Monday, 9 September 2013

Oviedo – Mount Naranco

Mount Naranco is a hill that skirts Oviedo for about 5 km away. It lies behind the neighbourhood that got its name from it, the Ciudad Naranco. The reason for its importance is that this is where we live at the moment.

On the top of the hill there’s a huge sculpture, the Sacred Heart Jesus, that was erected in the 1950’s and opens his arms like symbolically embracing and protecting the city. We call it ‘The Chequered Jesus’ as the statue is made of big stones giving it a chequered appearance. The monument’s form can be spotted from many places in Oviedo and is one of the iconic parts of the city.

We, of course, wanted to climb it so on our second day in the city we were already planning a trip up. We lived in the centre then so it took us 40 minutes just to get to where we live at the moment then we just followed the road up.

There was a road for cars that was almost overtaken by hardcore cyclists, obviously a popular cycling route. Later I learnt that it’s because the top of Naranco is part of the Tour of Spain cyclist race.

Paul found a footpath that got narrower and narrower as we went but offered a great view over the city.

Soon it turned straight up and got steeper and steeper. The thin path was walled by spiky plants that scratched our legs. Suddenly I realised that I underestimated this hill and maybe wearing flip-flops and a mini denim skirt wasn’t such a great idea.

We soon spotted Jesus, though and finally arrived, sweating and out of breath realising that the place was full of well presented people who all came up by car. Oh, well.

We could see the whole city form there. Oviedo is really not a big place. From behind the statue we could even see Gijón and the sea. Or at least I think it was Gijón.

On the way down we took the road for the cars.

There are two Pre-Romanesque buildings next to the road up. One of them is the church of San Miguel the Lillo from the IX century.

The other one is the Saint Saviour Cathedral. 

Later during our stay we walked up again, this time it was already getting dark. The view was lovely over Oviedo by night.

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