The neighborhood of Cimadevilla is located in a historic and idyllic setting, where past and present go hand in hand with ease. With the Cantabric impregnating every cobblestone street with flavour and aroma, Cimadevilla is an attraction for tourists, but also for locals. Around its buildings of traditional architecture gather to frequent the most alternative places of Gijón and also those that have been standing for decades. Cimadevilla is, in short, tradition and modernity. The must-see neighborhood of Asturias.
Cimadevilla is the oldest neighborhood of Gijón, its old town. So much so that you can still enjoy the traces that the Roman Empire left in its wake. You can still distinguish the remains of a wall and some baths in this peninsula of Santa Catalina, which took its name from the ancient chapel of Santa Catalina.
What stands out above all in Cimadevilla, in any case, is the fishing atmosphere that characterizes all the towns that grow around the sea. In this case, the aesthetics of a 19th century fishermen’s neighborhood is what dominates the whole. When talking about these men and women of the sea, it is also worth mentioning the Santa Catalina Sailors’ Guild which, growing around Cimadevilla, became the oldest and most powerful guild in Gijón. It belonged to the Hermandad de las Marismas, on which they depended to establish rules for their work. It consisted, basically, in guiding the sailors who arrived new to Gijón in their last steps to the port, to avoid misfortunes. And to earn a salary, of course.
In recent years, the traditional houses have been rehabilitated, but they have not lost their essence. Cimadevilla is still the oldest and most traditional neighborhood of Gijón.
As is often the case with this type of places, the best way to discover it is without a map, letting yourself get carried away by improvisation. Certain elements of interest should be noted, just in case the spontaneous evolution does not lead to them. One should visit, for example, the Plaza Mayor. From this and taking the direction towards the Cantabric, the Monument to Pelayo is discovered, an important sculpture by the artist José María López Rodríguez, which was inaugurated in 1891. Also the Palace of Revillagigedo, a baroque building of the 18th century where art exhibitions of modern art are held.
Leaving behind the Cider Tree, another monument that should also be appreciated, you can now enjoy the Marina. Its well-kept facilities and beautiful surroundings make it one of the most acclaimed in the Cantabric. The breakwater that closes the port offers authentic spectacles of waves crashing when the sea is rough. The sunsets, by the way, should be captured from the Cuesta del Cholo, looking towards the port.
More spots. The church of San Pedro, a 15th century Gothic temple, was the only parish church in the city until the end of the 19th century. It was destroyed, like so many other buildings, during the Civil War, but was later rebuilt. Mention should also be made of the Soledad Chapel, which dates from the 17th century. It was the headquarters of this Guild of the Mareantes, today it is a place of remembrance and celebration.
A walk through Cimadevilla cannot end without topping the hill of Santa Catalina. At the top, watching over the neighborhood and the city, the Eulogy of the Horizon by Eduardo Chillida serves to illustrate, once again, the fantastic way in which past and present coexist.
You should not leave Gijón without visiting the whole city, of course. Nor without enjoying its beaches: the Poniente beach or the famous beach of San Lorenzo, especially the latter, offer beautiful panoramas. Gijón, with its seafaring character and its cider, is an excellent choice for any weekend.
If you have the opportunity to enjoy more time on Asturias, you should not leave without visiting Lastres, one of the most beautiful villages in Asturias. Continuing along the coast to the east, Ribadesella awaits, which has one of the most impressive promenades in northern Spain. Both are part of this travel proposal that leads to tour the coast of paradise on earth.
Gijón is a very interesting city and within this attraction, Cimadevilla usually gets all the attention. It is the oldest neighborhood of the city, but it is also a sample of the cultural present of the city and also of the possibilities that will come with the future. Social life, art, culture, history and beauty, with the Cantabric Sea always there. Cimadevilla has it all.
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