Gijón has three beaches, a commercial port, a sport port, an industrial neighbourhood, big parks, an active centre and a historical neighbourhood with a pure marine essence. With a superior population of 270.000 people, this is the most dynamic and populated city of Asturias.
Gijón is a dynamic city since many film and music festivals are celebrated yearly, apart from sports events, theatre plays and numerous trade fairs. Gijón is also the capital of the Green Coast a coast in which urban development lives respectfully with the natural environment. Despite being a city, Gijón keeps the character of those small villages. The kind character of its people, the lack of stress and its unique landscape make this city a really charming place.
In any season of the year, Gijón always invite us to walk down by its streets and admire its beauty. The statue of Don Pelayo stands in the sport port in the Marqués Square. In this same place we find the Palace of Revillagigedo. It was built in the first decades of the 18th century and today is the seat for the International Center of Contemporary Art. If go straight on we will enter the neighbourhood of Cimadevilla, the oldest and firstly populated area of this city.
This neighbourhood shows a profile that remains a little peninsula, combining marine and colonial houses with restaurants and squares that well deserve a visit. Here is also located the Clock Tower, an emblematic building that keeps all the archaeological documentation generated during more than one decade of excavations in this city.
A huge sculpture called “the Praise of Horizon” (“Elogio del Horizonte”) designed by Chillida also stands in this neighbourhood.
More than a sculpture it is a universal symbol of this city. From here we discover the industrial western coast. We can also see the beach of Arbeyal, an artificial sandy area characterised by the quietness of the sea. In the distance we can also see the port of Musel, where the port cranes work and where the commercial vessels go in and out of this harbour, loaded with merchandise.
Now we go down the hill but we are still at this old quarter. At the Mayor Square (Plaza Mayor) we can admire the town council construction of the 19th century and enjoy the asturian environment in the cider bars and local restaurants. Very close to here, at the Square of Jovellanos we find the Birth House Museum of this famous, illustrated politician and writer. This building was built in the 16th century and keeps memories and sculptural works of several artists.
Now we are next to the main beach of this city: San Lorenzo. Its walk is always frequented by strollers, sportsmen and if we are in summer, it is full of bathers. We are now in the western border of this beach, near the church of San Pedro where we can visit the Thermal Roman Baths, one of the most important traces of the Romans in Spain. Its construction sets around the 1st and 2nd centuries.
Now we go on finding Gijón. This city has a warm climate with a yearly average temperature of 15 degrees (15ºC). Suitable conditions to enjoy the local life at any season.
We walk down the walk to its end. Once passed the river Piles we can go on walking by the border of this coast for a few more kilometres, a wonderful route known as Senda del Cervigón.
We can also turn at our right once we have passed the bridge over the river Piles and walk up to the exhibition site, the permanent seat of the Etnographic Museum of the Town of Asturias and it is also a space in which The Black Gijonesa Week (la Semana Negra Gijonesa), the Trade fair of Asturias and other numerous cultural and commercial events develop. After the last extension, this Trade fair counts with 160.000 square meters.
In the surroundings is located the Park of Isabel the Catholic full of gardens and ponds. Close to here is the Football Stadium: El Molinón. Passed this stadium the residential neighbourhood of Somió starts, one of the first garden-city that was built in Spain. One of these buildings houses the Foundation Evaristo Valle, a museum dedicated to this painter and all his work.
We go on our direction to East to find La LABoral: the Technical College, an architectonical whole of granite and marble. In the surroundings a modern technological park has developed and an Athlantic Botanic Garden has been planed, a space of 16 hectares designed to shelter more than 30.000 plants of 2000 different species.
We go back to Gijón. We go on walking, now by the modern part of this city, full of big streets with squares and green areas such as the Gardens of the Nautical the ones of Begoña or the ones of the Queen. Here we will be able to visit all the shops of the Street Corrida, the old cafés and cider bars of the Walk Begoña to enter the Street Uría and Menéndez Valdés up to reach the Jovellanos Theatre.Texto: © Ramón Molleda para desdeasturias.com