Oviedo, a Fairy tale city in the North of Spain
It wasn´t me who said Oviedo is a fairy tale city, but I totally agree with it and I will show you why. When somebody like Woody Allen says that about the city where you´ve lived for a while, and that you love, it makes you really proud. You know you are a lucky person for being able to see all this beauty often.
“Oviedo is a delicious city, exotic, beautiful: it´s as if it didn´t belong to this world, as if it didn´t exist at all… Oviedo is a fairy tale!”
Although these days I don´t go home as often as I would like to, when I go I always stop in Oviedo. Some of my friends live there, my hairdresser is there (I know, I may consider finding one in Scotland at some point…), and I know at least three places where you could spend a day just eating different pastries!
What I love the most about Oviedo? The architecture, the Parque de San Francisco, the Cathedral with just one tower, the food, the cider… To sum up, I love everything!
I think I already mention this in this post
but, just to make it clear, in Asturias
it rains a lot. That why it is so green
and beautiful. The good thing is that when the sun
is out, we are the happiest region in (probably and without any exaggeration) the world.
The square where the City Hall is located is a perfect place to enjoy a refreshment, or you can also pop in the nearby market and buy any of the fresh products they sell. Just opposite the market, there is a little square where you can enjoy some cold cider (sidra) too.
I just to lived just by the orange – red building that you see on the second photo, and it was great. It is perfectly located, close to everything, and surrounded by great bars and restaurants. Even a singer from Asturias mentions that street on one of his songs!
Oviedo is full of little treasures. In every street you can discover something hidden, something humble that with give you a nice surprise. That is the case with this small church, on the City Hall square.
This is the Iglesia de San Isidoro el Real. It was built in 1576 and it used to be attached to a school, but this was destroyed in order to build the market I mentioned before. It is a rated building, part of the collection of Spanish monuments.
Another of my favourite places in Oviedo is the Parque de San Francisco. It is perfect to just go, relax and enjoy the day. There are some small kiosks where you can buy ice cream, or biscuits. When I was a kid I used to feed those to the ducks, swans and peacocks that live in the park. Be careful with the peacocks, they sometimes attack people! (Yes, really).
In this park one can find a bit of everything: areas for the kids to play, benches where to sit, sculptures by various artists, nearly 1,000 trees (some of them over 300 years old), and even a music kiosk from the end of 1800.
As I said the food is great, very different from the one you get in the South, basically because the two climates are opposites. And the portions are great, well, they are huge! After the plate you see on the photo there was a second course and a dessert, all for around 10 Euros.
This restaurant is located in Gascona, a street that has sidrerías (cider bars) on both sides. There is nothing better than when summer arrives going with some friends to enjoy a couple of sidras outside. The traditional way to pour the sidra is how you see on the photo, a straight arm up holding the bottle, and the other straight down holding the glass.
Professionals like the guy in the photo don´t even need to look at the bottle or the glass, they know the liquid will end up inside the glass. Also a glass is usually share by a couple of three people, you have to leave a bit of liquid when you finish drinking. This way you can through it to the floor “cleaning” the glass before it goes to the next person.
Santa María del Naranco was going to be a royal palace, part of a bigger complex. It was built in 848 and it´s a clear example of pre Romanesque architecture. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the good news is that even for such an special monument, you don´t get many tourist around, so you can have the place to yourself most of the times.
San Miguel de Lillo was a church and also part of the complex mentioned above. It is from the same date as Santa María del Naranco and it is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Pre Romanesque architecture is something pretty rare, and in Spain the only examples can be found in Asturias. The reason behind this is that the Arabs conquered all of Spain except for Asturias, therefore in Asturias we have no real Arab influence in the likes of art, culture or architecture.
These two churches are near the top of a mountain, which has some of the best views of the city. No need to say that these special architecture makes us really proud too. Well, anything about Asturias makes us proud…
What do you think of the views? Quite amazing, aren´t they? And the mountains behind?
As you can tell, I am really proud of my region and I love sharing more about it on the blog. I really hope you enjoy these posts, and if thanks to me you decide to go and discover the North of Spain, please let me know!
Thank you for being there!