Gijón/Xixón

Capital of the council of the same name, it is the most populated city in Asturias, with more than 250,000 inhabitants in the urban area (and 275,000 in the entire council). It is located between Cape Torres and Punta del Cervigón, around the bay of San Lorenzo. The first documented population settled in Campa Torres, in an Asturian fort in the town of Cilúrnigos, founded around the 5th century BC. With the Roman conquest at the change of era, the population moved, at the end of the century of our era, to the Santa Catalina hill, the seed of the current Cimavilla neighborhood, where Roman remains such as the Campo Valdés hot springs are preserved today. and remains of the 3rd century wall. With the Muslim conquest, Governor Munuza settled in Gijón/Xixón, although for a very short period of time, between 714 and 718, since on that second date the reconquest and the history of the Asturian kingdom began. In 1270, in times of Alfonso X, the charter populated to Gijón/Xixón was granted, although in 1395 the city was destroyed in the siege of Enrique II against the city, which was a stronghold of the rebel Count Alfonso. After this phenomenon, the recovery of Gijón/Xixón was slow. In 1480 the new sea pier was built and in 1522 the land pier. In modern times, Gijón/Xixón developed in the heat of its port, which obtained the freedom of commerce in America in 1765. At the end of the 18th century, one of his most illustrious sons lived in the city, Gaspar Melchor de Jovellanos, one of the great Spanish enlightened people who will always show great concern for the development of his hometown, for which he proposes an Improvement Plan or advance expansion, also creating here the Royal Asturian Institute of Nautical and Mineralogy in 1794. In the 19th century, coinciding with the Carlist wars, Gijón/Xixón was provided with a defensive wall that would not be demolished until the 1870s, when industrialization and the Maritime and rail traffic propitiate a great growth of the population and of the economic activity, developing the primitive old town towards areas like L’Arena and the suburbs of Natahoyo and La Calzada. At the end of that century the new port of El Museo was built and numerous companies and industries settled in the city, which made the city in the 20th century one of the great centers of Spanish industry. Another great moment of expansion is lived in the 1960-70s, with the transfer of the iron and steel industries from the mining basins to Gijón/Xixón, which saw its population grow exponentially in those years, from the. In recent years, coinciding with industrial reconversions, the economy has been reoriented towards the tertiary sector, especially tourism and new technologies.

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