Sunday, June 12, 2016

A Saturday in Oviedo

And so to Oviedo, the capital of Asturias and a delightful city on a sunny Saturday morning in early summer. And probably in the middle of winter as well.

First to our hotel to drop our bags and then straight to the old quarter and the cathedral. Not a bad deal at €6-8 for an audio-assisted tour of the cathedral, its Cámara Santa and its sumptuously stuffed museum.

As ever in Spain, the interior is magnificent - in an OTT sort of way - and is a huge testament to man's creativity, ingenuity and – no doubt - inspiration. But has there ever been a religion anywhere, anytime in the world which speaks so much of pain, grief and death than Catholicism? Not to mention vast wealth. And the equally vast power and comfort of its hierarchy. The only surprise is that it took 1,500 years for someone to speak out against the latter and the corruption it engendered. Though I suppose Chaucer had a go in the 14th century. Personally, I think it's was well past time the Church did something charitable with its enormous holdings of gold, silver and jewels, even if this does cause the prices of these to plummet around the world. Can it really be justified keeping these as gee-gaws merely to be gawped at - by both theists and atheists - in all their superfluity and inherent uselessness?

But, anyway, here are some fotos of the splendours of the cathedral:-

The main altar:-

Side altars. Almost as many as in Santiago de Compostela:-

The cloisters: 'Back in the day' these probably didn't echo to the volume of noise created by a group of visiting Spanish women.

Saturday is obviously wedding day in both the cathedral and the town hall, where they're always accompanied – it seems – by Asturian pipers. Here's a few fotos of the guests and the couples themselves. And a video of one arrival at the cathedral. As ever, pretty Spanish women were not averse to being snapped by an (albeit charming) stranger:-

Oviedo is famous for its bronze statues and here are a few of them. There seems to be an aspect – nudity - shared by many of them. The one of Woody Allen commemorates his winning of an award a few years ago. I was surprised there was no young woman at his side:-


As with all major Spanish cities, there are several beautiful buildings in Oviedo. Here are a few. Inevitably, banks feature large in their ownership. Or at least their tenancy. Ditto churches. Both insitutions are very good at taking money from the faithful, of course.

 The town hall, in a panorama supplied by Google Photos. Of course, it doesn't curve at one end:-

Again as is the norm in Spain, the city is very clean. This is effected in part by water-spraying machines such as these titans fighting it out for the honour of sloshing one particular street:-

Finally . . .  Whether you understand Spanish or not, you should be able to find the error in this paragraph from an issue of Hola!:-

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