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Colombres and the Museum of Emigration

Looking for a place to stay new Colombres?

At the end of the 19th century, Spain was mired in one of its darkest periods. Cuba, Puerto Rico and the Philippines were gone as a result of the Spanish-American War, and an unsuccessful attempt to conquer Morocco had left the country in a tailspin. Many escaped to the New World, where society was on the rise rather than in decline. This included a massive number of Asturians: mostly single, young and ambitious. They lent their enthusiasm to the growing countries of the Western Hemisphere, and made a fortune doing so.

Colombres Asturias

Many of these newly moneyed youngsters eventually returned home. Known as Indianos, they built fabulous homes and spent their wealth freely, at a time when the Principality desperately needed it. The mansions of the Indianos can be found all over Asturias, but no other town has such a remarkable collection as Colombres, near the border with Cantabria.

One house in Colombres stands out among the rest: the Quinta Guadalupe, constructed by Iñigo Noriega Laso, who emigrated to Mexico and became both extremely rich and politically influential. Today, his amazing mansion is the Museum of Emigration, dedicated to this interesting period in Asturian history. There are emotional photographs of emigrants leaving Spain, models of the boats on which they traveled, personal stories of adventure and danger, and information about the various Centros Asturianos which are still active in Argentina, Cuba, Mexico and the USA.

The museum is interesting, and it’s nice to be able to step inside such a house. Much of the original furniture is still present, and the library is full of tomes dedicated to the immigrant experience. If you’re in the area, definitely stop by.

Location of Colombres on our Day Trips Map

Magnolia Sprout
Water Drip
Bizarre Garden
Quinta Guadalupe
Mexico Asturias
Emmigration Museum
Museo Emmigracion
Detail Asturias
Muebles Asturias
emmigration asturias
Eduardo Urculo New York
Williams B. Arrensberg
Inka
Asturiano Dinero

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October 20, 2010 at 3:14 pm Comment (1)

Hotel de la Reconquista

Oviedo’s most famous and luxurious hotel was built over 250 years ago as an orphanage and hospital for the city. But the altruism has long since faded, and the huge building has gone from caring for the city’s most poor and downtrodden, to catering to the rich and famous.

Luxury Hotel Asturias

If a well-known actor or foreign dignitary is visiting Oviedo, it’s even money that they’re staying in the Hotel de la Reconquista, the most exclusive 5-star joint in the city. The hotel serves as the seat for the Prince of Asturias Awards, when Oviedo is invaded by Spain’s most famous intellects, scientists, athletes and royalty.

As you’d expect, the Reconquista is gorgeous. Most striking is the massive coat of arms in the center of the facade. There are a couple impressive interior patios, such as the 900 square meter Patio de la Reina, where evening cocktails are served.

The price aren’t really as terrifying as might be expected, starting from about €145 for a double room. But if you’re a classy gentlemen, for whom only the fanciest rooms possible will do, you might want to look at the Suite Real, at just over €1500 per night. Come on, you can afford it, can’t you? Look at you, fancy man, of course you can!

Book your stay here: Hotel de la Reconquista

Location on our Asturias Hotel Map

Reconquista Oviedo
Hotel de la Reconquista
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October 19, 2010 at 2:54 pm Comment (1)

The Fountain of the Foncalada

“With this sign the pious are protected, With this sign you shall defeat the enemy”
Fontan Foncalada

This is the inscription engraved upon the Foncalada: a fountain near the city center, and the only remaining civil service structure in Asturias still standing from the Middle Ages. It was constructed in the 9th Century at the behest of King Alfonso III, and features the Victory Cross above the inscription.

In 2008, the Foncalada was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site. That the fountain still works is remarkable in and of itself. We walked by about 50 times without ever descending the stairs to check it out. Don’t make that mistake: the Foncalada takes about 10 seconds to see, and is definitely worth a picture.

Location of the Fuente de Foncalada

Cruz Asturias
Foncalada
Fontan Asturias
Middle Ages Oviedo

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October 18, 2010 at 4:17 pm Comments (0)

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