Uviéu (Asturian)
—  Municipality  —


Coat of arms
Motto: Benemérita, invicta, heroica, buena, muy noble, muy leal
(Meritorious, undefeated, heroic, good, very noble, very loyal)
Oviedo is located in Asturias
Location in Asturias
Oviedo is located in Spain
Location in Spain
Coordinates: 43°21′36″N 5°50′42″W / 43.36°N 5.845°W / 43.36; -5.845Coordinates: 43°21′36″N 5°50′42″W / 43.36°N 5.845°W / 43.36; -5.845
Country  Spain
Autonomous community Principado de Asturias
Province Asturias
Comarca Oviedo
Capital Oviedo
 – Alcalde Gabino de Lorenzo (PP)
 – Total 18.665 km2 (7.2 sq mi)
Elevation 232 m (761 ft)
Population (2009)
 – Total 224,005
 – Density 12,001.3/km2 (31,083.3/sq mi)
Demonym ovetense or carbayón
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 – Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Postal code 33001 and 33013
Official language(s) Castilian
Website Official website

Oviedo (Asturian: Uviéu; Spanish pronunciation: [oˈβjeðo], asturian pronunciation: [uˈβjeu̯]) is the capital city of the Principality of Asturias in northern Spain. It is also the name of the municipality that contains the city.

Oviedo, which is the administrative and commercial centre of the region, also hosts the annual Prince of Asturias Awards. This prestigious event, held in the city's Campoamor Theatre, recognizes international achievement in eight categories. Award winners in 2007 include Bob Dylan in the category of Arts and Al Gore in the category of International Cooperation. Oviedo University's international campus attracts many foreign scholars from all over the globe.



Santa María del Naranco (Pre-Romanesque shrine)
San Julián de los Prados (Pre-Romanesque shrine)
San Miguel de Lillo (Pre-Romanesque shrine)
Cathedral of San Salvador (founded in 781 A.C.), and the Statue of La Regenta.
San Isidoro el Real Church

It is said that two monks, Máximo and Fromestanus, founded the city in 761. That settlement was soon to be completed with the construction of a small church dedicated to Saint Vincent. Nevertheless, the archaeological register has shown traces of occupation since the 1st century, in Roman times.

King Fruela I of Asturias, the fourth of the Asturian monarchs, was the first decided promoter of the city as may be witnessed by his construction of both a palace and a nearby church. Oviedo owes to a later king, Alfonso II The Chaste (791-842), its establishment as a capital city and ruling seat as a result of the moving of the court from Pravia and the creation of the Pilgrim’s Route to Santiago de Compostela, a major event in the history of Oviedo, a church dedicated to The Saviour, the Cathedral of San Salvador, and a royal palace formed the nucleus and motive power of Oviedo.

During this period the city became the centre of an original and unique architectural expression, inheritor of Visigothic, Roman and Nordic traditions, which was to reach its high point during the reign of Ramiro I of Asturias. Ramiro I sponsored many unique construction projects, which remain a signature of Oviedo to this day.

The moving of the royal court to León, after the death of Alfonso III, The Great, links the life of the city to the relics preserved in its cathedral and the passing of pilgrims that visit El Salvador, and continue on their way to Santiago de Compostela. The following centuries (12th-16th) witness the development of the medieval city, the outlines of which are still preserved today, the construction of the city walls, a devastating fire which took place on Christmas Eve in 1521, and the aqueduct works, Los Pilares, constructed in order to provide the city with water throughout the 16th century.

The foundation of the Arts College (University of Oviedo) by Fernando de Valdés Salas, at the beginning of the 17th century, opened Oviedo to a progressive urban expansion. Further impulse was in the 18th century by the regional nobility and the construction of remarkable palaces; in the 19th century by industrial growth and the suburban development of Uría Street; and finally in the 20th century by administrative and commercial development.

The Siege of Oviedo in 1936 was a memorable event in the Spanish Civil War. The army garrison rose in support of the coup d'état and stood a siege of three months by an improvised force, loyal to the Republican government until relieved in 1937.


  • Cathedral of San Salvador, from 13th century, erected in 1288 over the previous cathedral, which was founded in the 8th century.
  • Cámara Santa de Oviedo. Dating from 802. It is located within the Cathedral, and it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • Santa María del Naranco Hall, 9th century. A relatively large pavilion, part of the palace complex built for and by King Ramiro I.
  • San Miguel de Lillo (small church), 9th century.
  • Basilica of San Julián de los Prados.
  • La Foncalada. Fountain of the 9th century. It is the only preserved Pre-Romanesque civil work in the whole of Europe.
  • The University of Oviedo was created in 1574, but only inaugurated on September 21, 1608, the feast of Saint Matthew. It was funded by the terms of the will of Archbishop D. Fernando Valdés Salas, minister and General Inquisitor under Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor and Philip II.
  • Town Hall (Casa Consistorial). Dates from 1662.
  • La Balesquida Chapel (13th century). Associated with Oviedo's taylors' guild. Repeatedly restored in the 17th, 19th and 20th centuries. It is dedicated to the Virgin of Hope.
  • House of the Llanes (18th century). It is the best Baroque façade in the whole of Asturias.
  • Deán Payarinos' House (20th century). A building on the Beaux Arts style. Nowadays, it houses the Eduardo Martínez Torner Conservatory.
  • The Monastery of San Vicente (8th century). At the moment, home of the Archaeological Museum of Asturias.
  • The Convent Church of Santo Domingo, Oviedo (16th century). One of the monastic settlements outside the city walls. The original building burnt down in 1934 and it was heavily reconstructed after the Civil War.
  • El Fontán Market (17th-18th centuries). A simple but rather monumental complex; an 18th century porticoed square, which housed the vegetable market. It fell victim to speculative manoeuvres. It was left to deteriorate on its own; claiming that it was beyond repair, it was then demolished on 1998 and rebuilt offering all modern amenities, but with its original proportions radically changed; the original complex being much lower than its modern replacement.
  • Casas del Cuito, early 20th century Art Nouveau apartment building


Castle of San Juan de Priorio
Statue dedicated to the traveller in Oviedo.
Fine Arts Museum of Oviedo of the Asturies.
Prince Felipe Auditorium
Campoamor Theatre
Building of the executive of the Principality of Asturies
The Jirafa Building, in the commercial zone of the city.

Oviedo inspired the fictional city of Vetusta in Leopoldo Alas' La Regenta. Other Spanish writers were inspired by the city, including Ramón Pérez de Ayala in Tigre Juan and Dolores Medio in her novel Nosotros los Rivero.

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

Museums in Oviedo:

  • Archaeological Museum of Asturias
  • Fine Arts Museum of Asturias
  • Camara Santa within the Cathedral
  • Diocesan Museum
  • Tabularium Artis Asturiensis
  • Center for the reception and understanding of Preromanesque Art
  • (future) Museum of the Militar Technology and Industry

List of Museums

Other cultural centres in Oviedo:

  • Campoamor Theatre
  • Filarmónica Theatre
  • Prince Felipe Auditorium
  • Princess Letizia Congress Palace (in construction)


Teams based in Oviedo

Annual sports events

  • International Showjumping Competition
  • City of Oviedo Horse Show
  • City of Oviedo San Silvestre
  • City of Oviedo Trial Indoor
  • Outdoor Sports Climbing
  • Vuelta a España (Cycling)
  • Tour of Asturias (Cycling)
  • Ascent of Naranco (Cycling)
  • City of Oviedo Mountain Bike Open
  • City of Oviedo Cycle Criterium
  • Base Hockey International Tournament
  • International Icehockey Tournament
  • Prince of Asturias International Rally
  • National Auto-Cross Championship
  • International Hurdles Competition
  • International Chess Open
  • Boxing Nights
  • City of Oviedo Weightlifting Championship
  • Ascension Bowls Tournament
  • San Mateo Bowls Tournament

Feasts and traditions

The Festive Calendar:

  • Cabalgata de los Reyes Magos de Oriente: The traditional Twelve Night parade, where the Three Wise Men of the East and their retinue parade through the city main streets, reaching the Cathedral Square, where they make their offering to the Child Jesus.
  • L'Antroxu (Carnival)
  • Feast of the Ascension
  • La Foguera de San Xuan (Saint John's Bonfire):
  • La Balesquida or Martes del Bollu:
  • The Feast of San Mateo
  • El Desarme (Disarmament's Day), commemorating the cunning victory of the locals over a Carlist army during the First Carlist War, during the 1830s


El Fontán Market
  • Fabada, bean stew with selected cuts of pork, etc.
  • Callos, tripe
  • Carne gobernada, (chunks of meat, prepared with onion, garlic and white wine sauce)
  • Chorizo a la sidra, (chorizo sausage prepared in cider)
  • Paxarines
  • Carbayones, Oviedo's typical almond pastry
  • Sidra, (cider), Asturian typical drink, fermented apple cider
  • Arroz con leche, similar to milk pudding
  • Frixuelos, similar to crepes


Climate data for Oviedo
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 11.7
Daily mean °C (°F) 8.0
Average low °C (°F) 4.2
Precipitation mm (inches) 85
Avg. precipitation days (≥ 1 mm) 10 11 11 13 12 8 8 8 8 11 11 11 122
Sunshine hours 117 117 147 152 158 168 174 171 154 134 114 105 1,711
Source: Agencia Estatal de Meteorología[1]

Notable people

Valdecarzana-Heredia Palace

Other places in the municipality

  • Trubia
  • Colloto (divided between two municipalities: Oviedo and Siero)
  • San Claudio
  • San Esteban de les Cruces
  • Latores
  • Olloniego

International relations

Oviedo's City Hall.
"Estatua del León" (data from XVII c.) outside at City Hall.

Twin towns — sister cities

Oviedo is twinned with:


External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

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