Wednesday, August 26, 2015


Our trip ended in Oviedo, a place I had not been previously and which I think we both enjoyed greatly. Definitely worth a few days' stop. It's the capital city of Asturias, the Kingdom of Asturias having been established in 720 AD with the Visigoth revolt against the Moors. The tradition of revolts was revived in 1934 when several other cities revolted against the conservative government and captured Oviedo with its arsenal, causing Franco to send in the military, leaving thousands dead or wounded. Another siege led by the army garrison rising in support of the Second Spanish Republic two years later, a memorable event in the Spanish Civil War, lasted three months.

We stayed at the magnificent Hotel de la Reconquista, a former orphanage, beautifully renovated:



There are plenty of other wonderful examples of architecture around Oviedo; you know my weakness for tiled façades...


A wonderful bank

 ornate façade details

The Ayunamiento, or town hall

Basilica de San Juan El Real

Cathedral of San Salvador

Around the corner is a statue of King Alfonso II (1157-1196), also called "Alfonso the Chaste," beloved of Catalans whose goal was to unite lands on both side of the Pyrenees

The Cathedral is a focal point for pilgrims and this plaque set in the pavement points them to either of two main pilgrimage routes from the Cathedral

The 1587 San Isador El Real

We would see writing like this on churches occasionally and always assumed they had religious significance. Look a little closer, however, and you can see an injunction to the local kids not to use the side of the church for soccer practice

There are plenty of other lovely examples of architecture around town

Covered market

Naturally Starchitect Calatrava got his hand in here, building this conference center. The clamshell is supposed to open and close, but naturally it doesn't work and was six times over budget to build. I really don't know how it is this guy continues to get work! It's striking enough, but really...

From above:

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