The Coastal Way

Stage 6: Pola de Siero - Oviedo

Final stage of the link between the coastal path and the primitive one. It runs between the capital of Siere, La Pola, and that of the Principality of Asturias, Oviedo, along a route of 27.25 kilometers. Practically half of this distance is made through local or regional roads, while the sections of path with dirt or gravel surface represent 11 kilometers.

It is a relatively flat stage, without major slopes, that runs through the central Asturian plain, in an environment in which rural spaces are combined with other intensely urbanized and industrialized areas, especially as the route approaches the city of Oviedo.

Large towns such as El Berrón, Granda or Colloto are crossed, as well as small villages and scattered neighborhoods, such as La Carrera or Fonciellu. The cultural heritage is very varied, including from a jewel of Asturian noble architecture, such as the Palace of Meres, with its chapel of Santa Ana, to churches of Romanesque origin such as that of Granda, passing through monumental bridges such as that of Colloto, Without forgetting the popular architecture, the granaries and bread baskets or the typically working-class dwellings, of which there are good examples in El Berrón. Industrial heritage is also well represented at this stage, along the Camino de Santiago near some relevant testimonies of Asturian manufacturing history, such as the building of the old “El Águila Negra” brewery, in Colloto, or the arms factory in La Vega, in Oviedo.

Oviedo is the end of the stage, allowing the route of the Camino de Santiago to carry out a very illustrative itinerary through the history of the city, from the present to its origins, as the populous neighborhoods of Colloto, Cerdeño and La Tenderina are crossed. They arose to a large extent in the 19th and 20th centuries in the heat of the growing industrialization of Oviedo and the consequent expansion of its urban plan. In this path through neighborhoods that were previously villages, it will still be possible to recognize old buildings, of popular typology, wineries and some large houses, among modern blocks of houses, many of them built very recently. It will also be possible, especially in La Tenderina Alta, to pass by excellent examples of the rationalist architecture that flourished in certain neighborhoods of Oviedo in the 1930s and 1940s, before and after the civil war, as well as alongside facilities from the architectural quality of the Sports Palace. Once the Camino reaches the historic Campo de los Patos, the ascent begins towards the old town of the capital, origin of the city and the Camino de Santiago itself, passing the Jacobean route along with monumental complexes of the importance of the monastery of San Pelayo, the old monastery of San Vicente (today the Archaeological Museum of Asturias) and the Cathedral itself, the end point of the stage and the beginning of the Camino Primitivo de Santiago.

The Jacobean references documented throughout this stage are very numerous, especially considering that both the starting point (La Pola) and the destination (Oviedo) have a long shared history with the Camino de Santiago since the same origin of the phenomenon of the Jacobean pilgrimages in the case of the Asturian capital.

Stage description

The stage begins in the area of Les Campes de La Pola, the nerve center of the town and the old place of celebration of the cattle market, configured around a large free central space, with an irregular perimeter and large longitudinal development, forming several squares superimposed surrounded by some of the oldest buildings in the Polish capital, some of which have galleries or corridors on the upper floor. It is also the festive center of the town, concentrating in its vicinity a large part of the leisure and gastronomic offer.

The Camino de Santiago continues from Plaza de Argüelles to Calle Celleruelo, although there is an unofficial variant of the route that runs longitudinally through Plaza de Les Campes and through Calle La Soledad ends up converging with the official route at the height from the pilgrims hostel.

As it passes through Calle Celleruelo, a road opened in the 19th century and which will become the main exit route from La Pola since then, there is the Camino with several buildings of interest, such as those corresponding to the old headquarters of the Santander and Central banks, from the beginning of the 20th century.

A little further on, the parish church of San Pedro is located, on the left, after a small square, on the left of the Jacobean route. In this area (at the confluence of Calle Celleruelo with Calle de la Marquesa de Canillejas) was located the old medieval pilgrim hospital of La Pola, initially known as San Pedro de los Albergues and which in modern times came to be called of the Holy Martyrs San Fabián and San Sebastián. The buildings of the hospital and its chapel were, after the Confiscation of 1855, progressively modified and altered, disappearing definitively in 1991. An old 10th century relief that belonged to this hostel is currently displayed in a chapel of the church of San Peter. Next to the parish church there is a small landscaped space, limited by a low wall in which old tombstones from various Polish cemeteries have been included, including the old pilgrim hospital.

Continuing along Calle Celleruelo, you come to a small square – roundabout with a park, baptized as “Parque del Peregrino Juan Manuel Rodríguez Díaz”, a great enthusiast of the Jacobean phenomenon who for years presided over the local association of friends of the Camino. In this square there is also a small chapel of souls of recent construction, with the image inside Santiago. In the center of the roundabout there is a modern statue built in corten steel and entitled “The balance of things”, the work of the artist from Vitoria Ernesto Knörr, in 2006.

Just past the park, there is an old Mariñano-style house converted into a pilgrims’ hostel, behind which there is a small rest area in a green area, made up of several wooden benches and tables.

In the surroundings of the hostel there are modern buildings and small single-family houses from the end of the 19th and 20th centuries, characterized by having one or two floors, narrow facing the street and small ironwork balconies on the upper floor.

A few meters later, you will reach a new roundabout, which allows the connection with the AS-1 mining highway and with the road that leads to La Carrera and El Berrón. The Camino de Santiago borders the roundabout and heads towards La Carrera, along a sidewalk that flanks this road on its right hand side, in the direction of the Jacobean route, in the so-called Quico Lemus street, between houses on the right and a big white ship on the left.

After passing the group of houses, take a detour to the right, along a paved rural road, which continues in a slight ascent to a nucleus of houses, with the El Fonganón football field on the right.

We continue along the road without taking any of the detours that appear on both sides of it, in a distinctly rural area, corresponding to the parish of La Carrera, in which there are the closing walls of plots (many of them built based on concrete blocks, others with stone or with sebes or bushes), constructions of different types and some granaries and bread boxes. You can see from this path, to the left and from the front, views of the Sierra del Aramo and also of the highway that connects Oviedo with Santander.

After about 700 meters of travel along this asphalted rural road, in the area known as El Campón, you will arrive at a fork of roads, after a straight, finding in the center of the two possible paths a long plot with a garden and a house in the middle. The Camino de Santiago continues along the path to the right, along a path that is still asphalted and that runs between isolated houses, enclosing walls of plots and some granaries, highlighting one located alone in a meadow, with wide views of the mountains of the Aramo.

This path leads, after 650 meters, to a flyover over the highway. Before, you have left behind a crossroads where you have to choose the road that continues to the left.

The highway is crossed, with views in front of the great structure of the Osborne Bull that flanks the Oviedo-Santander highway, towards whose vicinity the Camino de Santiago will be directed after crossing the highway. Continue to the left once you have crossed the walkway, along an asphalt path that ascends perpendicular to the walkway and turns right in a curve at the end of the climb, reaching a more or less flat area between single-family houses, parallel to the highway from Oviedo to Santander that is on the left hand side of the Camino, as well as the Sierra del Aramo, the permanent protagonist of the visuals of the route in this section.

Continue straight on this road, without taking any of the detours that appear on both sides. You pass by a municipal water reservoir, to the left of the Camino, after which you can see the structure of the Osborne Bull. Further on, to the right, in the area known as Los Polvorines, there is a cemetery, separated from the Camino by a plot dedicated to meadow. The route is flanked by concrete walls to close the plot, some sebe and few trees, the single-family homes are mostly from the middle or late twentieth century, without any particularly interesting for heritage reasons.

After passing the cemetery, you come to a crossroads with another road, continuing straight ahead. Shortly afterwards, you begin to see, on the left and below, the nucleus of El Berrón, one of the most populated towns in the council of Siero, towards which the The Camino de Santiago now begins its descent, crossing the El Morralín neighborhood, which is full of single-family homes with orchards.

The descent through the Morralín neighborhood leads to the AS-246 regional road, in the heart of El Berrón, where this road takes the name of Avenida de Langreo. Turn left after that connection, continuing a few meters along a sidewalk until you reach the national road N-634, called avenida de Santander in its transit through El Berrón. You cross this road, continuing straight on Avenida de Langreo, until you reach the next intersection, where you turn right, continuing the road along Avenida de Oviedo for almost 400 meters, in a totally urban area. On the left is the detour to the FEVE railway station, then passing through a small park and next to the railway monument, a bronze sculpture by José Luis Iglesias Luelmo inaugurated in 2006..

This avenue in Oviedo leads to a crossroads, in an area dominated by small houses with one or two floors. Take the road that continues further to the left, called Avenida de Los Campones, which leads to a modern building for municipal, administrative and sports services, continuing straight ahead along Avenida de Los Campones, flanked on its left hand by a long strip of white workers’ houses, from the 1960s ???.

This avenue of Los Campones leads to Buenavista avenue, turning to the left at this point and, a little further on, taking a detour to the right again, in the direction of Carbayal, along an asphalt road that leaves behind the last constructions from El Berrón, running between meadows, some increasingly isolated construction and good views of the Sierra del Aramo and that after just under half a kilometer leads to an overpass over the Oviedo-Santander highway.

After crossing the overpass, continue along the local road, in a more rural environment, in the Carbajal area, where single-family homes and meadows follow one another. There is an example of a traditional house, with a corridor on the upper floor, also passing by several granaries and bread baskets. You pass several detours to the left and right and you finally reach the As-17 regional road. Continue to the right, along the shoulder of this road, for a few meters, until you reach the first turning on the left, after a single-family home. Take this detour that leads to an underpass on the highway, provided with a sidewalk. After passing it, continue to the right, ascending, in the Fonciello area.

After this initial access slope to Fonciello, continue to the left, in an area where the local road runs first between newly built single-family houses that later give way to older ones, also passing next to granaries and bread baskets , some arranged contiguously defining small public spaces in front of the houses. On the left hand side, further on, after a section in which the path is flanked by trees, the so-called Fanxul Fountain, formed by concrete blocks, in a very open area. Continue along the local road, which later leads to another road and at the next crossroads continue to the right, going up a slight slope to the residential area of Meres, soon after appearing the urbanization “La Huerta de Meres” on the left. .

Then you come to a crossroads where you take the path to the right, which leads to a new fork in the road where you take the one to the left, which leads to the Palacio de Meres school facilities, which borders until, once left behind, you take a detour to the left, along a dirt and gravel track, which runs past an urbanization and its sports facilities on the left.

This path leads, after just 250 meters, to the Palace of Meres and its adjoining Chapel of Santa Ana, preceded by two large yew trees.

In front of the palace the path becomes concreted and begins the descent towards the local road Si-6, which it crosses, continuing straight ahead. We continue towards Granda, along a dirt road that runs parallel to a stream and that leads to the train tracks, which are crossed, leaving on the right a power station and the access road to it. You continue straight ahead, along the dirt road, reaching a flat area from which the descent begins towards a small river, which is crossed by a modern footbridge, after which you ascend by a track flanked to a large extent by walls of stone, which ends at a bend in a local road, continuing at this point to the left.

This local road leads, in slight ascent, to the town of Granda, which is crossed between single-family houses with granaries and being flanked by stone walls of high dimensions in some cases, until reaching an open space in which the remains of an old laundry room.

It continues in front of some stone buildings behind which there is a granary and a space for parking vehicles. We continue along the local road and continue along it without deviating, uphill, until the parish church of Granda, having left a building to support the power line, dated 1930, on the right.

The Camino passes between the church of Granda and the cemetery. The church is located in an open field, in which numerous trees grow, among which a large oak several times a hundred stands out, known in the area as El Roblón.

Continuing straight ahead, the Camino takes the road in the direction of Colloto, continuing along the same downhill towards a high concrete containment slope, on which several large ships rise. You continue and cross an area between not very old houses, crossing an underpass of the railway line and then going up between single-family houses and some granary, arriving at the Palacio de Granda school, which is left on the left hand side of the Camino, in the Llugarín neighborhood.

From this point you continue along the road along a pedestrian sidewalk, between more modern homes and the Puente Romano urbanization, until you reach the N-634 national road, turning left. Continue along the shoulder of this road for just 240 meters, which allow you to reach Colloto, between some houses and industrial buildings. After these meters, take a detour to the left onto a local road that leads directly to the historic Colloto bridge.

Cross the Colloto bridge and return for a few meters to the national road, heading left along a pedestrian sidewalk. On the other side of the road, to the right of the Camino, there are several industrial buildings and the remains of the old El Águila Negra brewery, in operation between 188? and 1992 and of which today remains of the main building and its chimney survive.

The Camino deviates from the road at the first exit on the left that you come across, continuing for a few meters along the river Nora. It goes on to circulate on the sidewalk of Luis Suárez Ximielga street, in the already Oviedo area of the town of Colloto. Shortly after, you will cross a junction with the FEVE railroad tracks, which has a barrier and traffic light to regulate the passage.

After passing the train tracks, we enter the Oviedo neighborhood of Colloto, leaving Tarancu avenue on the left and continuing along Luis Suárez Ximielga street, where some interesting buildings are preserved, such as the old Periquín cider house, to the left of the Camino. You always continue straight ahead, between modern apartment blocks, not turning off any of the streets that open to the left and right of the Jacobean route. You pass some green area, such as the existing one in front of some blocks of buildings on the ground floor of which is located the modern church of Santa Eulalia de Colloto, known as the new church, as opposed to the old one (a temple already mentioned in pre-Romanesque times and that in its current configuration dates from 1925, maintaining some Romanesque elements, such as the triumphal arch of communication between the nave and the chevet, as well as several decorated capitals). This old church is located a few meters from the road, although it is not visible from it (located, in the direction of travel, on the right hand side, on the other side of the blocks of buildings that flank the Camino and past the national highway) .

Continuing straight on, it passes through the so-called Camino Real, continuation of Luis Suárez Ximielga street, reaching areas where recent urbanizations coexist with buildings of some age and interest, such as the Sidrería Los Balcones, the study center de Colloto or the Llagar de Colloto. Some granaries also persist, testimony to the not too distant time when this area was a rural space close to Oviedo and not the fully urban neighborhood into which it has been transforming for a few decades. Some large house (highlighting the Cajigal chalet) and groups of houses dating from the early twentieth century, with two floors and wooden corridors on the upper floor, are testimony to that moment, in which Colloto was also configured as a place recreation area for the people of Oviedo, who came here to enjoy the facilities of wineries and cider houses that, to a large extent, continue to exist to this day.

After the square, with a statue dedicated to Pepín Rodríguez in the center, and the Herminio winery, it ends up merging into the N-634 national road, having to continue to the left, in the area of the Espíritu Santo industrial estate.

On the left, on a small elevation, the Chapel of the Holy Spirit (barely visible from the Camino) still stands, which gives its name to this industrial space, in whose surroundings a system of fortifications and shelters built during the Spanish Civil War is preserved. .

The path continues along a sidewalk, reaching the industrial estate. It runs along the hard shoulder for a short journey, which leads to a first roundabout that is bordered, to take Finland Street and connect with a concrete pedestrian path, which runs under a communications junction, with several viaducts of the highway of the Cantabrian and the entrances to the Central University Hospital of Asturias.

Once passed under these viaducts, the Camino continues along the concrete path until it returns to the national highway, continuing the route to the right, through a distinctly peri-urban environment, with warehouses, car dealerships and a gas station, which continues until come to a roundabout, which you go around to continue along Tenderina Baja street towards the center of Oviedo. From this point you have the first view, in the distance, of the tower of the Cathedral of San Salvador.

The Jacobean route runs along Tenderina Street (Baja and Alta) for more than a kilometer and a half, finding on this route buildings of great interest, such as the Palacio de los Deportes, on the right hand side after a park, or the group of buildings of the rationalist that rise to the left of Tenderina Alta street after passing that sports facility. This was a street that began to be effectively urbanized in the years of the Second Spanish Republic, in the 1930s, when several blocks of buildings were built in the prevailing style of the time, the rationalist, under the protection of republican laws. to promote the construction of affordable housing for the popular sectors. Some of these houses have survived among modern constructions.

At the end of the street, on the right-hand side, there are several chalets belonging to the La Vega arms factory, whose facilities (progressively built between 1858 and 1926) already inactive stand on the right, behind these buildings. In this place the monastery of Santa María de la Vega was erected until the 19th century, founded by Gontrodo Petri, mother of the Asturian queen Urraca.

Tenderina Alta Street leads to Campo de los Patos, a historic space that marks the entry into the historic Oviedo complex. Then you cross the inner ring road and continue straight ahead, along Azcárraga street and then along Jovellanos street in a small section, until you reach the San Pelayo monastery. Before, we pass Paraíso street on the left, where a complete canvas of the old medieval wall of Oviedo has been preserved. In that Paraíso street there is also the access to the old gas factory of the Asturian capital, an authentic jewel of Asturian industrial heritage, in which outstanding elements such as the monumental entrance portal, the gasometer or several of the buildings are preserved. of the factory complex.

When you reach the monastery of San Pelayo, turn left, to pass in front of the facade of its vicarage and church, on Calle San Vicente. Next to the façade of the monastery of San Vicente towards Jovellanos street you can see the monument to the great illustrated Gijon man Gaspar Melchor de Jovellanos, first built in Spain in honor of a civil character, built in 1798 with a project by Juan de Villanueva, having been rebuilt in 1935 after several changes of location.

You are now in the old intramural enclosure of Oviedo, which was accessed at this point through the old Noceda gate, opened in the 17th century. Pass the Benedictine monastery of San Pelayo on the right and come out onto the square de Feijoo, actually one of the cloisters of the old San Vicente monastery, the place where according to legend the city was founded in 761, with the monks Máximo and Fromestano. On the right hand side you pass the church of Santa María de la Corte and a little further on, the Archaeological Museum of Asturias, which occupies a good part of the facilities of the old monastery of San Vicente.

You reach the Corrada del Obispo and turn right, skirting the façade of the cloister of the Oviedo cathedral and looking straight ahead at the Archbishop’s Palace.

We continue to the right, through the Santa Bárbara transit, which allows us to contemplate the old tower of the cathedral and the access, through the Perdonanza door, to the Holy Chamber, a place that is symbolically considered the starting point of the first Jacobean pilgrimage, the one that took King Alfonso II to Compostela as soon as the news of the discovery of his tomb

You pass under the arch that connects the cathedral with the Archbishop’s Palace and comes out onto Calle Mon, turning right and arriving at Alfonso II el Casto square, presided over by the main façade of the Oviedo Cathedral, and the end of this stage.

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