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Ship Provisions Ports in Spain and Portugal – Gijón Harbour, situated in the northern part of Spain, is a prominent coastal metropolis. Renowned for its rich maritime legacy, the city boasts the historic Cimadevilla district, which was once inhabited by fishermen. Atop Santa Catalina hill, visitors can enjoy a picturesque park adorned with sculptures. The Revillagigedo Palace, dating back to the 18th century, serves as a hub for international arts. Adjacent to it stands the Collegiate Church of San Juan Bautista, now repurposed as a concert hall. Additionally, the Clock Tower, constructed in the 16th century, houses a museum that delves into the city’s history.

Port of Gijón, also known as Xixón in Asturian, is a prominent city and municipality situated in the north-western region of Spain. Within the autonomous community of Asturias, it holds the distinction of being the most populous city and municipality. Positioned along the picturesque coast of the Cantabrian Sea in the Bay of Biscay, Gijón Harbour occupies a central-northern location within Asturias, approximately 24 km (15 mi) to the north-east of Oviedo, the capital of the region, and 26 km (16 mi) away from Avilés. Boasting a population of 273,744 as of 2023, Gijón Harbourproudly stands as the 15th largest city in Spain.

Provisions Gijón is an integral component of a vast metropolitan region encompassing twenty municipalities in the heart of the area. This region is well-connected with an extensive network of roads, highways, and railways. In 2011, the population of this region reached 835,053 residents, positioning it as the seventh largest in Spain.

In the 20th century, Gijón Harbour experienced significant growth as an industrial hub, particularly in the steel and naval sectors. However, with the decline of manufacturing in these industries, Gijón Harbour has been undergoing a remarkable transition in recent years. It has emerged as a prominent destination for tourists, a thriving center for education and commerce, as well as a hub for research and development. Notable landmarks in Gijón Harbour include the Radiotelevisión del Principado de Asturias, the charming neighborhood of Cimavilla, the prestigious Universidad Laboral de Gijón, the magnificent Revillagigedo Palace, and the adjacent Collegiate Church of San Juan Bautista in Spain.

Gijón Harbour is included in the statistical comarca of Gijón, which has not yet been developed from an administrative perspective.

The city’s name of Gijón Harbour could potentially have originated from the presumed Roman name “Sessio,” which gradually transformed into “Xixón” over the centuries. Subsequently, the Spanish term “Gijón,” which was also recorded as “Jijón” or “Jixón” during the Middle Ages, would be a Castilian adaptation of the Asturian name. Presently, this theory is widely regarded as the most plausible explanation.

History and Modernity of Gijón Harbour

History and Modernity of Gijón Harbour

The Provisions Port of Gijón encompasses a wide range of activities, including commercial operations, nautical sports, tourism, fishing, and shipbuilding. It stretches along a vast coastal area, starting from the marina in the city center (formerly the local port) and extending to the El Musel and Aboño region.

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The historic city-center port was dedicated solely to shipping operations until 1907, when the commercial development of El Musel commenced, focusing primarily on exporting iron ore and coal. The modern port of Gijón Harbour continued to grow, adding more docks and quays, eventually becoming the busiest ports in Spain by the 1940s.

Interestingly, industrial operations in Asturias found a strong partner in the Ship Provisions Port of Gijón since the mid-nineteenth century, particularly for handling solid bulk cargoes from the Caudal and Nalón mining regions (for coal) and the Carreño area (for iron ore).

The Gijón Harbour in Spain is a key port for bulk carriers, serving as a vital hub within the Atlantic Arc. Its significance is largely attributed to the substantial imports of coal and iron ore from countries like the United States, Brazil, Russia, and Canada, which are essential for steel plants and thermal power stations. Additionally, the port plays a crucial role in handling inbound liquid bulk shipments, along with a diverse range of outbound shipments such as cement and general merchandise, primarily through container transport.

Between 2005 and 2010, a significant expansion of the Gijón Harbour occurred with the development of the Enlargement Project in El Musel. This project, extending from Cape Torres, resulted in the acquisition of 170 hectares of land and 175 hectares of tranquil waters. This expansion nearly doubled the previous developments dating back to 1892-1893, while also deepening the draft to over 23 meters.

In recent years, the Gijón Harbour has undergone continuous evolution in terms of its various services, amenities, and commercial operations. Alongside its traditional services, the port has expanded to include fishing, cruise ship traffic, and water sports, with a continued focus on shipbuilding at its shipyards.

The Gijón Harbour oversees the administration and functioning of the maritime signals in half of the lighthouses in Asturias, including Peñas, Candás, Torres, Tazones, Lastres, Ribadesella, Llanes, and San Emeterio.

Further details include various historical dates and periods that illustrate the evolution of the area from its inception to the present day. These include the establishment of the local provisions port, El Musel, the construction of the North Seawall and Ribera docks, the development of the Transatlantic El Musel, Industrial Diversification supported by capital from returned emigrants (“Indianos”), the solidification of the Gijón Harbour’s industrial character, the Eastward Seawall Project, and the urban expansion that has taken place since the mid-twentieth century.

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The city of Gijón Harbour is located on the central Asturian coast, with elevations ranging from sea level to 513 m (1,683 ft) at Picu Samartín and 672 m (2,205 ft) at Peña de los Cuatro Jueces. It is bordered by Carreño to the West, Villaviciosa to the East, and Siero and Llanera to the South. The Gijón Harbour’s city is known for the peninsula of Cimavilla, separating the beaches of San Lorenzo and adjacent neighborhoods to the east from the beaches of Poniente and Arbeyal, the shipyards, and the recreational port and the Port of El Musel to the west. It is in close proximity to the major Asturian cities of Oviedo and Avilés.

Based on the 2021 Municipal Population Register (INE), the council’s population stood at 268,896 individuals, with women comprising 142,411 and men totaling 126,485.

Over the course of the 20th century, the municipal population experienced significant growth, particularly from the 1960s to the 1980s, during which it doubled in size. However, starting from the 1990s, the growth rate slowed down, mirroring the national trend in Spain. Nevertheless, the population began to rise once more at the beginning of the 21st century, thanks to immigration from other Asturias councils and abroad.

Exploring the History and Modernity of Gijón Harbour

Exploring the History and Modernity of Gijón Harbour - LIMANi Ship Provisions Port Spain Portugal

Gijón Harbour offers a delightful mix of Roman history and beach relaxation. Despite being one of the largest coastal towns in the Asturian region, this northern Spanish town is easily walkable. While Oviedo may have more attractions, Gijón Harbour has its own unique appeal, highlighted by its stunning golden beach overlooking the Cantabrian Sea.

Discover the enchanting medieval attractions of Cimadevilla’s fisherman’s Gijón Harbour side quarter. The plazas in the historic town are covered with porticos, while the wide and picturesque boardwalks offer stunning views of the coast. Families with children will have plenty of activities to enjoy, whether on land or in the water. Moreover, it’s just a quick 30-minute transfer east from Asturias Airport, making it a shorter journey compared to Oviedo.

What are some of the top exploring to experience in Gijón Harbour?

Plaza Mayor

Explore the rich history of Gijón Harbour at Plaza Mayor, the central square of the town. The townhall stands proudly over the well-maintained tiled and cobbled plaza, featuring a prominent lamppost at its heart. Surrounding the square are tall buildings with colonnades at the ground level, housing various shops and boutiques.

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Elogio del Horizonte

Approximately a 5-minute stroll to the north from the Old City via Calle Camín de la Fontica will take you to the picturesque Catalina headland. The area is meticulously maintained, featuring a delightful walking and cycling trail that meanders through it. This trail eventually leads to the impressive 10-meter-tall sculpture known as Elogio del Horizonte (Eulogy of the Horizon), characterized by its two pillars supporting an open ellipse. The sculpture perfectly frames the horizon and the azure waters of the Bay of Biscay. Additionally, at the western tip of the promontory, you’ll find a skatepark overlooking the magnificent ocean scenery.

Playa de San Lorenzo

San Lorenzo Beach is renowned for its stunning beauty in the northern region of Spain, boasting a 1.5-km-long expanse of fine golden sand. Stroll along the promenade to capture breathtaking panoramic views of the sea. On the beach, various areas offer parasols and sun loungers available for rental.

Termas Romanas de Campo Valdes

The extensive underground ruins of Campo Valdes Roman Baths can be found at the western end of Playa de San Lorenzo. Although slightly concealed from street level, the entrance to these 1st-century Roman baths can be discovered amidst the lush gardens in front of the Parroquia de San Pedro Apóstol (Church of St. Peter the Apostle).

Museum of the Asturian People

The Museum of the Asturian People, also known as the Museo Etnográfico del Pueblo de Asturias, is a meticulously designed museum located in the bustling city of Gijón Harbour. With its combination of indoor and outdoor exhibits, visitors can immerse themselves in a captivating journey through history, regardless of the weather conditions. This remarkable museum proudly presents the vibrant heritage and cultural traditions of Asturias through its extensive collection of galleries.

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Title: Gijón Harbour 7 Combinations of History and Modernity

Editor: LIMANi Ship Supply and Ship Chandler