth centuries, the X was rebuilt by Alfonsus Confesus and the fifteenth, seventeenth and eighteenth centuries saw how it was rebuilt and reformed. Dominating the surroundings, at the top of Mount El Visu is the chapel of Nuestra Señora de El Visu, patron saint of the council. Inside the chapel there is a cross on which are inscribed the names of all the parishes of the council.
Salas, on the 15th of August makes a traditional pilgrimage, the Romería del Viso. The patron saint festivities are from the 22nd to the 25th of August in which the fiesta of Bollo and Santa Ana is celebrated. In April they are celebrated on the last Sunday and Tuesday of the month, with a fair included.
In Salas it is traditional to celebrate the Mercaú Vaqueiro at the end of June, this market is decorated as if it were a fair of the Middle Ages. Also traditional and famous are the Carajitos del Profesor (Teacher's Carajitos), which are sweet hazelnut pastes that used to accompany afternoon coffees. Its name is due to the people of the town who returned from the Americas and when they approached the café-bar that was run by a music teacher and who made these delicacies, not knowing what to call them, they would ask them saying: "Give me one carajo of those.
The yews are a kind of tree that in Asturias, are surrounded by mystery and magic. Related to Asturian mythology, most of these trees are found next to small churches or hermitages. The Celts ate their poisonous fruits to end their lives when in battles they were defeated and did not want to be captive.
Legend has it that Fernando de Valdés y Salas was already bishop of Oviedo and at the request of his countrymen, the people of Salas, who no longer knew what to do against a plague of mice that devoured their crops, he initiated a lawsuit against the mice. In the trial the rodents had the help of a defense lawyer and a prosecutor, but lost the case and the mice abiding by the sentence left the council.
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Salas can be reached from Oviedo following the A-63 and the N-634 in the direction of A Coruña. Salas can also be reached by the AS-226 from Soto de los Infantes and the AS-225 from Pravia. Mallecín is located very close to Salas, enjoying the same access roads.
Salas has a daily bus service with different routes that connect it with Oviedo and other capitals of nearby councils.
The nearest RENFE station to Salas is in the council of Grado. And the nearest FEVE station is in the Pravia council.
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