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Picasso. 'Guernica' Modernism and Avant-garde movements The turn of the century brought new winds of modernity. The aesthetic sensibility of the time was marked by a different, freer attitude towards art and life.

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The surprising architecture of Avilés

  • Oscar Niemeyer International Cultural Centre, Avilés © Turismo de Avilés

    Oscar Niemeyer International Cultural Centre, Avilés © Turismo de Avilés

  • Calle del Sol, historical centre of Avilés © Turismo de Avilés

    Calle del Sol, historical centre of Avilés © Turismo de Avilés

  • Calle Galiana, historical centre of Avilés © Turismo de Avilés

    Calle Galiana, historical centre of Avilés © Turismo de Avilés

  • La Carriona cemetery, Avilés

    La Carriona cemetery, Avilés

  
  


"The urban renovation Avilés has experienced in recent years has turned the city into one of the main cultural destinations in Asturias. ..."

The urban renovation Avilés has experienced in recent years has turned the city into one of the main cultural destinations in Asturias. The architecture in this port town offers visitors more than just a pleasant surprise. Travelling through it, visitors can discover the imaginative shapes of the Niemeyer Cultural Centre as well as the singular beauty of its old town, passing through the funerary art of the municipal cemetery.

The opening of the Niemeyer Cultural Centre in 2011 completely transformed the urban landscape of the old industrial area of Avilés. The construction of this cutting-edge complex didn't just provide the city with a unique space for people to enjoy temporary exhibitions, film series, music and stage arts; it also signified the recovery of the walls and estuary area of Avilés, creating a pleasant environment to walk through and enjoy the maritime atmosphere of the city.

The five structures that comprise the Niemeyer Cultural Centre (the auditorium, the dome, the tower, the multi-purpose building and the large open square) are also the only work in Spain by Brazilian architect and Pritzker prize winner Oscar Niemeyer. What's more, you only need to walk across a bridge to leave this modern, innovative complex and arrive in another of the main places of interest in Avilés: its old town.

The "medieval town" of Asturias

Avilés' old town is often referred to as the "medieval town" of Asturias. Perfectly preserved, this area has been declared a Historic-Artistic Site. As you walk through its streets and squares, it's impossible not to be drawn in by its colours and the unique façades of its buildings, or the charm of its colonnades. Taking a gentle stroll, you can discover churches, palaces and examples of typical Romanesque, Gothic, Baroque and modernist architectural styles. There are also guided tours and visits available, so you can get to know its monumental heritage in more detail.

Art in the La Carriona cemetery

There is another surprising location in Avilés: the municipal cemetery, La Carriona. It was opened in 1890 and is rather like an outdoor museum. The prosperity and fortunes made by the indianos of the time (those who emigrated to and then returned from America) is reflected in the sculptural richness of the graves and funerary monuments, steeped in symbols, allegories and medieval inspiration. The cemetery even has its own visitor centre, which organises guided tours to enable you to discover its artistic gems.

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