Beautiful plazas, or squares, link the streets in Oviedo. Sometimes they are bustling with people, sometimes peaceful, and sometimes deserted. They are always fascinating!
Plaza de Espana
The Plaza de Espana was close to our hotel and I walked through this little square and its garden every day. Government buildings surround the square today but it used to be the site of an old hospital and asylum. However, during the Civil War these historic buildings were damaged, and demolished.
Plaza de la Escandelera
There is a long history of how the square got its name! This seemed to be the busiest of the Plazas in Oviedo, lying between the park of San Francisco and the old town. The Junta General of Asturias stands to one corner of the square, on the site of the former Monastery of San Francisco to which the grounds of the park belonged. La Maternidad looms over all.
Just up the road from the Plaza de le Escandelera is a smaller square, the Plaza Porlier, which leads on to the Cathedral Square. The Camposagrada Palace (18C) dominates the square, but it is a rebuilt restoration of the original building which was destroyed in the Civil War. And as in most of the squares there is a statue.
Grandest of the Plazas in Oviedo
The Cathedral Square is of course magnificent! It is large and open, and there are imposing buildings on all sides, such as the Valdecarzana-Heredia Palace (early 17C), the Romanesque Church of St Tirso, and the buildings which are the Fine Arts Museum of Oviedo. But it is the Cathedral of San Salvador which holds one’s attention.
Plaza de Feijoo
Two charming plazas in Oviedo lie on a quiet street behind the Cathedral. The Plaza de Feijoo is named after an academic and Benedictin Father Benito Feijoo, and his statue stands in the square. Interestingly he claimed, in his Defense of Women, 1726, that women were equal in intelligence to men and should be treated as such!
The Church of Santa Maria de la Corte is opposite the square and this is where Benito Feijoo is buried. This is also the pilgrim’s church and advertised pilgrim services and blessings. The church belonged to the adjacent Monastery of San Vicente which is now the Archaeological Museum.
And next to the Church of Santa Maria de la Corte is the Benedictine Monastery of St Pelayo, a closed order which was founded by King Alfonso in the 10C as a convent for women.
Plaza Corrado del Obispo
The original Bishop’s Palace burned down during the Civil War and so this building dates to a reconstruction in the 1940s. This explains the rather appearance of the doorway, but the coats of arms are original. While the Cathedral of San Salvador is centuries old, the facade on to this square dates from the 18C when a second floor was added to the Cloister inside. The house of Dean Payarinos was commissioned in 1900 by a Canon of the Church, and today houses the Conservatoire of Music.
Plaza de Trascorrales
I didn’t give this pretty square the attention it deserves! It is rather hidden away, behind the Town Hall, and near a section of the original Mediaeval walls. In the middle of the square is the old fish market, built in the 1860s, which is now used as an exhibition space. The statue outside the building is ‘The Fish Seller’ and nearby is another seller of fish. And if you walk through the passage beyond the seller of fish you find another of the Plazas in Oviedo.
Plaza de la Constitucion
This is one of the really imposing plazas in Oviedo. Construction of the square started in 1659 and, like many of the squares in the town, it has had different names over the centuries. At one end is the Church of San Isidoro el Real (and beyond that the market of El Fontan), which glows in the evening light. The City Hall dates from 1622 but was another building badly damaged in the Civil War.
Oddest of the Plazas in Oviedo
The enclosed Plaza del Fontan is alongside the Market of El Fontan. This has always been a market place, and today the whole area is a market area, with plenty of cafes, bars and restaurants.
Plaza de Daoiz y Velarde
Just outside the enclosed Plaza del Fontan is another of the plazas in Oviedo. It hosts an outdoor market and is the site of the Palace of the Marquis de San Feliz and it is the biggest Baroque Palace in Oviedo, apparently, built in the early 18C for the Dukes of the Park.
These were just a few of the wonderful Plazas in Oviedo – I could happily return and walk these squares, and several others, all over again.
Plaza de la Escandelera over time and in photographs
An interesting blogsite with yet more photos and information!
An assessment of Feijoo’s ‘In defense of women’