Plazas in Oviedo

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 Espana - one of the plazas in Oviedo
Plaza de Espana – one of the plazas in Oviedo
Neptune and Apollo in one of the Plazas in Oviedo
Neptune and Apollo in one of the Plazas in Oviedo

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.

Junta General of Asturias
Junta General of Asturias
La Maternidad

Plaza Porlier

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.

Camposagrada Palace in the Porlier Square
The Traveller in one of the Plazas in Oviedo
‘The Traveller’ in the Plaza Porlier

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.

Cathedral of San Salvador in Oviedo
Cathedral of San Salvador in Oviedo
Refreshments in ‘our’ cafe!

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!

This is a major challenge I have set for myself. It is no longer only the uneducated and ignorant with whom I would quarrel: defending all women amounts essentially to offending almost all men; rare is he whose sense of the precedence of his own sex does not depend on his scorn for the other

Feijoo 1778-1779: 325
Plaza de Feijoo
Plaza de Feijoo

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.

Church of Santa Maria de la Corte
Church of Santa Maria de la Corte

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.

Monastery of St Pelagius
Monastery of St Pelagius

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.

episcopal Palace on one of the plazas in Oviedo
The Episcopal Palace
Door of Alms into the Cloister of the Cathedral
Door of Alms into the Cloister of the Cathedral
Casa del Dean Payarinos

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.

The Fish Seller in one of the squares in Oviedo
‘The Fish Seller’
Another fish seller in the one of the Plazas in Oviedo
Another fish seller in the Plaza del Trascorrales

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.

Church of San Isidoro el Real & the City Hall
Church of San Isidoro el Real & the City Hall
City Hall in the Plaza de la Constitucion
City Hall on the left
Church of San Isidoro el Real from under the arches of the City Hall
Church of San Isidoro el Real from under the arches of the City Hall

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.

Enclosed Plaza del Fontan (L), covered market (centre) and Church of San Isidoro

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.

Market in Oviedo
Market in Oviedo
Plaza del Fontan - one of the plazas in Oviedo
Exterior of the Plaza del Fontan
in one of the plazas in Oviedo
Palace of 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.

Further information

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’