The route of the Arcediano

The path with more history

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Among all the Roman roads that crossed Asturias and linked this region with the territory of León, we may highlight the route of the Arcediano, which links the region of Cangas of Onís to that of Riaño. The East of Asturias was linked to the old kingdom of León through this route since ancient times.


It was an old route used by the Romans in order to impose their authority over the Cantabrian and Astures. As the time went by, this route favoured the conquest on the part of the Romans, help the Muslim invasion and the subsequent reconquest. During the Middle Ages it was used to expand the doctrine of the monastery of Sahagún. At the ending of the fist millennium, this route received the name “via saliamica” (sajambrina) or “carrera maiore” (main road or royal road).

In the Medieval Times this route was also used by mule drivers. It was a classic route for old travellers and merchandise and was working for several centuries. By this route most of products from the eastern side were sold in other territories. These products were mainly red ocher and red pepper (Very appreciated in the most ulterior territories). This last product gave a new name to this route: “El Camín del Almagre” (The road of the red ocher). The native people from Sajambriego used this road on opposite direction in order to get to the fields, supplying the Asturian region with products that they did not have in their territories, such as wheat or wine. This route was also a basic and seasonal way for the emigration of weavers from the locality of “Llanes” towards the kingdom of León.

Its current name is due to a clergyman from the 17th century, Pedro Díaz of Oseja, archdeacon of Villaviciosa. He ordered to pay 20 ducats to all people using this road. The aim of this measure was to collect money for building stone quarries and bridges.

Today, and after the construction in the 19th century of the current road of the Pontón by the defile of the Beyos, the old route had been only kept for the use of shepherds and tourists. But this route is still exceptional, keeping the beauty of this unique landscape from ancient times until now. This fact is due to the particular shape of this road together with the engineering works made on it. At the half of this road we can realize how the original shape was, overall when it crossed vast grasslands, surrounded by beech forests and mountains. This big grassland is still known as “La Suelta” because it was the place where the oxen were changed to continue going up by this pass. Along this route we discover green meadows with cattle: cows, sheep, goats, horses and deep forests full of beeches, oaks and holly trees. This place is also the perfect habitat for deers, roebucks, chamois, wild boars, foxes, squirrels as well as many birds such as the protected grouse.

Texto: © Ramón Molleda para desdeasturias.com

Information of interest

Contact telephones:

Town Hall of Amieva, Precendi: 985 94 46 76
Town hall of Oseja de Sajambre: 987 74 09 81
Police: 985 84 80 56