The traditional and monumental capital of the principality of Asturias lies in the north of Spain and is an essential destination for lovers of art and culture. The city, immortalised by Leopoldo Alas Clarín in “La Regenta”, hosts the Prince of Asturias Awards (the Spanish equivalent to the Nobel prizes), and houses the largest amount of pre-Romanesque Asturian monuments, which were declared a World Heritage site by UNESCO.
Pretty churches, such as Santa María del Naranco and San Miguel de Lillo, located 4 kilometres from the city in the middle of the countryside, serve as perfect getaways for those seeking peace and tranquillity. However, despite being a modern city, with state-of-the-art buildings such as the Palace of Congress (designed by Santiago Calatrava), Oviedo itself is surprisingly peaceful, and keeps one foot firmly in the past. The delicate balance between past and present is reflected in two of the bronze sculptures that ‘wander’ the streets. One is dedicated to Ana Ozores, ‘la Regenta’, who was the main character in the 19th century novel. The other is a life-size sculpture of the beloved director Woody Allen, who once won a Prince of Asturias Award for the Arts.
Oviedo also prides itself in the green surroundings that are so typical of Asturias and northern Spain in general, boasting 2.2 million square metres of green space and 10,000 planted trees. The ‘lung’ of the city is the majestic, 90,000-square-metre San Francisco Park. Located right in the centre and inhabited by royal peacocks, the park is one of the most emblematic parts of the city. So give yourself a royal treat and catch one of our cheap flights to Asturias.
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