The origins of the culture of this town started in the Iron Age, a period of time full of battles and insecurity. The number of Asturian forts of that time is more than two hundred and fifty present in this Principality. The best kept is the one in Coa-a that has also given a large number of archaeological rests. It is thought that in it were living between 1500 and 2000 people.
Castro of Coaña, known as Castrillón, was an important point to watch and defend the area of the river of Navia. The Roman conquest made of this place an important square. The mission of it was to guarantee the gold trade coming from the near mines. Under the Roman power, its best period was in the second half of the 1st century after Christ. The results of the constant excavations in this area together with the first archaeological works during the 19th century seem to confirm, that the origins of this old settlement belong to the pre-roman age. A first indigenous settlement was responsible for the building of circular constructions. During the Roman period these buildings had a rectangular shape. Some coins of the Caesar Times have appeared and are part of the government of August. There have been also found coins of the periods of Tiberius, Claudius and Quintile, belonging to the 3rd century. Even its pre-roman origin is difficult to prove, the Asturian forts always thought to be Roman are being to questioned nowadays. Radiocarbon dating offers chronologies of the centuries 7th and 8th before Christ. Other famous Asturian forts such as the one of San Chuis or Chao San Mart'n are being thought up today to be Roman as well.
Whatever its origin was, we can walk through this route to discover this ancient settlement. We can go through a big defensive wall and then we can also discover the rectangular tower that was used to defend the interior area known as the acropolis. Between the wall and the acropolis, in the North hillside, the urban nucleus of this settlement is placed and is also called the northern neighborhood. The size of these constructions, buildings, warehouses, repair shops ... varies between 4 and 6 meters of diameter for the circular ones and 5 x 12 meters for the rectangular ones. In some of them we can distinguish several central fire places as well as stones belonging to the old mills and even big blocks of granite.
The most famous area in this settlement is the sacred site where two groups of constructions are well differenced. Both the oldest and the modern one are linked to the cult of water. The first construction has a chamber with apse, swimming pool, tiled floor and channels. The second one is shown through an anteroom that precedes a big chamber, and a door gives access to a big swimming pool made of granite. Although its old use is still unknown, everything seems to be a thermal area. It is a rustic and a basic construction.
But it is also important to mention the didactic room of the Archaelogical Park of the coalfields of Navia. Its contents tell us about the military culture, the Roman mining and the archaeological method.
In the locality of Coaña we can admire the Estela discoidea, a round stone of big dimension. It is thought that its uses were linked to death and solar cults. Some time after, it was crystallized and began to be called Stone of Our Lady. It is placed in a house outside the village. This natural element has become the most emblematic of this municipality.
We can finish this cultural route visiting The Archaelogical Museum in the city of Oviedo, where we can find different pieces belonging to some Asturian archaeological deposits, including the one of Coaña.Text: © Ramón Molleda for desdeasturias.com
Information of interestLocations:
Contact telephone: 985 97 84 01
How to get there:
We start from Navia (crossed by the N-634 road). On the left bank of the river is the town of Spin. there take the AS-12 road towards Grandas. After passing the village of Coaña, you enter the castro and didactic classroom through a detour on the right side of the road.
More details: Castro de Coaña