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La Plaza de Daoíz y Velarde

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The Plaza de Daoíz y Velarde is a quiet, tree-lined plaza which offers a respite from the noisy marketplace and cafés of the adjacent Plaza Fontán. Especially when bathed in the late afternoon sunlight, it’s a beautiful place and home to the city library, a palace, a legendary fountain and, of course, a statue.

Plaza de Daoiz y Velarde

The library building began life in 1665 as the Teatro de Comedias, lending a classic atmosphere to the endless shelves of books about Asturias, comics, DVDs and an oddly popular reading room. When we visited on a sunny Monday morning, it was completely full with old men reading newspapers. Never heard of the internet, guys?

Next to the library is the Palacio del Duque del Parque, a Baroque construction with an exquisitely detailed facade. Today, it’s privately owned by the Marquis de San Feliz, meaning visits are impossible, which is too bad, but also means that marquises still exist, which is awesome. A smaller building diagonal to the palace, with reliefs of horsemen and jockeys, was the former stables. Between the two, down a gated flight of stairs, is a curious little fountain.

The cañu de El Fontán is the subject of a popular legend. The water exits a spout very low to the ground. When an overly haughty knight visited Oviedo, the citizens would ask him to drink from the cañu. The only way for him to do so, was to kneel and bow his head. I can just imagine the medieval townspeople chortling over their demonic wit.

Location on our Oviedo Map

Canu de El Fontan
Palacio del Duque del Parque
Palacio del Duque del Parque
City Library
The City Library

Also Visit Plaza del Riego in Oviedo

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September 7, 2010 at 3:13 pm Comment (1)

Plaza del Riego

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Found near the historic seat of the University of Oviedo, the Plaza del Riego is a small, triangular shaped plaza in the center of the city, which buzzes with activity from morning until evening, when its outdoor terraces are consistently packed.

Plaza del Riego

Formed by the streets of Ramon y Cajal and Peso, the plaza owes its name to the Asturian military hero Rafael del Riego, a general who led the 1817 revolution against an incompetent King Ferdindand VII. The revolt was successful and, after the king was imprisoned in Madrid, Riego became the Asturian delegate in a short-lived constitutional period. Unfortunately, France and other European monarchies didn’t like the idea of a Republican Spain, and soon sent in armies to restore Ferdinand VII. Riego was sent to the gallows.

Before renaming it honor of their fallen hero, ovetenses referred to this area as the Plaza de la Picota, or “pillory”. It was here that lawbreakers and heretics who ran afoul of the inquisition would be punished. The sculpture in the center of the plaza is an archaic meteorological column, which holds the bust of Rafael de Riego and a plaque honoring his achievements.

Location on our Oviedo Map

Riego Oviedo
Rafael del Riego
Cafe Bar Oviedo
Historic Oviedo

Vacation Rental

Oviedo T Shirt
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August 26, 2010 at 9:44 am Comments (5)

El Campo de San Francisco

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A 22-acre park in the middle of the city, the Campo de San Francisco is Oviedo’s green heart; a space of tranquility and relaxation much appreciated by residents.

Oviedo Old Gate

Since the founding of Oviedo, the park has been protected from development and, apart from being used for military drills in the 1th century, has always been a place for rest and recreation. Trapezoidal in shape, San Francisco contains over 120 types of trees from every continent on earth (except Antarctica, which doesn’t really count anyway), with an emphasis on Asturian species.

Peacocks are the park’s most famous residents. A number of the proud birds strut about the grounds uninhibited and unimpressed by the presence of humans. During our trips to the park, they kept their feathers hidden, much to our frustration. We tried whistling and chirping, and spooking them. I got desperate enough to consider spraying myself with peacock pheromones.

San Francisco is a place for a Sunday stroll, and not at all a park apt for blankets, football and picnics. With a large number of statues, occasional concerts and art exhibits, and beautiful fountains, there’s plenty to see. And if leisurely strolls wear you out, there’s an outdoor café where you can stop for coffee. The Campo de San Francisco is truly emblematic of Oviedo: small, ancient, beautiful, relaxed, rich in statues and history, and just a tiny bit posh. We love it.

Location on our Oviedo Map

Granpas Oviedo
Bucket Palm
El Campo Del San Francisco
Oviedo Palms
Francisco Fontan
Kiosk Oviedo
Oviedo Duck
Oviedo Frog
Oviedo Snail
Oviedo Peacock
Peacock House

Bioparc Valencia
Oviedo Car Hire

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August 17, 2010 at 11:53 am Comments (10)

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