Gijón has three beaches, a commercial port, another sporting one, an industrial district, large parks, a vibrant center and a historical neighborhood with marine essence. With a population superior to the 270.000 inhabitants it is the most populated city in Asturias and the most dynamic.
Many things happen in Gijón. Film festivals, music, literature, sports, theater and fairs everywhere.
Es the capital of the Costa Verde and urban development coexists with a privileged natural environment. Gijón has something of a great village. The affable nature of its people, the absence of stress and the survival of the Asturian landscape even in its most avant-garde neighborhoods, make it even more charming.
At any time of year Gijón invites us to walk through its streets and admire the city. The statue of Don Pelayo presides over the stamp of the Leisure port, sports port in the Plaza del Marqués. In this same space stands the Palace of Revillagigedo, dating from the first decades of the eighteenth century. From here we continue straight ahead to enter Cimadevilla, the old town par excellence, that of the first settlers.
The neighborhood has an inimitable profile of mini-peninsula, populated with marine and colonial houses, restaurants and squares where it is worth stopping. It is also located here Clock Tower, emblematic building that currently houses the archaeological documentation generated during more than a decade of excavations in the city.
Crown this singular neighborhood the Praise of the Horizon, an imposing sculpture designed by Chillida to embrace the sea. Located on the northern edge of Santa Catalina Hill, the Elogio is the universal symbol of the city. From this promontory we discovered that the west coast has a clearly industrial flavor. We see the beach of Arbeyal, an artificial beach characterized by the calm sea. In the distance we discover the Port of Musel, where the port cranes do their work at all hours and the large commercial vessels enter and leave port loaded with merchandise.
We descend from the hill but we do not leave the old town. In the Plaza Mayor we can admire the construction of the Town Hall (19th century) and enjoy a particularly Asturian atmosphere in the cider houses that surround it. Very close, in the Plaza de Jovellanos, we came across the Casa Natal Museum of this famous illustrated, politician and writer. The building, of the sixteenth century, contains memories and paintings and sculptures of various artists.
We are already next to the main beach of Gijon:San Lorenzo beach. On Walk of the Wall It is full of strollers, athletes and, if it is summer, bathers. We are at the western end of the beach, near the Church of San Pedro, and we can visit The Roman Baths, a unique thermal complex, of the most important Roman remains of Spain. Its construction is between the 1st and 2nd centuries.
We continue discovering Gijón. The city has a temperate climate, a temperature that, as an annual average, stands at 15 ° C. Ideal conditions to enjoy the city life in any season and walk without extreme inclemency.
We walk along the Paseo del Muro until its end. Exceeded the river Piles We can continue to the edge of the coast a few more kilometers, thanks to a magnificent route known as The Path of Cervigón.
We can also choose to turn to the right once the bridge of the river Piles and walk towards the fairground, permanent headquarters of the Ethnographic Museum of the People of Asturias and space in which La Semana Negra Gijon, the Fair of Samples of Asturias and other cultural and commercial events. After the last extension, the Exhibition Center has almost 160.000 square meters. In the immediate vicinity is the Isabel La Católica Park, occupying a privileged environment of gardens and ponds, very close also to the Football Stadium of The Molinón. Beyond the stadium begins the residential district of Somió, one of the first city-gardens that were built in Spain. One of these houses welcomes Evaristo Valle Foundation, a museum dedicated to the painter and his work.
We continue with our East orientation; A little further away from the city center we can visit the Labor University, part of its campus have been reconverted and expanded to meet the needs again Art Center of La Laboral, the flagship of a larger project: the City of Culture, which will try to make full use of the space of the old University. A mammoth building as a whole, two and a half times larger than El Escorial, built during the dictatorship by the architect Luis Moya Blanco and considered the most important architectural work of Asturias in the twentieth century.
In the vicinity of La Laboral a modern technological park has been developed and planned Atlantic Botanical Garden, a space of 16 hectares designed to house more than 30.000 plants and up to 2.000 different species.
We return to Gijón. We continue strolling, now at the heart of the modern part, of rationalist layout and large streets, where there are plenty of squares and green areas such as Gardens of the Nautical, those of Begoña or the Queen. It is worth visiting the shops of the street Corrida, the old cafes and cider houses of the Paseo Begoña or enter Uría and Menéndez Valdés Street until you reach the Jovellanos Theater.Text: © Ramón Molleda for desdeasturias.com