23 March 2014

Aviles, Spain

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!


Thimbleanna said...

Ahhh, you're back, and you HAVE been traveling! It looks like a very cool town with an interesting mix of old and new!

Di said...

Hi Anna!
Thank you for the welcome back! I am determined to get back into it - I have made so many friends through blogging and I love keeping a track of my own life - otherwise I do forget ;-)

I have some more travels to post about yet - London, twice and Madrid.

Oh and even though I lost my Shetland photos I am heading back in May.

Hope you are all well!

Bethany Hissong said...

I love the contrast of old buildings with ultra modern architecture. My thought about the new structures was how they would hold up (thinking of the Guggenheim and structural problems because its so different). Even though the older ones may not be as exciting, its hard to beat the integrity of something built in the 13th century!!

sonoko said...

Hello Di!
I am so fascinated by beautiful photos.
I wish I can go there someday.

Anne Marie said...

Oh, Diane you went to Aviles! My mother is from Asturias. She was born in Gijon and grew up both in Gijon and Oviedo. How fun that you went to that part of Spain.

I love your photos and your traveling tales. So happy you are into blogging again. I was waiting for you :-)