Location of Gijon
|Founded||5th century BC (Noega, the first settlement on record)|
|• Mayor||Carmen Moriyón (FAC)|
|• Total||181.6 km2 (70.1 sq mi)|
|Elevation||3 m (10 ft)|
|Highest elevation||737 m (2,418 ft)|
|Lowest elevation||0 m (0 ft)|
|• Density||1,500/km2 (3,900/sq mi)|
|Demonym||gijonés, -esa (es)
xixonés, -esa (ast)
|Time zone||CET (UTC+1)|
|• Summer (DST)||CEST (UTC+2)|
|Postal code||33201 -33212|
Gijón (//, //, // or //, Spanish: [xiˈxon]), or Xixón (Asturian: [ʃiˈʃoŋ]), is the largest city and municipality in the autonomous community of Asturias in Spain. Early medieval texts mention it as "Gigia". It is located on the Bay of Biscay, approximately 20 km (12 mi) north of Oviedo, the capital of Asturias.
- 1 History
- 2 Geography
- 3 Culture
- 4 Sports
- 5 Economy
- 6 Climate
- 7 Transport
- 8 Government
- 9 International relations
- 10 References
- 11 External links
Prehistory and Romanization
The first evidences of human presence in what is known nowadays as municipality of Gijón are located in Monte Deva, where exist a serie of tumulus, and in Monte Areo, where there are some neolithic dolmens. These dolmens were discovered in 1990 and is supposed it was built about 5000 BC.
The first noticed settlement (Noega) is located in Campa Torres. It has its origin between the 6th and 5th centuries BC. It was populated by Astures (Cilúrnigos) and later Romanized. Noega was progressively abandoned when the Roman wall in the peninsula of Cimavilla, called the Gegionem, was built.
This wall was the most important one of the Roman Asturias and it should be an important port of the Cantabric sea route and also, it crossed the center of Asturias by Lucus Asturum (nowadays Llanera) and linked in Asturica Augusta with the Ruta de la Plata (Silver route).
Some remains of this stage are the Roman baths of Campo Valdés (1st or 2nd centuries AD), the Roman wall (3rd and 4th centuries) and the Roman village of Veranes.
Middle Ages and Modern Era
Despite the Barbarian invasions left no trace, it seems the territory was submitted to the power of the Visigoth king Sisebut in the 7th century. From this moment it could appear the first Christian worship demos, where one of its places was the Roman villa of Veranes.
Gijón was capital of the Muslim territories in the Cantabric Sea, under the power of Munuza, who dominated the city between 713 and 718 or 722. In this last year, Asturians won the Battle of Covadonga, started in 718 and led by Pelagius, who would became in the first King of the Kingdom of Asturias.
Until 1270 there were no reliable news of Gijón, with only short mentions in some documents. In this year, Alfonso X of Castile conceded the category of puebla.
In the 14th century, the war between Alfonso Enríquez of Castile and Henry III of Castile finished with the village of Gijón fenced, burned and totally destroyed, practically disappearing.
In the 15th and 16th centuries, Gijón developed again, specially when a new dock was built in the port, bringing fishing and commerce.
In the 17th and 18th centuries Gijón started to have great development, growing out of the old city center. This happened when the port of Gijón had commerce with the American colonies. In the 18th century, due to the French invasions, the wars and the financial trouble in the era, the development stopped until late in the century, when the Oviedo-Gijón road was created and the port was recognized as the best one in Asturias, favouring the start of industrial activities in the village.
The 19th century brought with it great development, with the commerce of coal, the Gijón-León road and later the Langreo-Gijón railway. All this supposed the quick expansion of the port, due to the heavy traffic intensity in it. A new port, El Musel, was built in 1893 and it was the first coal port of the peninsula.
Gijón was going through a conversion to an industrial village with a new bourgeois and an urban development, opening new streets and squares, with new municipal equipments like water, garbage collection, lighting... All this industrial development brought new manpower to the city and the creation of new neighbourhoods like Natahoyo, La Calzada, Tremañes or El Humedal.
In the 20th century, with the Spanish Civil War, the city supported the Republican faction. The army was located in El Coto. The resistance was eliminated in August 1936. Later, the village was the capital of the Sovereign Council of Asturias and León until 20 October 1937, when the troops of General Francisco Franco occupied the city.
Ferrous metallurgy was the main industry of Gijón from the last years of the 19th century until the last decades of the 20th. Uninsa was created in 1971, and it merged with Ensidesa. In the last years of the century was converted in Aceralia, and integrated in Arcelor.
The last decades of the century brought an industrial crisis affecting mainly the ferrous metallurgy and the local shipbuilding. This facts brought new terrain for the creation of new beaches, parks and new neighbourhoods. It was also created a campus of the University of Oviedo.
|Population of Gijón|
|From 1998 to present, population as of each January 1st
The city is situated on the coast of central Asturias, from sea level to an altitude of 513 metres at Picu Samartín and 672 metres at Peña de los Cuatro Jueces, bordered on the West by Carreño, the East by Villaviciosa, and to the South by Siero and Llanera
The city is situated along the Asturian coast and is distinguished by the peninsula of Cimavilla (the original settlement) which separates the beach of San Lorenzo and adjacent neighbourhoods to the east from the beaches of Poniente and Arbeyal, the shipyards, and the recreational port and the Port of El Musel to the west. It is close to the other main Asturian cities, Oviedo and Avilés.
Neighbourhoods and parishes
- During the early years of the 19th century the, then very small, town of Gijón was best known for its college or high-school known as the "Real Instituto Asturiano" founded by Jovellanos.
- The City Hall's sports and culture programs for citizens is wide, including the innovative Abierto Hasta el Amanecer (literally Open Till Dawn) nocturnal program, which tries to involve teens in cultural and sporting activities as an alternative to weekend nightlife.
- Gijón has 13 libraries in its Cultural City Centres, which feature a wide network of swimming pools and gyms.
- One of the most important cultural events in the city is the International Film Festival, recognized as one of the bests in Spain.
Museums and art galleries
- Museum of the Asturian People
- Railway museum of Asturias
- Nicanor Piñole museum
- Roman Terms museum of Campo Valdés
- Juan Barjola museum (A museum about a local painter, also interested in avant-garde art)
- Evaristo Valle museum (Local painter museum placed in a mansion at the outskirts)
- International Bagpipe Museum contains bagpipes from around the world, focusing on the Asturian musical heritage and bagpipes.
- Atlantic botanical garden
- Archaeological park Campa Torres.
- Revillagigedo Palace and museum (At Marqués square, near the City Hall)
- Gijón Aquarium
- Roman Town of Veranes
- LABoral Centro de Arte y Creación Industrial (An exhibition centre for contemporary art, science, technology and advanced visual industries)
University of Oviedo
Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Electronic Engineering, Computers and Systems Engineering, Chemical Engineering and Telecommunication Engineering.
- School of Civil Navy.
- Faculty of Commerce, Tourism and Social Sciences "Jovellanos".
Public Administration and Management, Trade and Marketing, Tourism and Social work.
National University of Distance Education (UNED)
Gijon also has a delegation of the UNED, where different disciplines can be studied by distance.
In team sports, Gijón's professional football team, Sporting de Gijón, plays in the Spanish Segunda División, with AB Gijón Jovellanos competing in Liga ASOBAL, one of the most important leagues of team handball in the world. In women's sport, Gijón Hockey Club is one of the most important rink hockey teams in Europe.
The city has in total 13 public sport centres (in Spanish: Centros Municipales Integrados) with swimming pools, gyms and saunas. Swimming pools are free for children up to age 14.
For much of the 20th century the town was heavily dependent on mature heavy industries, but at the end of the Franco era, tertiary sector employment began to expand rapidly along with the city's population which by 2007 stood officially at 277,897 for Gijón proper, and approximately 380,000 for the total Gijón agglomeration.
The port is at the centre of many of the local businesses. Apart from directly port related activities, the economy is based on tourism, steel (Arcelor), other metallurgy, livestock rearing and fisheries.
Gijón has a temperate oceanic climate typical of the Atlantic coast of Spain, with cool summers and wet and mostly mild winters. The onshore flow from the Atlantic Ocean creates a cool summer and mild winter climate where severe heat and very cold temperatures are rare.
|Climate data for Gijón|
|Record high °C (°F)||23.6
|Average high °C (°F)||13.1
|Daily mean °C (°F)||8.9
|Average low °C (°F)||4.7
|Record low °C (°F)||−4.6
|Precipitation mm (inches)||94
|Avg. precipitation days (≥ 1 mm)||12||11||10||12||11||7||6||7||8||11||12||12||121|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||103||109||137||151||167||180||194||190||158||132||106||92||1,721|
|Source: Agencia Estatal de Meteorología|
Gijón is served by Asturias Airport, about 38 km (24 mi) from the centre of the city; it is located in the municipality of Castrillon. The airport is connected to the city by the A-8 motorway, the N-632 national highway and scheduled bus service (Alsa). It has regular flights to the following destinations: Barcelona, Brussels, Fuerteventura, Geneva, Gran Canaria, Ibiza, Lanzarote, Lisbon, London - Stansted, Madrid, Malaga, Palma de Mallorca, Paris - Charles de Gaulle, Seville, Tenerife-South and Valencia. Operating companies are: Air Berlin, Air France, Air Europa, Iberia or Iberworld.
Actually Gijón still having a good Freight service by El Musel
Gijón currently has 21 bus lines, which are:
- Line 1 BRT: Cerillero - Cabueñes Hospital
- Line 2: El Corte Inglés - Cabueñes Hospital
- Line 4: El Lauredal - Viesques - University campus
- Line 6: Musel - Alcampo - Polígono de Porceyo - Polígono de Zarracina
- Line 10: Pumarín - Candenal- Cabueñes Hospital
- Line 12: Cerillero - Montevil - Contrueces
- Line 14: Polígono de Somonte - Tremañes - Infanzón
- Line 15: Nuevo Roces - Viesques - Cabueñes Hospital
- Line 16: Estación Ferrocaril - Vega
- Line 18: Nuevo Gijón - Cabueñes Hospital
- Line 20: Montevil - Somió
- Line 21: Jove Hospital - La Campa Torres
- Line 24: Monteana - La Pedrera - Mareo
- Line 25: Tremañes - Infanzón - La Olla
- Line 26: Gijón - Deva
- Line 28: Pza. del Humedal - El Molinón
- Line 30: Pza. del Humedal - FIDMA (International trade fair of Asturias)
- Line 34: Fomento - Musel (Night Service)
Night bus service (Fridays and Saturdays only, every day 1 July to 31 August)
- Line 41: El Cerillero - Pza. del Carmen (BUHO 1)
- Line 42: Nuevo Roces - Pumarin - Pza. del Carmen (BUHO 2)
- Line 43: Contrueces - Llano - Coto - Pza. del Carmen (BUHO 3)
- Line 44: Vega - Viesques - Arena - Pza. del Carmen (BUHO 4)
The city is served by the Gijón Railway Station.
Roads and highways
|Highway||A-8||Autovía del Cantábrico||Baamonde - Gijón - Llanes - Torrelavega - Solares - Bilbao - San Sebastián|
|A-66||Autovía Ruta de la Plata||Gijón - Oviedo - Mieres - León - Benavente - Zamora - Salamanca - Béjar - Plasencia - Mérida - Almendralejo - Sevilla|
|AS-I||Autovía Minera||Gijón - Pola de Siero - Langreo - Mieres|
|AS-II||Autovía Industrial||Gijón - Lugo de Llanera - Oviedo|
|GJ-10||Interior ring road||Gijón seaport (El Musel) - Pumarín - El Llano|
|GJ-20||Western ring road||GJ-81 (Autopista Acceso Sur a Gijón) - Tremañes - Gijón seaport (El Musel)|
|GJ-8||South access road||(A-8/A-66) - Plaza del Humedal|
|National road||N-630||Gijón - Oviedo - Mieres - Puerto de Pajares - León - Zamora - Salamanca - Plasencia - Mérida - Almendralejo - Sevilla|
|N-632||Cenero - Cudillero - Muros del Nalón - Soto del Barco - Avilés - Gijón - Villaviciosa - Colunga - Caravia - Ribadesella|
|N-641||El Musel access Road||Gijón - La Calzada - Gijón seaport (El Musel) .|
|Regional and local roads||AS-19||Gijón-Avilés Road||Gijón - El Empalme - Prendes - Tabaza - Avilés|
|AS-246||Carbonera Road||Gijón - Alto de la Madera - Noreña - El Berrón - La Gargantada - Langreo|
|AS-247||Piles to Infanzón Road||Gijón - Somió - Alto del Infanzón|
|AS-248||Gijón-Siero Road||Gijón - Vega de Poja - Pola de Siero|
|AS-266||Oviedo-Gijón Road||Oviedo - Lugones - Pruvia - Porceyo - Gijón|
|AS-19a||Gijón-Avilés Road||Puenteseco - Muniello|
Councillors distribution in local elections
|AP / PP||1||7||7||9||11||9||11||12||5|
|UCD / CDS||9||6|
Mayors in democracy
|José Manuel Palacio||1979||1987||PSOE|
|Vicente Álvarez Areces||1987||1999||PSOE|
|Paz Fernández Felgueroso||1999||2011||PSOE|
Twin towns – Sister cities
Gijón is twinned with:
- Decreto 105/2006, de 20 de septiembre, por el que se determinan los topónimos oficiales del concejo de Gijón/Xixón.
- Consejos de Distrito Gijón City Hall website]
- (English) Name of the "Instituto Asturiano" and other details taken from the Universal Pronouncing Gazetteer By Thomas Baldwin, Sixth Edition, (1847). 
- "Valores Climatológicos Normales. Gijon".
|Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Gijón.|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Gijón.|
- Gijon Municipality
- Official Touristic website of Gijón
- Official Toponyms – At City Council official website.
- Official Toponyms: Laws – BOPA Nº 229 – Martes, 3 de octubre de 2006 & DECRETO 105/2006, de 20 de septiembre (BOPA Errata corrections)
- Official site Sporting de Gijon
- LABoral Centro de Arte y Creación Industrial