Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Asturias, one of the ancient provinces of Spain, now named Oviedo after its capital. It stretches along the north coast, forming the south shore of the Bay of Biscay, and is bounded south by Leon, east by old Castile, west by Galicia. Its area is 4,091 square miles. The coast districts are flat, but the country rises inland towards the range that takes its name from the province, and is broken up by rugged mountains and deep valleys, the highest peaks being 11,000 feet above sea-level. The broader openings produce maize, figs, olives, grapes, cider, and oranges, and pasturage is abundant. The horses and mules are highly valued. Fish, coral, and amber are plentiful on the coast, but want of secure harbours cramps these industries, and impedes the development of mineral resources. Asturias has been the cradle of the Spanish monarchy, and the heir apparent has since 1388 taken his title thence. During the Moorish invasions the Gothic kings found refuge in these mountain strongholds, and in 761 Froila, son of Pelagio, established at the capital of Oviedo the monarchy of Asturias. The only other towns of importance are Gijon and Aviles.