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Asturias
Asturias
(/æˈstʊəriəs, ə-/;[1][2] Spanish: [asˈtuɾjas]; Asturian: Asturies [asˈtuɾjes]; Galician: Asturias), officially the Principality of Asturias
Asturias
(Spanish: Principado de Asturias; Asturian: Principáu d'Asturies), is an autonomous community in north-west Spain. It is coextensive with the province of Asturias, and contains some of the territory that was part of the larger Kingdom of Asturias in the Middle Ages. Divided into eight comarcas (counties), the autonomous community of Asturias
Asturias
is bordered by Cantabria
Cantabria
to the east, by Castile and León
Castile and León
to the south, by Galicia to the west, and by the Bay of Biscay
Bay of Biscay
to the north. The most important cities are the communal capital, Oviedo
Oviedo
(Uviéu or Uvieo), the seaport and largest city Gijón
Gijón
(Xixón), and the industrial town of Avilés. Other municipalities in Asturias
Asturias
include Cangas de Onís
Cangas de Onís
(Cangues d'Onís), Cangas del Narcea, Gozón, Grado (Grau or Grao), Langreo
Langreo
(Llangréu), Llanera, Laviana
Laviana
(Llaviana), Lena (Ḷḷena), Llanes, Mieres, Siero, Valdés, Vegadeo
Vegadeo
(A Veiga) and Villaviciosa (see also List of municipalities and comarcas in Asturias). Asturias
Asturias
is also home of the Princess of Asturias
Asturias
Awards.

Contents

1 History 2 Administrative and territorial division

2.1 Municipalities of Asturias 2.2 Parishes

3 Geography and climate 4 Pollution 5 Demographics

5.1 Languages

6 Politics 7 Economy 8 Transportation

8.1 Air 8.2 Sea 8.3 Train 8.4 Bus

9 Main sights

9.1 Key attractions 9.2 Other places of interest

10 Culture

10.1 Architecture 10.2 Festivals and holidays 10.3 Food and drink 10.4 Sport 10.5 Literature

11 Music

11.1 Anthem 11.2 Orquesta Sinfónica del Principado de Asturias 11.3 Other

12 Famous citizens 13 Famous events 14 See also 15 References 16 Bibliography 17 External links

History[edit]

Roman thermaes in Gijón

See also: Asturian architecture
Asturian architecture
and List of castros in Asturias Asturias
Asturias
was inhabited, first by Homo erectus, then by Neanderthals. Since the Lower Paleolithic
Lower Paleolithic
era, and during the Upper Paleolithic, Asturias
Asturias
was characterized by cave paintings in the eastern part of the area. In the Mesolithic
Mesolithic
period, a native culture developed, that of the Asturiense, and later, with the introduction of the Bronze Age, megaliths and tumuli were constructed. In the Iron Age, the territory came under the cultural influence of the Celts; the local Celtic peoples, known as the Astures, were composed of tribes such as the Luggones, the Pesicos, and others, who populated the entire area with castros (fortified hill-towns). Today the Astur
Astur
Celtic influence persists in place names, such as those of rivers and mountains.

Santa María del Naranco, ancient palace of Asturian Kings, 842 AD. Many churches of Asturias
Asturias
are among the oldest churches of Europe since Early Middle Ages.

With the conquest of Asturias
Asturias
by the Romans under Augustus (29–19 BC), the region entered into recorded history. The Astures
Astures
were subdued by the Romans but were never fully conquered. After several centuries without foreign presence, they enjoyed a brief revival during the Germanic invasions of the late 4th century AD, resisting Suevi and Visigoth raids throughout the 5th Century AD, ending with the Moorish invasion of Spain. However, as it had been for the Romans and Visigoths, the Moors did not find mountainous territory easy to conquer, and the lands along Spain's northern coast never fully became part of Islamic Spain. Rather, with the beginning of the Moorish conquest in the 8th century, this region became a refuge for Christian nobles, and in 722, a de facto independent kingdom was established, the Regnum Asturorum, which was to become the cradle of the incipient Reconquista
Reconquista
(Reconquest). In the 10th century, the Kingdom of Asturias
Kingdom of Asturias
gave way to the Kingdom of León, and during the Middle Ages
Middle Ages
the geographic isolation of the territory made historical references scarce. Through the rebellion of Henry II of Castile
Henry II of Castile
in the 14th century, the Principality of Asturias was established. The most famous proponents of independence were Gonzalo Peláez and Queen Urraca, who, while achieving significant victories, were ultimately defeated by Castilian troops. After its integration into the Kingdom of Spain, Asturias
Asturias
provided the Spanish court with high-ranking aristocrats and played an important role in the colonisation of America. Since 1388, the heir to the Castilian (later Spanish) throne has been styled Prince of Asturias. In the 16th century, the population reached 100,000 for the first time, and within another century that number would double due to the arrival of American corn.

Gaspar Melchor de Jovellanos

In the 18th century, Asturias
Asturias
was one of the centres of the Spanish Enlightenment. The renowned Galician thinker Benito de Feijóo settled in the Benedictine
Benedictine
Monastery
Monastery
of San Vicente de Oviedo. Gaspar Melchor de Jovellanos, a polymath and prominent reformer and politician of the late 18th century, was born in the seaside town of Gijón. During the Napoleonic Wars, Asturias
Asturias
was the first Spanish province to rise up against the French following the abdication of King Ferdinand VII on 10 May 1808. Riots began in Oviedo
Oviedo
and on 25 May the local government formally declared war on Napoleon
Napoleon
with 18,000 men called to arms to resist invasion.[3] The Industrial Revolution
Industrial Revolution
came to Asturias
Asturias
after 1830 with the discovery and systematic exploitation of coal mines and iron factories at the mining basins of Nalón and Caudal. At the same time, there was significant migration to the Americas
Americas
(especially Argentina, Uruguay, Puerto Rico, Cuba
Cuba
and Mexico); those who succeeded overseas often returned to their native land much wealthier. These entrepreneurs were known collectively as 'Indianos', for having visited and made their fortunes in the West Indies
West Indies
and beyond. The heritage of these wealthy families can still be seen in Asturias
Asturias
today: many large 'modernista' villas are dotted across the region, as well as cultural institutions such as free schools and public libraries.

Location of Asturias
Asturias
and its neighbors in 800 AD

Asturias
Asturias
played an important part in the events that led up to the Spanish Civil War. In October 1934 Asturian miners and other workers staged an armed uprising (see Revolution of Asturias) to oppose the coming to power of the right-wing CEDA party, which had obtained three ministerial posts in the centralist government of the Second Spanish Republic. For a month, a Popular Front Committee exercised control in southern Asturias, while local workers committees sprang up elsewhere in the region. A war committee dominated by anarcho-syndicalist supporters took power in Oviedo
Oviedo
. Troops under the command of a then unknown general named Francisco Franco
Francisco Franco
Bahamonde were brought from Spanish Morocco
Spanish Morocco
to suppress the revolt. Franco applied tactics normally reserved for overseas colonies, using troops of the Spanish Legion and Moroccan troops: ferocious oppression followed. As a result, Asturias
Asturias
remained loyal to the republican government during the Spanish Civil War, and was the scene of an extraordinary defence in extreme terrain, the Battle of El Mazuco. With Franco eventually gaining control of all Spain, Asturias
Asturias
— traditionally linked to the Spanish Crown
Spanish Crown
— was known merely as the "Province of Oviedo" from 1939 until Franco's death in 1975. The province's name was restored fully after the return of democracy to Spain, in 1977. In the 50s and 60s the industrial progress of Asturias
Asturias
continued with the constitution of national enterprises like Ensidesa
Ensidesa
and Hunosa, but the 80s was the decade of a dramatic industrial restructuring. On 30 December 1981,[4] Asturias
Asturias
became an autonomous community within the decentralised territorial structure established by the Constitution of 1978. Rafael Luis Fernández Álvarez, who had previously served as the President of the Regional Council since 1978, became the first President of the Principality of Asturias, upon the adoption of autonomy.[4] The Asturian regional government holds comprehensive competencies in important areas such as health, education and protection of the environment. As of May 2011, the President of the Government of Asturias
Asturias
was Francisco Álvarez-Cascos, of the Foro Asturias (FAC), succeeded by Javier Fernández in 2012. Administrative and territorial division[edit] Asturias
Asturias
is organised territorially into 78 municipalities, further subdivided into parishes. Municipalities of Asturias[edit] See also: Municipalities of Asturias

 

v t e

Largest cities or towns in Asturias 2017 census[5]

Rank Name Comarca Pop. Rank Name Comarca Pop.

Gijón

Oviedo 1 Gijón Gijón 272,365 11 Llanera Oviedo 13,794

Avilés

Siero

2 Oviedo Oviedo 220,301 12 Llanes Oriente 13,759

3 Avilés Avilés 79,514 13 Laviana Nalón 13,236

4 Siero Oviedo 51,776 14 Cangas del Narcea Narcea 12,947

5 Langreo Nalón 40,529 15 Valdés Eo-Navia 11,987

6 Mieres Caudal 38,962 16 Lena Caudal 11,278

7 Castrillón Avilés 22,490 17 Aller Caudal 11,027

8 San Martín del Rey Aurelio Nalón 16,584 18 Carreño Gijón 10,545

9 Corvera de Asturias Avilés 15,871 19 Gozón Avilés 10,440

10 Villaviciosa Gijón 14,455 20 Grado Oviedo 9,980

Parishes[edit] Main article: Parroquia (Spain) The parroquia or parish is the subdivision of the Asturian municipalities. Currently, there are 857 parishes integrating the 78 municipalities in the region, and they usually coincide with the ecclesiastic divisions. Geography and climate[edit]

Picos de Europa

The Cantabrian Mountains
Cantabrian Mountains
(Cordillera Cantábrica) form Asturias's natural border with the province of León to the south. In the eastern range, the Picos de Europa
Picos de Europa
National Park contains the highest and arguably most spectacular mountains, rising to 2,648 metres (8,688 ft) at the Torrecerredo peak. Other notable features of this predominantly limestone range are the Parque Natural de Redes in the central east, the central Ubiñas south of Oviedo, and the Parque Natural de Somiedo
Somiedo
in the west. The Cantabrian mountains or offer opportunities for activities such as climbing, walking, skiing and caving, and extend some 200 kilometres (120 mi) in total, as far as Galicia province to the west of Asturias
Asturias
and Cantabria
Cantabria
province to the east. Similar opportunities are available for the traveler of Asturias
Asturias
interested in Caldoveiro Peak. The Asturian coastline is extensive, with hundreds of beaches, coves and natural sea caves. Notable examples include the Playa del Silencio (Beach of Silence) near the fishing village of Cudillero
Cudillero
(west of Gijón), as well as the many beaches surrounding the summer resort of Llanes, such as the Barro, Ballota and Torimbia (the latter a predominantly nudist beach). Most of Asturias's beaches are sandy, clean, and bordered by steep cliffs, on top of which it is not unusual to see grazing livestock.

Torimbia beach, Llanes

The key features of Asturian geography are its rugged coastal cliffs and the mountainous interior. The climate of Asturias
Asturias
is heavily marked by the gulf stream. Falling within the Cantabrian belt known as Green Spain
Spain
it has high precipitations all year round. Summers are mild and, on the coast, winters also have relatively benign temperatures, rarely including frost. The cold is especially felt in the mountains, where snow is present from October till May. Both rain and snow are regular weather features of Asturian winters. In coastal or near-coastal areas, daytime high temperatures generally average around 12 °C (54 °F) – 13 °C (55 °F) during winter and 22 °C (72 °F) – 23 °C (73 °F) in summer.[6]

Climate data for Oviedo
Oviedo
336m (1981–2010)

Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year

Record high °C (°F) 22.0 (71.6) 24.6 (76.3) 26.8 (80.2) 31.5 (88.7) 32.0 (89.6) 35.5 (95.9) 35.0 (95) 35.6 (96.1) 36.4 (97.5) 31.7 (89.1) 26.6 (79.9) 23.0 (73.4) 36.4 (97.5)

Average high °C (°F) 12.0 (53.6) 12.7 (54.9) 14.9 (58.8) 15.7 (60.3) 18.2 (64.8) 20.9 (69.6) 22.8 (73) 23.3 (73.9) 22.1 (71.8) 18.7 (65.7) 14.6 (58.3) 12.4 (54.3) 17.4 (63.3)

Daily mean °C (°F) 8.3 (46.9) 8.7 (47.7) 10.5 (50.9) 11.3 (52.3) 13.9 (57) 16.7 (62.1) 18.7 (65.7) 19.1 (66.4) 17.6 (63.7) 14.6 (58.3) 10.9 (51.6) 8.9 (48) 13.3 (55.9)

Average low °C (°F) 4.6 (40.3) 4.7 (40.5) 6.1 (43) 6.8 (44.2) 9.5 (49.1) 12.4 (54.3) 14.5 (58.1) 14.8 (58.6) 13.1 (55.6) 10.4 (50.7) 7.2 (45) 5.3 (41.5) 9.1 (48.4)

Record low °C (°F) −6.0 (21.2) −3.8 (25.2) −3.6 (25.5) −0.5 (31.1) 1.6 (34.9) 5.6 (42.1) 7.4 (45.3) 8.6 (47.5) 5.2 (41.4) 2.4 (36.3) −4.2 (24.4) −3.6 (25.5) −6.0 (21.2)

Average precipitation mm (inches) 84 (3.31) 81 (3.19) 78 (3.07) 100 (3.94) 82 (3.23) 57 (2.24) 45 (1.77) 56 (2.2) 66 (2.6) 99 (3.9) 115 (4.53) 99 (3.9) 960 (37.8)

Average precipitation days (≥ 1 mm) 11 10 10 12 12 8 7 8 8 11 12 12 122

Average relative humidity (%) 76 75 74 76 78 79 79 80 78 79 79 77 78

Mean monthly sunshine hours 115 122 153 161 167 167 177 176 167 138 109 105 1,756

Source: Agencia Estatal de Meteorología[7]

Climate data for Gijón
Gijón
(1971–2000)

Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year

Record high °C (°F) 23.6 (74.5) 23.0 (73.4) 27.0 (80.6) 28.0 (82.4) 31.8 (89.2) 36.4 (97.5) 31.4 (88.5) 30.0 (86) 34.6 (94.3) 30.4 (86.7) 26.1 (79) 25.0 (77) 36.4 (97.5)

Average high °C (°F) 13.1 (55.6) 13.8 (56.8) 14.9 (58.8) 15.6 (60.1) 17.8 (64) 20.2 (68.4) 22.4 (72.3) 23.2 (73.8) 21.8 (71.2) 19.0 (66.2) 15.6 (60.1) 14.0 (57.2) 17.6 (63.7)

Daily mean °C (°F) 8.9 (48) 9.6 (49.3) 10.7 (51.3) 11.8 (53.2) 14.3 (57.7) 16.9 (62.4) 19.2 (66.6) 19.7 (67.5) 17.9 (64.2) 15.0 (59) 11.6 (52.9) 9.9 (49.8) 13.8 (56.8)

Average low °C (°F) 4.7 (40.5) 5.4 (41.7) 6.6 (43.9) 8.1 (46.6) 10.9 (51.6) 13.6 (56.5) 16.0 (60.8) 16.2 (61.2) 14.1 (57.4) 11.0 (51.8) 7.6 (45.7) 5.8 (42.4) 10.0 (50)

Record low °C (°F) −4.6 (23.7) −4.0 (24.8) −2.0 (28.4) 0.4 (32.7) 3.2 (37.8) 5.8 (42.4) 8.6 (47.5) 8.2 (46.8) 5.0 (41) 2.6 (36.7) −1.4 (29.5) −4.8 (23.4) −4.8 (23.4)

Average precipitation mm (inches) 94 (3.7) 85 (3.35) 74 (2.91) 93 (3.66) 79 (3.11) 47 (1.85) 45 (1.77) 54 (2.13) 70 (2.76) 104 (4.09) 120 (4.72) 104 (4.09) 971 (38.23)

Average precipitation days (≥ 1 mm) 12 11 10 12 11 7 6 7 8 11 12 12 121

Mean monthly sunshine hours 103 109 137 151 167 180 194 190 158 132 106 92 1,721

Source: Agencia Estatal de Meteorología[8]

Climate data for Avilés— Asturias Airport
Asturias Airport
(1981–2010)

Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year

Record high °C (°F) 23.5 (74.3) 24.3 (75.7) 26.7 (80.1) 28.6 (83.5) 33.6 (92.5) 36.0 (96.8) 33.0 (91.4) 31.6 (88.9) 36.0 (96.8) 31.0 (87.8) 25.6 (78.1) 25.6 (78.1) 36.0 (96.8)

Average high °C (°F) 12.9 (55.2) 13.1 (55.6) 14.6 (58.3) 15.1 (59.2) 17.3 (63.1) 19.6 (67.3) 21.5 (70.7) 22.2 (72) 21.2 (70.2) 18.7 (65.7) 15.3 (59.5) 13.3 (55.9) 17.1 (62.8)

Daily mean °C (°F) 9.4 (48.9) 9.4 (48.9) 10.7 (51.3) 11.3 (52.3) 13.6 (56.5) 16.2 (61.2) 18.2 (64.8) 18.8 (65.8) 17.4 (63.3) 15.1 (59.2) 11.8 (53.2) 9.9 (49.8) 13.5 (56.3)

Average low °C (°F) 5.9 (42.6) 5.7 (42.3) 6.8 (44.2) 7.5 (45.5) 10.0 (50) 12.8 (55) 14.8 (58.6) 15.3 (59.5) 13.7 (56.7) 11.3 (52.3) 8.4 (47.1) 6.5 (43.7) 9.9 (49.8)

Record low °C (°F) −3.0 (26.6) −2.6 (27.3) −2.4 (27.7) −0.6 (30.9) 2.0 (35.6) 5.6 (42.1) 8.0 (46.4) 8.4 (47.1) 6.5 (43.7) 3.0 (37.4) −0.8 (30.6) −3.0 (26.6) −3.0 (26.6)

Average precipitation mm (inches) 103 (4.06) 88 (3.46) 82 (3.23) 99 (3.9) 79 (3.11) 61 (2.4) 47 (1.85) 60 (2.36) 73 (2.87) 116 (4.57) 134 (5.28) 117 (4.61) 1,062 (41.81)

Mean monthly sunshine hours 98 109 142 151 166 163 173 182 170 130 96 76 1,670

Source: Agencia Estatal de Meteorología[9]

Pollution[edit] This part of Spain
Spain
is one of the most well conserved in the entire country, and full of vegetation and wild spaces. It holds two of the most important natural parks in Spain, and is very renowned for the Picos de Europa
Picos de Europa
and Somiedo
Somiedo
areas. The Gijón
Gijón
area was marked and singled out as one of the pollution hotspots in Western Europe in a 2015 report from the International Institute for Applied Science Systems, where predictions for 2030 conditions were made.[10][11] The Gijón
Gijón
and Oviedo
Oviedo
region was marked much higher than any other Spanish metro area, this in spite of the much larger population in Madrid
Madrid
and Barcelona
Barcelona
for example. This was attributed to heavy industrial activities. Since outdoor air pollution is a major cause of premature death in Europe,[12] the excessive pollution is a major concern for Asturias. The majority of Asturias population live within a 25 kilometres (16 mi) range from the port of Gijón, so pollution would be likely to heavily affect the population. A Spanish government study conducted in 2010 regarding life expectancy in relative communities Asturias
Asturias
was ranked lowest (tied with Andalucia) for male life expectancy with 76.7 years from 2007 readings.[13] However, female life expectancy was 84 years and normal among autonomous communities. However, even the male life expectancy is only just below Western European standards, and exaggerated by the high Spanish life expectancy rate. Considering a vast majority of the Asturian population lives in proximity to the Gijón
Gijón
heavy industrial activities, these figures for especially female relative health still contributes to a position that Gijón
Gijón
is still a safe location to live. The numbers for "disability-free" life expectancy has risen significantly both for males and females in the area since 1986 according to the report.[12] An update: the coal fired electric generating plant Aboño just completed a Spanish government/EU demand to install equipment to drastically reduce its emssions. Also, the two other major polluters Arcelor Gijón
Gijón
and Arcelor Avilés
Avilés
have announced an investment of 100 million euros to do the same. These have been the major cause of the areas high airborne pollution.[citation needed] Demographics[edit]

Historical population

Year Pop. ±%

1900 627,000 —    

1910 685,000 +9.3%

1920 744,000 +8.6%

1930 792,000 +6.5%

1940 837,000 +5.7%

1950 888,000 +6.1%

1960 989,000 +11.4%

1970 1,046,000 +5.8%

1981 1,129,572 +8.0%

1991 1,093,937 −3.2%

2001 1,062,998 −2.8%

2011 1,075,813 +1.2%

2017 1,034,960 −3.8%

Source: INE

In 2008, Asturias
Asturias
had a total fertility rate of 1.07, the lowest in the European Union
European Union
.[14] Languages[edit]

Language map of Asturias

The only official language in Asturias
Asturias
is Spanish. The Asturian language, also known as Bable, is also spoken, and is protected by law (Ley 1/1998, de 23 de marzo, de uso y promoción del bable/asturiano — "Law 1/1998, of 23 March, of Use and Promotion of Bable/Asturian"). It is sometimes used by the Asturian civil service. In the western part of Asturias, Eonavian
Eonavian
is also spoken, and its promotion also falls under the responsibility of Law 1/1998. Whether Eonavian
Eonavian
is a dialect continuum or a variety of Galician language, however, is a subject of debate, and its use in the Asturian Administration is minor compared to the use of the Asturian language. Within Asturias, there is an ongoing process to establish place names in Asturian and Eonavian
Eonavian
dialects. Politics[edit] The organisation and political structure of Asturias
Asturias
is governed by the Statute of Autonomy of Asturias, in force since 30 January 1982. According to the Statute, the institutional bodies of the Principality of Asturias
Asturias
are three: Government of the Principality of Asturias, the Council of the Principality of Asturias
Asturias
and President of the Principality of Asturias. The form of government of the Principality is Parliament: The General Junta is the legislature to choose, on behalf of the Asturian town, the President of the Principality of Asturias. The President is the Governing Council, the head of Executive power, and politically answerable to the General Junta. The functions of the General Junta are the approval of budgets, and the direction and control of the action of the Governing Council. It is composed of 45 deputies, elected for four years through theuniversal suffrage within a system proportional representation that the allocation of deputies is based on D'Hondt method. The results of the elections to the General Junta are:

Regional elections

Party 1983 1987 1991 1995 1999 2003 2007 2011 2012 2015

FSA-PSOE 26 20 21 17 24 22 21 15 17 14

PP 14 13 15 21 15 19 20 10 10 11

Podemos

9

IU-IX 5 4 6 6 3 4 4 4 5 5

FAC

16 12 3

C's

3

CDS 0 8 2 0

PAS

0 1 1 0 0 0 0

URAS

3 0 0 0

UPyD

0 1 0

Total 45 45 45 45 45 45 45 45 45 45

Economy[edit]

Asturian sheep on Picos de Europa

El Musel, the Port of Gijón

Centro Niemeyer
Centro Niemeyer
designed by Oscar Niemeyer

For centuries, the backbone of the Asturian economy was agriculture and fishing. Milk
Milk
production and its derivatives was also traditional, but its big development was a byproduct of the economic expansion of the late 1960s. Nowadays, products from the dairy cooperative Central Lechera Asturiana are being commercialised all over Spain. The main regional industry in modern times, however, was coal mining and steel production: in the times of Francisco Franco's dictatorship, it was the centre of Spain's steel industry. The then state-owned ENSIDESA steel company is now part of the privatised Aceralia, now part of the ArcelorMittal
ArcelorMittal
Group. The industry created many jobs, which resulted in significant migration from other regions in Spain, mainly Extremadura, Andalusia
Andalusia
and Castile and León. The steel industry is now in decline when measured in terms of number of jobs provided, as is the mining. The reasons for the latter are mainly the high costs of production to extract the coal compared to other regions. Regional economic growth is below the broader Spanish rate, though in recent years growth in service industries has helped reduce Asturias's high rate of unemployment. Large out-of-town retail parks have opened near the region's largest cities ( Gijón
Gijón
and Oviedo), whilst the ever-present Spanish construction industry appears to continue to thrive. Asturias
Asturias
has benefited extensively since 1986 from European Union investment in roads and other essential infrastructure, though there has also been some controversy regarding how these funds are spent, for example, on miners' pensions. As of 2008[update], the GDP (PPP) per capita of Asturias
Asturias
stood at €22,640, or 90.2% of the European average of €25,100. This makes the region the 12th richest in Spain, a big decrease from the 1970s/1980s - the heyday of the Spanish mining industry, when Asturias was commonly regarded as one of the most prosperous regions in Southern Europe. Asturias
Asturias
has been growing below the Spanish national average since the decline of the mining industry, and grew just 0.82% in 2008, the lowest of all regions in Spain. On the plus side, unemployment in Asturias
Asturias
is below the average of Spain; at 8.43% it is also below the European average. Transportation[edit]

Asturias
Asturias
International Airport

Air[edit] Asturias
Asturias
is served by Asturias
Asturias
International Airport (OVD), 40 kilometres (25 miles) from Oviedo, near the northwest coast and the industrial town of Avilés.

International carriers

Air France A UK-based international carrier, EasyJet, began daily flights to Asturias
Asturias
airport in March 2005, it operates to Stansted Airport, which the airline uses as a major hub. During the winter period, EasyJet usually reduces flying frequency to four flights per week. A German-based carrier, Air Berlin, began flights to Asturias
Asturias
airport in November 2006, it operates to Mallorca
Mallorca
which the airline uses as a major hub.

Several national carriers also link Asturias
Asturias
to Madrid
Madrid
and Barcelona, Brussels, Paris, Seville
Seville
and others.

Iberia Vueling

Eastern Asturias
Asturias
is also easily accessible from Santander Airport. Recent improvements introduced in the road network permit flying into Santander and later driving into Asturias, which can be entered in less than an hour's drive. The Irish airline Ryanair
Ryanair
operates flights to Santander Airport
Santander Airport
from Frankfurt Hahn, Liverpool, Dublin, Edinburgh, London Stansted and Rome Ciampino. Sea[edit] El Musel
El Musel
(the Port of Gijón) is able to receive cruise ships of any size. Companies as P&O, Swan Hellenic or Hapag Lloyd choose the Port of Gijón
Gijón
every year for their calls in the Atlantic European Coast. The following areas are available for cruise vessels:

Moliner quay: 313 m berthing with 14 m draught. 7ª Alignment: 326 m with 12 m draught. Espigón II. South alignment. 360 m berth with 9 m draught.

These locations allow a high degree of access control, with security guaranteed for both vessels and passengers alike. The city centre is only 4 km away and the Port Authority provides dedicated coach connection allowing passengers to take advantage of the cultural, gastronomic and commercial opportunities that Gijón
Gijón
has to offer. Since 2010, the city of Gijón
Gijón
is connected by ferry with the French city of Nantes.[15] This connection is also known as the "sea highway" and it has a frequency of two ferries per day in both directions. Train[edit]

Oviedo
Oviedo
Train Station

See also: Cercanías Asturias Spain's national RENFE
RENFE
rail network also serves Asturias
Asturias
well; trains regularly depart to and from the Spanish interior. Major stops are the regional capital, Oviedo, and the main coastal city, Gijón. Meanwhile, the FEVE
FEVE
rail company links the centre of the region with Eastern and Western Asturias. Under the Cantabrian Mountains, the Pajares Base Tunnel, is currently under construction, and will reduce the journey times from Madrid
Madrid
to Asturias
Asturias
from 5 hours to just 3 hours, paving the way for the arrival of AVE
AVE
trains in the near future. Bus[edit] There is also a comprehensive bus service run by the ALSA company. It links Avilés, Gijón, Oviedo
Oviedo
and Mieres
Mieres
with Madrid
Madrid
and other major towns, several times a day. These include services to Barcelona, Salamanca, León, Valladolid, A Coruña, Bilbao, Seville, San Sebastián, Paris, Brussels
Brussels
and Nice, to name just a few. Main sights[edit]

The Oviedo
Oviedo
Cathedral. Built from 781 to 16th century.

Holy Cave of Covadonga

The village of Cudillero

The Roman Bridge of Cangas de Onís

Key attractions[edit] Oviedo
Oviedo
is the capital city of Asturias
Asturias
and contains Santa María del Naranco and San Miguel de Lillo, a pre-Romanesque church and a palace respectively, which were built by the first Asturian kings on Mount Naranco, to the north of the city (World Heritage Site). In modern architecture, the Palacio de Congresos de Oviedo
Oviedo
(or Modoo) was designed by Santiago Calatrava. Gijon, the biggest city of Asturias, is a coastal city known for cultural and sports events,[citation needed] and a beach tourism centre in northern Spain. It also is known for the traditional Asturian gastronomy and for being an Asturian cider production spot.[citation needed] Museums in the city include the Universidad Laboral de Gijón, including a modern art museum and theatre. Avilés
Avilés
is the third largest city in Asturias, where "La villa del adelantado" (as locals call it, in reference of Pedro Menéndez de Avilés) is a meeting point. "Saint Nicholas of Bari" or "Capilla de los Alas" in Romanesque and Romanesque-Gothic style, respectively; Palacio de Balsera, in Modernist style or St. Thomas of Canterbury church (dating from the 13th century) are examples which show the historical patrimony to be found in the city.[citation needed] The Centro Niemeyer, designed by the Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer, is an example of contemporary architecture in Asturias. The Picos de Europa
Picos de Europa
National Park, and other parts of the Asturian mountain range: The Picu Urriellu mountain (2519 m or 8262 ft), also known as El Naranjo de Bulnes, is a molar-shaped peak which, reputedly, glows orange in the evening sun, hence its name. Weather permitting, it can be viewed from Camarmeña village, near Poncebos, south of Arenas de Cabrales. The shrine to the Virgin of Covadonga
Covadonga
and the mountain lakes (Los Lagos), near Cangas de Onís: Legend has it that in the 8th century, the Virgin blessed Asturian Christian
Christian
forces with a well-timed signal to attack Spain's Moorish conquerors, thereby taking the invaders by surprise in the Battle of Covadonga. The Reconquista
Reconquista
and eventual unification of all Spain
Spain
is therefore said to have started in this very location.[citation needed] The paleolithic art in the caves of Asturias
Asturias
is declared World Heritage Site with the Paleolithic Art of Northern Spain. Asturias
Asturias
also has examples of industrial heritage as a consequence of its industrial activities in the 19th and 20th centuries. It had metallurgical and chemical factories, mines, bridges and railways, including in the towns of Langreo, Mieres
Mieres
and Avilés. The Asturian coast: especially the beaches in and around the summer resort of Llanes, the Playa del Silencio near Cudillero
Cudillero
fishing village, or the "white" village of Luarca
Luarca
( Severo Ochoa
Severo Ochoa
hometown). Other places of interest[edit]

Somiedo
Somiedo
Lake

Ceceda village: east of Oviedo
Oviedo
along the N634 road. Of particular interest in this exemplary settlement are the traditional horreos (grain silos), raised on stilts so as to keep field mice from getting at the grain. The Dobra River: south of Cangas de Onís, famous for its unusual colour and natural beauty. The senda costera (coastal way) between Pendueles and Llanes: This partly paved nature route takes in some of Asturias' most spectacular coastal scenery, such as the noisy bufones (blowholes) and the Playa de Ballota. Caldoveiro Peak, a scenic mountain hiking area The unusual rock formation on the beach at Buelna village: east of Llanes. Best viewed at low tide.

Culture[edit] Architecture[edit]

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Asturias
Asturias
has a rich artistic legacy that emphasizes Romanesque ( Asturias
Asturias
Arts) indigenous architecture with monuments like Santa María del Naranco, Santa Cristina de Lena
Santa Cristina de Lena
and San Miguel de Lillo. These monuments have a Ramirense Romanesque style (due to Ramiro I) or San Julián de los Prados, known as Santullano (Oviedo) of the Alfonsino pre-Romanesque style (due to Alfonso II), which are all in Oviedo. Other examples of architecture are Villaviciosa's church, San Salvador de Valdediós (commonly known by the Asturians as "Conventín"), and the church of San Salvador de Priesca. Another example is Cabranes' San Julian de Viñón. The Romanesque style is very present, since all Asturias
Asturias
is crossed by one of the Camino de Santiago
Camino de Santiago
routes, which highlights the Monastery of San Pedro de Villanueva (near Cangas de Onis), the churches of San Esteban de Aramil (Siero), San Juan de Amandi (Villaviciosa) and Santa María de Junco (Ribadesella). The Gothic style is not as abundant, but there are good examples of this style, such as the Cathedral of San Salvador in Oviedo. The Baroque style is more present by means of palace architecture, with such notable examples as the Palace of Camposagrado and Velarde - the latter seat of Museum of Fine Arts of Asturias. The Baroque style stands out in public civil engineering and bridge tolls (Olloniego); the milestones, the chairs or seats present along the road to Madrid and the resort of Caldas de Priorio (Oviedo) building.

Oscar Niemeyer
Oscar Niemeyer
International Cultural Centre

In 1985, the UNESCO
UNESCO
declared the pre-Romanesque monuments and the Cathedral of Oviedo
Oviedo
as World Heritage Sites. In popular architecture, the traditional granaries in Asturias, called hórreos, are known for their demographic extension and their functional evolution, its basic characteristic being its mobility: it can be easily dismounted and transported to another location. The Panera
Panera
is the evolution of the hórreo, with examples exceeding 100 square metres (1,076 square feet) of area covered. The purpose of the horreo is to store objects and crops. With the arrival of maize and the beans, they were endowed with exterior corridors and railings for drying the harvests. Asturias
Asturias
is home to the only architectural work in Spain
Spain
(as well as the largest in Europe) of the Brazilian architect and disciple of Le Corbusier; Oscar Niemeyer: the Oscar Niemeyer
Oscar Niemeyer
International Cultural Centre. The architectural project was donated to the Principality by the architect, who was awarded the Prince of Asturias
Prince of Asturias
Award for the Arts, in the XXV edition of these awards. Niemeyer's project combined several different elements, and projected an open space, a place for education, culture and peace. In the capital of the Principality stands one of the most representative buildings of modern architecture, the Palace of Congresses of Oviedo, by the Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava, who also awarded the Prince of Asturias
Prince of Asturias
of Award for the Arts in 1999. Special
Special
importance has been placed in recent years on the recovery of industrial heritage through various routes and industrial museums, especially in the central area of the region. Festivals and holidays[edit] Some of the most famous festivals in Asturias
Asturias
are from the small town of Llanes. These festivals celebrate the important saints and the Virgin Mary adored by the town. The associations that prepare the festivals have a rivalry between them and each year they try to outdo each other with more impressive shows. The three most important are the festival of San Roque (St. Roque) held on the 16th of August, the festival of Nuestra Señora Virgen de La Guia (Our Lady, Virgin Mary, the Guide) held on the 8th of September, and the festival of Santa Maria Magdalena (St. Mary Magdalene) held on the 22nd of July. The Magdalena is well known for its impressive march of logs were boys as young as 3 and men carry logs through the town until they reach the end point and start a large bonfire.

Traditional Asturian dress being worn during a major festival in Llanes

Food and drink[edit] Main article: Asturian cuisine

Fabada asturiana and sidra (cider), a typical dish of Asturias

While Asturias
Asturias
is especially known for its seafood, the most famous regional dish is fabada asturiana, a rich stew typically made with large white beans (fabes), shoulder of pork (lacón), black pudding (morcilla), and spicy sausage (chorizo). Apple
Apple
groves foster the production of the region's traditional alcoholic drink, a natural cider (sidra). Since it is natural and bottled without gas, it produces a weak carbonation, and when Asturian cider is served, it is poured in a particular way, el escanciado: the bottle is held above the head allowing for a long vertical pour, causing the cider to be aerated as it splashes into the glass below. After drinking most of the content, it is customary to splash a little out onto the ground, as a way to clean the glass of any lees for the next serving. Traditionally, the same glass is refilled and passed around, with everyone drinking from it in turn. Asturian cheeses, especially Cabrales, are also famous throughout Spain
Spain
and beyond; Asturias
Asturias
is often called "the land of cheeses" (el país de los quesos). Sport[edit] Main article: Sport in Asturias Asturias
Asturias
has two main football teams: Sporting de Gijón
Gijón
and Real Oviedo, which have played over 35 seasons in La Liga. Other current notable sports teams are Oviedo
Oviedo
CB (basketball) and AB Gijón Jovellanos (handball). Racecar driver Fernando Alonso
Fernando Alonso
is a two-time Formula One
Formula One
world champion, and races with Asturias' flag colours on his helmet. Also, cyclist Samuel Sánchez
Samuel Sánchez
won a gold at the Olympic games. Football players from Asturias
Asturias
include World Cup winner David Villa
David Villa
as well as Quini, Luis Enrique, Juan Manuel Mata, and Santiago Cazorla, among others. Literature[edit] These are some notable people of Asturian Literature:

Antón de Marirreguera
Antón de Marirreguera
(17th century) Gaspar Melchor de Jovellanos
Gaspar Melchor de Jovellanos
(1744–1811) Ramón de Campoamor
Ramón de Campoamor
(1817–1901) Leopoldo Alas, "Clarín" (1851–1901) Armando Palacio Valdés
Armando Palacio Valdés
(1853–1938) Ramón Pérez de Ayala
Ramón Pérez de Ayala
(1880–1962) Alfonso Camín (1890–1982) Alejandro Casona
Alejandro Casona
(1903–1965) Carlos Bousoño (1923) Ángel González (1925–2008) Corín Tellado (1927–2009) Gonzalo Suárez
Gonzalo Suárez
(1934) Rafael Reig
Rafael Reig
(1963) Aurelio González Ovies
Aurelio González Ovies
(1964) Xuan Bello
Xuan Bello
(1965) Jorge Moreno (1973)

Music[edit]

Gaita asturiana.

Valgrande-Pajares ski resort

The music of Asturias
Asturias
is varied. The most characteristic instrument in traditional music is the Asturian bagpipe, or gaita, which has a single drone, in common with the traditional bagpipes of other Celtic nations such as Wales & Ireland.[16][17] The bagpipe is often accompanied by the hand drum, whistles and accordion. In recent years, there has been a resurgence of interest in traditional folk music, and several music ensembles have gained regional and international recognition for their ethnomusicological study and presentation of indigenous Asturian music. Notable examples include traditional pipers such as Xuacu Amieva
Amieva
and Tejedor and fusionist José Ángel Hevia
Hevia
(whose music video[18] provides views of both the gaita and the Asturian landscape), and the groups Llan de Cubel, Xera, Nuberu and Felpeyu.[19][20][21] Additionally, numerous rock, ska and heavy metal groups have also found relative success within Asturias, many of which incorporate elements of traditional Asturian music into their sound.[22] Anthem[edit] The Asturian anthem Asturias, patria querida (Asturias, beloved fatherland), which was a popular song adopted as the region's anthem and formalised by Ley 1/1984, de 27 de Abríl. Orquesta Sinfónica del Principado de Asturias[edit] The Orquesta Sinfónica del Principado de Asturias
Asturias
is the premier orchestra in the Principality of Asturias.[23] It is based in the Auditorio Príncipe Felipe in Oviedo, but also performs in the main concert venues in Gijón
Gijón
and Avilés. Rossen Milanov
Rossen Milanov
is the Music Director.[24] Other[edit] Asturias
Asturias
is also the name of the fifth movement of the Suite Española, Op. 47 by Spanish composer Isaac Albéniz. Nevertheless, the music has little in common with the region's own folklore. More authentic is Rimsky Korsakov's Spanish Capriccio, which quotes liberally from Asturian musical heritage. Famous citizens[edit] See also: Asturians

Luis Enrique Martinez Garcia, former FC Barcelona
Barcelona
captain and manager Juan Carreño
Carreño
de Miranda, court painter Fernando Alonso, Formula One
Formula One
racing driver, 2005 and 2006 world champion Leopoldo Alas "Clarín", 19th-century author of La Regenta, a seminal work in the Spanish literary canon Armando Palacio Valdés, 19th and 20th-century novelist and critic Francisco Álvarez Cascos, minister in Spain's government 1996–2000 and 2000–2004 Santi Cazorla, Arsenal and Spain
Spain
international football player, European Champion 2008 and 2012 Torcuato Fernández-Miranda, key lawmaker during the Spanish transition to democracy Ángel González, major Spanish poet of the 20th century. Gaspar Melchor de Jovellanos, philosopher, politician, Enlightenment thinker Pedro Menéndez de Avilés
Avilés
Spanish conquistador and founder of Saint Augustine, Florida Queen Letizia of Spain, a native of Oviedo
Oviedo
and wife of Felipe VI, King of Spain Severo Ochoa, 1959 Nobel Prize
Nobel Prize
winner for physiology or medicine Carmen Polo, wife of Spanish dictator Francisco Franco Chechu Rubiera, cyclist José Andrés, chef Amalia Ulman, artist David Villa, New York City FC
New York City FC
and Spain
Spain
international football star, European Champion 2008, World Champion 2010 Juan Manuel Mata, Manchester United F.C.
Manchester United F.C.
player, Spain
Spain
international football star, World Champion 2010 and European Champion 2012 Michu, former Swansea City
Swansea City
and Rayo Vallecano
Rayo Vallecano
player Xaviel Vilareyo, national poet, writer and musician Samuel Sánchez, cyclist, Olympic gold medalist Melendi, is a Spanish pop singer-songwriter

Pelagius, first king of Asturias

Queen Letizia, current Queen consort of Spain

Fernando Alonso

Famous events[edit]

Princess of Asturias
Asturias
Awards Asturian Revolution (Asturian History) Gijón
Gijón
International Film Festival (Entertainment) Avilés
Avilés
International Cinema and Architecture Festival (Entertainment)

See also[edit]

Spain
Spain
portal Celtic Studies portal

Asturian architecture
Asturian architecture
between the years 711 to 925 List of oldest church buildings List of castros in Asturias Asturian cinema Asturcón
Asturcón
pony Category:Asturian mythology Arama 36/37: Association for the Recovery of Asturian Military Architecture 1936–1937

References[edit]

^ " Asturias
Asturias
- Definition of Asturias
Asturias
in English by Oxford Dictionaries". Oxford Dictionaries - English.  ^ "Definition of ASTURIAS". www.merriam-webster.com.  ^ Oman, Charles (1902). A History
History
of the Peninsular War. 1. Oxford: Clarendon Press. p. 65.  ^ a b "Fallece Rafael Fernández". La Voz de Asturias. 2010-12-18. Archived from the original on 2011-07-15. Retrieved 2011-01-08.  ^ "Asturias: población por municipios y sexo". Retrieved 6 January 2018.  ^ "Standard climate values for Oviedo". Agencia Estatal de Meteorología. Retrieved 11 April 2015.  ^ "Guía resumida del clima en España (1981-2010)".  ^ "Valores Climatológicos Normales. Gijon".  ^ "Valores Climatológicos Normales. Asturias
Asturias
Aeropuerto". Aemet.es. Retrieved 17 March 2015.  ^ "Map: These will be the Europe's most polluted cities in 2030". Washington Post. Retrieved 2 March 2015.  ^ "Modelling Street Level PM10 Concentrations Across Europe" (PDF). International Institute for Applied Science Systems. Retrieved 2 March 2015.  ^ a b "Air - Environment". European Commission. Retrieved 2 March 2015.  ^ "Healthy life expectancies in Spain
Spain
1986-2007" (PDF). Government of Spain: Ministry of Health, Social Policy and Equality. Retrieved 23 May 2015.  ^ "Eurostat - Tables, Graphs and Maps Interface (TGM) table". Epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu. 2015-03-02. Retrieved 2015-08-01.  ^ "Inaugurada en Gijón
Gijón
la primera autopista del mar española - La Nueva España - Diario Independiente de Asturias". Lne.es. Retrieved 2015-08-01.  ^ "Practical guide to making pibgyrn by Gerard KilBride". Pibgyrn.com. Archived from the original on 2012-04-02. Retrieved 2010-04-26.  ^ Sergio y Pablo Arce. "La Gaita Asturiana". Asturies.com. Archived from the original on 20 April 2010. Retrieved 2010-04-26.  ^ " Hevia
Hevia
- Busindre Reel (High Quality)". YouTube. 2009-06-03. Retrieved 2015-08-01.  ^ "FolkWorld Article: Llan de Cubel". Folkworld.de. Retrieved 2010-04-26.  ^ cranky crow (2003-09-14). "Celtic music of Spain". World Music Central. Archived from the original on 2009-06-30. Retrieved 2010-04-26.  ^ "CITYFOLK MONTHLY - June 2006". Cityfolk.org. Archived from the original on 2010-12-06. Retrieved 2010-04-26.  ^ "Asturshop". Asturshop. Archived from the original on 14 April 2010. Retrieved 2010-04-26.  ^ "Inicio - Orquesta Sinfónica del Principado de Asturias". Ospa.es. Retrieved 2015-08-01.  ^ Elaine Schmidt. "Rossen Milanov". Rossenmilanov.net. Archived from the original on June 29, 2015. Retrieved 2015-08-01. 

Bibliography[edit]

Bowen-Jones, H. and W.B. Fisher. Spain: An Introductory Geography. New York: Praeger, 1966. Dresner, Denise, ed. Guide to the World. Phoenix: Oryx Press, 1998. S.v. "Asturias" Encyclopedia Americana. Danbury: Grolier, 2002. S.v. "Asturias" Merriam-Webster's Geographical Dictionary. Springfield: Merriam-Webster, 1997. S.v. "Asturias"

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Asturias.

Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Asturias.

Official website Official Tourism website of Asturias
Asturias
h

Articles related to Asturias

v t e

Asturias articles

History

Astures Cantabrian Wars Kingdom of Asturias October 1934 Sovereign Council of Asturias
Asturias
and León

Geography

Administrative divisions

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Politics

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Economy

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Society

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Awards

Culture

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Symbols

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Category

v t e

Pre-romanesque art in the Kingdom of Asturias

Pre-Romanesque
Pre-Romanesque
art in Asturias
Asturias
is framed between the years 711 and 925, the period of the rise and extension of the Kingdom of Asturias.

Architecture

1st period (737 to 791)

Santa Cruz de Cangas de Onís Church of San Juan Apóstol y Evangelista

2nd period (791 to 842)

Cathedral Basilica of San Salvador Pilgrimage church of Santiago de Compostela Church of San Tirso Church of San Julián de los Prados Church of Santa María de Bendones Church of San Pedro de Nora Church of Santiago de Gobiendes Cámara Santa
Cámara Santa
of Oviedo

3rd period (842 to 866)

Church of Santa María del Naranco Church of San Miguel de Lillo Church of Santa Cristina de Lena

4th period (866 to 910)

Church of San Salvador de Valdediós Church of Santo Adriano
Santo Adriano
de Tuñón

5th period (910 to 925)

Church of San Salvador de Priesca

Infrastructure

La Foncalada

Major figures

Beatus of Liébana Tioda

Minor arts

Cruz de la Victoria Cruz de los Angeles Sudarium of Oviedo Agate box

Spiritual legacy

Camino de Santiago Codex Cavensis

Kingdom of Asturias
Kingdom of Asturias
(718–925) Asturian architecture

v t e

Municipalities in Asturias

Allande Aller Amieva Avilés Belmonte de Miranda Bimenes Boal Cabrales Cabranes Candamo Cangas de Onís Cangas del Narcea Caravia Carreño Caso Castrillón Castropol Coaña Colunga Corvera de Asturias Cudillero Degaña El Franco Gijón/Xixón Gozón Grado Grandas de Salime Ibias Illano Illas Llangréu/Langreo Laviana Lena Llanera Llanes Mieres Morcín Muros de Nalón Nava Navia Noreña Onís Oviedo Parres Peñamellera Alta Peñamellera Baja Pesoz Piloña Ponga Pravia Proaza Quirós Las Regueras Ribadedeva Ribadesella La Ribera/Ribera de Arriba Riosa Salas San Martín de Oscos San Martín del Rey Aurelio San Tirso de Abres Santa Eulalia de Oscos Santo Adriano Sariego Siero Sobrescobio Somiedo Soto del Barco Tapia de Casariego Taramundi Teverga Tineo Valdés Vegadeo Villanueva de Oscos Villaviciosa Villayón Yernes y Tameza

v t e

Autonomous communities of Spain

Autonomous communities

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Autonomous cities

 Ceuta  Melilla

Plazas de soberanía

Alhucemas Chafarinas Vélez de la Gomera

v t e

Provinces of Spain

A Coruña Álava Albacete Alicante Almería Asturias Ávila Badajoz Balearic Islands Barcelona Biscay Burgos Cáceres Cádiz Cantabria Castellón Ciudad Real Córdoba Cuenca Girona Granada Guadalajara Gipuzkoa Huelva Huesca Jaén Las Palmas León Lleida Lugo Madrid Málaga Murcia Navarre Ourense Palencia Pontevedra La Rioja Salamanca Santa Cruz de Tenerife Segovia Seville Soria Tarragona Teruel Toledo Valencia Valladolid Zamora Zaragoza<

.