Who wouldn’t like to live in a city with a beach of almost two kilometres long? Well, just to begin with, that is an advantage that Gijon has over many other places.
Also, every July the black train comes to the city, which is loaded with black crime writers willing to participate in the Black Week. These are the only days of the year when Gijon becomes dark, gloomy and sceptical because the rest of the time is a bright and very welcoming city.
It seems that the Romans were around here, and it is not strange, because they liked nothing more than a grand bay to go comfortably to sea loaded with Spanish gold. We are telling you this because Gijon is one of the few enclaves in Asturias that still has some traces of Rome.
Later, in the eighth century, these lands also saw how the Visigoths were beginning to shake off the Muslim domination and give a severe turn to history.
A long time would pass until the city became important again. The Middle Ages were well and truly over, and things were starting to go much better when the port of Gijon took a run in the trade with the American colonies. From the beginning of the eighteenth century, there is the Revillagigedo Palace, a remarkable Baroque building; and also from the same century the memory of one of the greatest men of the city remains. His name was Baltasar Gaspar Melchor María de Jovellanos, although it sounds like a joke, and his native house-palace is today a must-see museum.
Jovellanos was an outstanding character, son of the Age of the Enlightenment, who decided to write poesies, romances and plays until pneumonia took him away while escaping from the Napoleonic armies, back in 1811.
There are some things that you must do in Gijon. One is to have a cider or a few… in any of its many bars. Another one, to go to its nineteenth-century Mayor Square and see how many of its sides have porticoes. Another, you should take a tour to the beach of San Lorenzo. And another, climb the hill of Santa Catalina to see the gigantic concrete sculpture which its author, Eduardo Chillida, called Elogio del Horizonte (In Praise of the Horizon).
Indeed, from its spectacular location, you can see the horizon, but that did not seem to impress the sarcastic people of Gijon who renamed the work as the King Kong’s toilet. We, why not, invite you to reflect on these divergencies in aesthetic matters while climbing the hill to visit it.