In November I headed to the town of Aviles in Asturias in the north of Spain. It's a long trip to get there - flying from Edinburgh to London to Madrid to Asturias....but it was an interesting visit.
Situated on the north coast it is the third largest city in the Principality of Asturias, with a maritime and industrial history. There were many old buildings in the town, alongside buildings designed by one of the key figures of modern architecture, Oscar Niemeyer.
Old buildings in the centre of Aviles, traditional architecture with arcades and colourful houses.
Los Fransiscanos/Saint Nicolas Church, the oldest church in Aviles, built in the 13th century.
The rainbow bridge to the Cultural Centre.
The Oscar Niemeyer Cultural Centre, Aviles
The Prince of Asturias Awards are given annually to individuals and organisations from around the world who have made a notable contributions to the arts, humanities and science. The awards were established in 1980 and in 1989 Oscar Niemeyer was awarded the Arts Prize for his contribution to architecture. During the 25th anniversary year, the Awards held a number of celebratory events, inviting past winners to contribute. Aged 98, Oscar Niemeyer declined the invitation to travel to Spain, but did send a contribution to the celebrations - the drawings for the Oscar Niemeyer Cultural Centre. The centre opened in 2011, and houses an auditorium, cinema, conference facilities, restaurant (at the top of the tower) and hosts a series of arts focused events throughout the year, both inside and out, offering the people of Asturias access to a wide range of cultural opportunities. When we were there the centre hosted a talk by one of Spain's best known authors and dance from Ballet Nacionale de Cuba.
In this image you can see that the city is still industrial, with the flames from the iron foundry burning brightly behind.
The restaurant is at the top of this tower!