As is the case in almost every Spanish city, Oviedo's most impressive and important building is its cathedral. With a history stretching back to the 8th century, and an official name which takes nearly eight centuries to pronounce, the Santa Iglesia Basílica Catedral Metropolitana de San Salvador de Oviedo is the must-see highlight during a visit to the city.
The neighborhood of El Cristo occupies a hill just south-west of the city center, and hosts the majority of the University of Oviedo's facilities.
"Pre-Romanesque" is a confusing architectural term. The style didn't appear until centuries after the Romans, so it's not exactly pre-Roman at all. Instead, the term refers to buildings which pre-date the Romanesque architecture of medieval times, named so because of its rounded Roman arches.
The incredible Museo de Bellas Artes de Asturias is smack dab in the middle of Oviedo, just meters away from the Cathedral. Filled with modern and classic works spanning centuries, a visit is indispensable, especially considering the happy fact that it's free.
I've lost count of all the pictures I've taken since we arrived in Oviedo, but it's a ton! We're planning to organize a photo exhibit about Asturias, in Savannah, Georgia - our next destination. It would be a way of introducing both ourselves and Asturias to a brand new audience.
Established in 1574, the University of Oviedo has been an important part of the city for centuries. Its founder was the Archibishop Fernando de Valdés Salas, an inquisitive chap whom we earlier profiled. Oviedo's is the only public university in Asturias, and currently educates more than 25,000 students.
The biggest festival of the year in Oviedo came to a close yesterday, on September 21st. For eleven days, the city had seen its streets converted into a massive carnival. To be honest, we felt a little relieved it was finally over.
The largest building in Spain is found in Gijón. About three miles outside the city center, the massive Universidad Laboral gobbles up 66 acres of land. Built between 1946 and 1956, the Laboral is an astounding memorial to the grandiloquence and megalomania of the Franco era.
Last night, Oviedo invited the pyrotechnic company to light up the Parque de Invierno with fireworks. The Valencian company also did the closing of the World Cup, and we are already well familiar with their incredible work from our time in Valencia.
Here's a tip for young entrepreneurs. Want to make sure your new bar is massively popular? Offer free slices of pizza with every drink. And make the drinks crazy-cheap.
One of the biggest days of San Mateo is September 19th, the Día de América, when Oviedo celebrates its relationship with the New World. The immigrants who've moved to Spain, Asturians who went abroad, and the mixture of cultures are all represented in a big parade that shuts down the city.
In the middle of the University of Oviedo's courtyard is a statue of its founder, Fernando Valdés Salas. The statue's expression is fatherly; benevolent but stern. The sense conveyed is that Valdés was a serious educator dedicated to learning, and a kindly, wise man. But a little research reveals that a loathsome monster reigns in the University's courtyard -- rarely does history provide us such exquisitely evil characters as the Archbishop Fernando de Valdés.