Avilés, a charming city.

The preconceived image of this great town, even for many asturian people, is of a declining industrial city. The presence of industrial zones in the surrounding areas is clear, but the great treasure of the Town of Avilés is hidden in its huge monumental heritage and in an old historical area that takes you to other time, making you fall in love with it.

The “old Avilés” prevalent with the contemporary one in a unique way in the Cantábrico; the environmental recovery of its ria, the transformation of its most visible part, the incorporation of the work of art of the Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer, and the significant renovation of its centre makes that the greatness of its architecture and the beauty of its environment prevail over its industrial part.
A new Avilés greets the visitor to blot out of its head the preconceived images.  Having a walk through its old part has become in one of the most surprising visits of Asturias, in a real pleasure. Recently the city has commemorated its thousand of years of existence and its rich past is present everywhere. The architectural heritage of the “Villa del Adelantado”- that is how the city was named after Pedro Menéndez, famous Avilés conqueror known as the Adelantado- is a mixed of different styles and historical periods. Being a city of big commercial tradition, many nobles settled here in the Middle Ages and later and built its big houses and palaces. From the XII century, the economic and vital peak of this city is seen in different architectural constructions, some of them almost completely lost like the walls and some others very well conserved, with important alterations to recover its greatness. Some of the most representative buildings in this area have been mixed with the new cultural infrastructures of the city. That is the reason why in Avilés there is a dynamic atmosphere full of public and private initiatives.

Iglesia de Sabugo
Plaza Álvarez Acebal
Iglesia (Church) "Sto. Tomás de Cantorberry" ó "Sabugo nuevo" Plaza (Square) "Domingo Álvarez Acebal"

The best way to enjoy Avilés is walking. It is a very nice walk along the historical centre, that makes the visitor fascinates. Rivero and Galiana streets have the most famous arcades in the Principado. They were used as a shelter for streets vendors in market days. Easily you will see that the centre of the city is perfect for walking and provides the tourist a nice, singular and very valuable route. The fisher neighborhood with the old and new churches of Sabugo, Santo Tomás de Cantorbey, Balsera Palace (current conservatory), Maqua Palace, Ferrera Palace (current 5 stars hotel), Llano Ponte Palace (where Marta Cinema, 4 screen cinema, is located), Los Caños and Rivero Chapel, the Caños de San Francisco, San Nicolás de Bari church, the place of the Hermanos Orbón (current Avilés market) or Camposagrado Palace (current Design School) deserve a visit, as well as The España Place, crossing La Fruta, La Ferrería, San Francisco or Rivero streets, and then entering into de Ferrera Park, real green lung of the city with more than 82,000 m2 and the French Garden.
It is obligated a visit to the Church of Padres Franciscanos, most ancient religious building in the town, built between the XII and the XIII century- it has an interesting romantic façade and a marvellous ribbed vault- and the funeral Chapel of Los Alas, XVI century, a medieval architectural treasure.

In Del Muelle Park we will find one of the best-known sculptures of Avilés. It represents the figure of Pedro Marino, a marine advanced of the Florida and founder of the first city of the USA, San Agustín de la Florida, city twinned with Avilés. In the same park we will find the sculpture of the Foca (the seal). The sculpture is a tribute of a very social seal that came to the Avilés Port in 1950 and amused the neighbours for a long time. This sculpture is only one of the many ones that decorate the city and its main representation is La Monstrua, located in the heart of the sailor neighbourhood of Sabugo. This work of art is completed with a later mural that also shows the image of La Monstrua, but only naked. Both paintings are part of the background of the Museo del Prado.
Calle (Street) "San Francisco"
Iglesia (Church) "San Nicolás de Bari"
Calle (Street) "San Francisco" Iglesia (Church) "San Nicolás de Bari"

Gastronomy: you are in the North!

AEverywhere along our walk we will find good “pinchos”, “tapas”, set menus…. good quality restaurants for more than a break. The Avilés gastronomy will positively surprise us.  From its sailor and thousand-year-old character, a jar of essences was kept and we will be able to taste them in restaurants, “sidrerías” and “chigres”. Seafood in general, “potes”, “fabadas” and deliciously prepared meats, local deserts like “El Bollo” (a layered cake that godparents present to godchildren in Easter), and many unique sweets due to its visual and taste conception – every year takes place in Avilés the “Sweet Llambión”, gastronomic fair that gathers the varietal and singularity of the local baking- like Los Arrecifes de Salinas, Los Colasinos, Los Conos de Avilés, Avimeyer, Tarta Pumariega, Marañuelas…. make of eating in Avilés a unique experience.

If party is what you are looking for, you will find it in different areas of the city, such as in Galiana, Rivero, Ferrería, Sabugo streets…all of them are streets plenty of wine bars, pubs, “sidrerías”, summer terraces and restaurants. An assorted and high-quality offer that pleasantly surprises all visitors.

Centro Niemeyer

Our walk along the History of Avilés makes us take pleasure in the modern city. These days all the people from Avilés look at the port and at the ria with excited eyes. In 2009 the new fish market was inaugurated. There, more than 50% of the fishing caught in Asturias is sold. Other significant achievement in the same area is the recovery of 4 kilometres of riverside along the mouth of the Ria of Avilés. The opening of this new walk goes with the opening of the walk along the Avenida de Guadalhorce and with the pedestrian path between San Juan de Nieva and the Arañon.
But the recent inauguration of the Niemeyer Centre has been an encouragement for the city of Avilés state of mind and economy. The Centre, created by the famous Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer, has works of art for all over the world that revitalise the environment where are located. The Oscar Niemeyer International Culture Centre is a cultural complex designed by Oscar Niemeyer that gathers different artistic and cultural expressions, such as exhibitions, music, theatre, dance, cinema or gastronomy amongst others. It is located at the right bank of the Avilés Ria. It is the first and principal piece of the Innovation Island, the biggest project for the urban regeneration of the post-industrial zone. It expects a deep town-planning and environmental recovery to mitigate the degradation the city suffered during the industrialization of the fifties and its later reconversion. It was inaugurated the 26th of March 2011.


a world of sensations
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