Amieva

Amieva is an Asturian district and town some 12 km from Cangas de Onis (which lies to the east) and it has a population numbering less than one thousand inhabitants. It is one of many towns that border the popular Picos de Europa National Park.

Landmarks of Amieva include the Sella river, which runs through the district, and it has an economy that is based around farming, agriculture and the making of cheese (Beyos). Fishing in the rivers is also popular with locals and the comparatively small number of tourists who visit.

Although Amieva is small by today's standards, in the latter part of the eighteenth century and the early part of the twentieth century it had a population of more than three times that which it has today. However, from the 1970's onwards the de-ruralization of Asturias hit the area and the population fell significantly. It continues to do so today as many of the younger generation move to the cities, other parts of Spain, or leave the country entirely.

Historically, man has had a presence in the district of Amieva for centuries as cave paintings and dolmen testify and some of the artefacts of this region are now held in the museum of Oviedo. There are also references in texts relating to the area during the reigns of Kings Alfonso VII and Don Pedro.

Things to see

Amieva has no great architectural masterpieces and it is more the scenery than the manmade icons that give it an appeal. But it does have a number of buildings that reflect the heritage and way of life that this part of Asturias has lived through.

Probably the oldest building in Amieva is the church of Santa Maria de Milan which has evolved over the centuries due to damage and re-building.

The church of San Pedro de Vegas is also worth a visit and has a similar evolutionary history. You will also see a number of small chapels dotted around the district signifying the importance of religion in the area's history.

Other notable structures include the house of Cirieno which was built over the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. What remains is primarily in the Renaissance style.

In reality Amieva is somewhere that very few tourists think to visit. Mainly because it is close to the Picos de Europa and, in most people's eyes, this famous mountain range eclipses everything that surrounds it. Even so, it is a place of natural beauty and of solitude and it can make an interesting aside for those who choose to take a look.

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