Cimadevilla is one of the most popular districts in the city of Gijón because of its natural essence. Cimadevilla still maintains its ancient folk aspect and it is also the protagonist of the main historical events of the city.
This place shows the beginnings of the city on the faces of buildings and in its streets, placing us in exceptional environment, famous for its fishing stories, familiar manner and the worldly famous taste of its cider. Cimadevilla is proud of its tradition but, on the other hand, is at the forefront of the new building society. One of the most famous works of Chillida: The Elogio del Horizonte, became the symbol of this city. This great sculpture takes up much of the horizon and it is also different depending on the angle from which we look at it, showing at the same time, the cosmopolitan nature of this city.
The urban bustle has left important traces of their inhabitants: fishermen, craftmen, men and women that were born in this well known district. During the day, these streets keep calm but in the nights the place becomes a meeting point, full of restaurants and night clubs to spend a nice time before the sun rises. It is usual to have a dinner based on seafood and cider, and if the night goes well you can have breakfast at the sports port.
It is very worthwhile to have a walk along these streets and squares. Many of the buildings have renovated their faces. More than two hundred buildings are safely maintained and a dozen of them are part of the historical and cultural inheritance of Gijón.
Route by Cimadevilla
It is also very worthwhile to take a two hours walk along the city. We can start in the beautiful Plaza Mayor, ruled by the Town Council, a stage for popular celebrations such as the Semana Grande or the Antroxu (Carnival). Now, we cross the arch of this West area and this way leads us to sports port where we can find the monument to Don Pelayo (the first king in the Asturian Monarchy that appears in the middle of the city’s shield). This is placed in the middle of the Marqués square. Here, we find the Palace of Revillagigedo, belonging to the 18th century and famous for its International Contemporary Arts Centre. It usually shows temporary expositions of national and international works, many of these works belonging to important artists. Joined to this centre is the Colegiata of San Juan Bautista, that is the stage for many classic music concerts throughout the year. In Cimadevilla cultural life mixes with a bustling environment.
As one walks down one reaches the sports harbour, with new installations, in the middle of a wonderful place which is, in addition, a meeting point for numerous regattas. At the end of this walk, it is possible to take a look from the wall over the stormy waters of the sea against the rocks. Now, we reach the famous Cuesta de Cholo, (an American term given by the American immigrants) and from here, one is getting closer to the small streets of Gijón that are usually crowded when the weather is nice.
A few metres forward one can admire the Capilla de la Soledad of the 17th century, and it is also a centre for the Gremio de Mareantes, whose festivity takes place in September. On this date, the district is full of lights where different types of celebrations are taking place.
At the end of the street Artillería is placed the famous iron sculpture Nordeste, by Joaquín Vaquero Turcios. This sculpture focuses on the expected wind during summertime, because this wind is thought to clear the dark clouds away, thus ensures a sunny day. The Cerro de Santa Catalina was, a long time ago a military centre and now it has been restored for the enjoyment of visitors.
Elogio del Horizonte by Chillida
Going down by this road one can see on the top of a hill the sculpture of Elogio del Horizonte, a work by Chillida made of concrete. From this place it is also possible to hear the soft murmur of the sea, as if we were listening from the inside of a shell. The work of Chillida although was rejected at first, has now become one of the most important symbols in any book or leaflet with reference to the city of Gijón.
Going by this path by the sea one leaves behind the Club Astur de Regattas, a private club from where one can admire the beauty of the bay of San Lorenzo. When one reaches the end of this hill one can visit the beautiful Iglesia Mayor de San Pedro,(Saint Peter´s Mayor Church) of gothic origin. In this place there are gardens all around like Campo Valdés, where the statue of the Emperor César Augusto is set reminding us the latin times of the village of Gigia. Inside this temple the Termas Romanas are located, working today as a museum that remembers the ancient Latìn times of Gijón.
The surrounding buildings are famous for their faces like the main face of the Antigua Pescadería and the tower of Jove- Hevia and the Capilla of San Lorenzo of Tierra, these last two belonging to the 17th century.
Other interesting constructions to visit are located in Plaza de Jovellanos where the museum of Casa Natal de Jovellanos is situated. Here, one can admire different Asturian paintings of the 19th and 20th centuries, as well as, several modern sculptures. Joined to this building is the Chapel of Nuestra Señora de los Remedios, where Melchor Gaspar de Jovellanos was buried, an important figure of the Spanish Enlightenment.
The front building is now a beautiful hostel and ,at the same time, is the seat of the Nautic Institute and Mineralogy, founded by Jovellanos.
Now, one takes the road of Remedios and to our left we can see a rose- coloured tower. This is the Torre del Reloj lifted above the ruins of an old roman tower, that also worked as a prison of Gijón up to the belonging of the 20th century. Now it works as the archeological museum of Gijón, with many photographs of ancient times.
Finally, we turn to the right by the street of Campo Grande, ending our walk in the Plaza de Arturo Arias, commonly known as Plaza de las Recoletas Agustinas. It was restored at the en of 90’s, and now it is the best place for enjoying a nice time with friends drinking cider. At first, this place was exclusively occupied by fishermen and women who went there to wash clothes. Yet in the present day it is full of young people that meet for talking or enjoying the sea breeze in a place which is both old and modern at the same time.Texto: © Ramón Molleda para desdeasturias.com