Oviedo is the capital city of the province of Asturias in northern Spain. There has been a human settlement here since Roman times although it is said that the city owes its foundation to two monks who, in 761, built a church there. The city has many fine examples of architecture of many different types, reflecting the different cultures who once ruled over the area.
An important example of this is the cathedral of San Salvador of Oviedo. The cathedral contains several different architectural styles, from Pre-Romanesque to Baroque, including Romanesque, Gothic and Renaissance parts. As part of the pilgrim route “The Way of St James” the cathedral has played its part in the growth in importance of the city.
Nestling between parts of the cathedral building is the Holy Chamber or Cámara Santa, which is home to the Holy Chest, the Cross of Angels and the Cross of Victory. One of the most important relics is the Shroud of Oveido which is a blood stained cloth said to have been placed over the face of Jesus, as mentioned in the Gospel of John. These valuable relics are also visited by the pilgrims following
The Way of St James as they head for the cathedral of Santiago de Compostela. In 1998 the Holy Chamber was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
One of the things that one should do when visiting a new place is to sample the local food specialities. In Oveido, as in Asturias generally, these include cider, fabada (bean stew), and chorizo.
Sprinkled among the many bars and restaurants there are chigres, or cider bars, where the waiters pour the cider in their own special way by holding the bottle at arm’s length above their head and pouring it into the glass which is held at arm’s length below them, all without looking at either the bottle or the glass.
For a destination that has more than a touch of the authentic Spain, Oviedo may be worth considering.