The impetuous Bay of Biscay (or Cantabrian Sea as it is known locally), which embraces the city of Gijón, has marked its history for over 5,000 years.
Seaport to the Ruta Vía de la Plata, Gijón keeps its Roman past alive through the actions taken in the Campa de Torres Archaeological Site, one of the main fortified settlements of the north of Spain (before 490 B.C.), and especially in the restored baths complex at Campo Valdés, a public building which dates from the end of the 1st century A.D.
The territory was occupied continuously during the Middle Ages, proof of which are the Romanesque churches dating from the 12th and 13th centuries. The founding of the Puebla (Village) in 1270 implied an urban expansion that was to come to a standstill at the end of the 14th century, when Gijón became the stage for the Trastámara conflicts, during which the town was almost completely destroyed.
In the 18th century, the erudite Gaspar Melchor de Jovellanos laid out the plans for the development of Gijón. The process of industrialisation begun in the mid-19th century changed the city into the industrial centre of Asturias, with its leading El Musel Port, shipyards and numerous manufacturing installations.
The progressive modernization of the city, along with its own excellent natural conditions, has turned Gijón into a city that attracts a growing number of visitors, drawn by a good offer of culture and sports and a strong service sector. Now, at the beginning of a new century, Gijón is doing its utmost to preserve its remote historical past and to display this as an example of its touristic excellence.