More visitor attractions in Gijon
Gijon does have a lot to offer the visitor, so here are a few short summaries describing some of its museums and buildings of particular tourist interest.
This building is worth taking a look at for its sheer size alone. It lies a few kilometres out from the center of the city and sits directly opposite the “Atlantic Botanical Gardens”.
Designed by the architect Luis Moya Blanco, the Universidad Laboral was originally intended as an orphanage for the dependants of lost mine workers, but it is now the city’s university.
Although only built in the nineteen fifties, the Universidad Laboral looks like it has stood forever. Its size, with an eight and a half thousand square metre plaza, a theatre that seats over fifteen hundred people, plus eleven thousand square metres of study and lecture facilities, make it one monumental combination of buildings.
What also makes this building(s) interesting is it unusual appearance with a truly eclectic mix of design ideas and its more recent role as a “Center for Contemporary Art”.
The Universidad Laboral is open to the public and, in addition to its more obvious exhibits, boats a 117 metre high balcony tower from which spectacular views of the city can be enjoyed (this tower has lift/elevator access).
Campo Valdes Roman Baths
This is an undercover excavation of the Roman baths at the original Campo Valdes site in the old town of Gijon. The exhibit includes film, models, drawings and sections of the baths that have been unearthed.
This museum offers free admission on Sundays and displays the oldest physical structures in the city. This museum is popular and there can be queues at busy periods.
The baths lay beyond the wall pictured to the right.
Nicanor Pinole Museum
Situated very much in the city, this museum is primarily a gallery for the local painter, Nicanor Pinole, from whom the museum takes its name. But what make it interesting is that the museum is about everything connected with his life and activity as an artist. It is a very personal museum.
In addition to the above, this gallery also displays travelling exhibitions and is active in the field of education (as most seem to be).
The Asturias Railway Museum
Asturias, possibly more than any other region in Spain, was shaped and made prosperous by the industrial revolution. Its coal reserves and large ports have made it a transportation center for the country and the railway network made all of this possible.
The Railway Museum is situated very close to Poniente beach and houses a collection of locomotives including some powered by steam. There are also exhibits on a smaller scale including the everyday items found in the railway offices and a rail and industrial library.
Museum of Gaspar Melchor Jovellanos
This museum is dedicated to G.M.Jovellanos who was an Asturian scholar and thinker in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.
The museum building is one of the oldest manor houses in the city and it was built in the early eighteenth century and became home to Gaspar Melchor Jovellanos.
The building is sited within the boundary of the original old town and it has been carefully renovated. It attained its museum status in 1971 and holds exhibits particular to Asturias and the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Entry to this museum is free.
Housed in a former mansion and chapel dating back well over four hundred years, this museum is a show place for the artist Juan Barjola. It covers the works that he produced in the second half of the last century and is spread over three floors.
A further floor is reserved for short term displays, but this is a gallery dedicated to Barjola and his social observations. These observations he successfully translated into art to depicts many of the less pleasing aspects of life like oppression and war.
Campa Torres Archaeological Park
This park occupies an area that contains the remnants of a pre Roman hill fort, often described as a castro. It is thought that these remains are almost two and a half thousand years old.
Also at the site is an exhibition centre displaying finds including pottery along with information about the fort and the people who lived there.