Study in Oviedo, Spain



Study in Oviedo, Spain

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The streets of oviedo

Located in Northern Spain, the beautiful city of Oviedo serves as the capital of the Principality of Asturias, as well as the administrative, cultural and commercial center of this breathtaking region. Oviedo is also the name of the greater municipality that contains the city. 

Oviedo is situated approximately 12 miles (20km) south of its neighboring cities Gijón and Avilés, which lie on the shoreline of the Bay of Biscay; the city’s proximity to the ocean causes Oviedo to have a pleasant maritime climate, in spite of it not being located on the shoreline itself.

Oviedo is a city bursting with culture. It inspired the fictional city Vetusta in Leopoldo Alas' La Regenta. Other Spanish writers were also inspired by the city, including Ramón Pérez de Ayala in his work Tigre Juan and Dolores Medio in her novel Nosotros los Rivero.

Oviedo was featured prominently in Woody Allen's movie Vicky Cristina Barcelona.

Things to Do and See in Oviedo, Spain

Oviedo offers a wealth of historical, cultural and recreational attractions, including a number of museums, theaters, landmarks and other institutions, as well as several restaurants, bars, nightclubs and cafes.  Below we have highlighted just a few of these attractions in a bit more detail.

Cathedral of Saint Salvador

The origin—and main focal point—of the Cathedral of Saint Salvador (Catedral de San Salvador) is the Cámara Santa, a pre-Romanesque chapel built by Alfonso II to house holy relics. The chapel now contains several key symbols of medieval Spanish Christianity and is a small part of a much larger complex that was built gradually over many years, chiefly in the Gothic and Baroque styles of architecture, between the 13th and 18th centuries.

In the northwest corner of the Capilla del Rey Casto, a Baroque chapel entered from the cathedral's north transept, the Panteón Real is believed to hold the tombs of most of the former Asturian monarchs, including Alfonso II himself.

Guests enter the Cámara Santa, cloister and the museum of the Cathedral from the southern transept.  Once inside the Cámara Santa, visitors are treated to a wonderful collection of important sacred medieval artifacts, including two jewel-encrusted gold crosses: Alfonso II presented the central Cruz de los Ángeles (Cross of the Angels) to the cathedral in 808, and it's still Oviedo's city emblem. A century later Alfonso III donated the Cruz de la Victoria (Cross of Victory), which in turn became the sign of Asturias. The Cámara Santa also contains the Santo Sudario, a cloth said to have covered Christ's face. These items are viewed from the Sala Apostolar, whose remarkable Romanesque sculptures of the 12 apostles are in the style of Maestro Mateo, creator of Santiago de Compostela's renowned Pórtico de la Gloria.

The cloister of Saint Salvador Cathedral is pure 14th-century Gothic, making it rare in the region of Asturias. The pre-Romanesque Torre Vieja (Old Tower), from the late 9th century, rises above its northwestern corner, and is best viewed from the street Tránsito de Santa Bárbara below.

Museo Arqueológico de Asturias (Archaeology Museum of Asturias)

The Archaeology Museum of Asturias is contained partly within a restored 16th-century monastery.  Once inside, guests of this marvelous museum will see that it makes the most of the region's archaeological riches through video as well as informative displays of artifacts. Subject matter ranges from prehistoric cave art to Castro (pre-Roman fortified village) culture, Roman times and the medieval Kingdom of Asturias. Explanatory details are in Spanish, but staff are happy to lend visitors a guide booklet in English or French.

Palacio de Santa María del Naranco (Palace of Saint Maria of Naranco)

On the slopes of Monte Naranco, some 3 kilometers northwest of central Oviedo, the tall, narrow Palacio de Santa María del Naranco and the Iglesia de San Miguel de Lillo were built by Ramiro I (842-50), Alfonso II's successor. These two structures mark a serious advance in Asturian art. Visitors to the palace will undoubtedly notice an outstanding feature of the decoration known as sogueado, the sculptural motif imitating rope used in its columns.  To reach the palace from Oviedo, simply take the Number 10 bus from Calle Uría, located right next to the train station.