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Gijon History, Spain

Located in the autonomous society of Asturias, Spain, Gijon is a city of coastal industry. The city’s main port, El Musel, is one of the biggest in northern Spain. Before it achieved its prosperity, Gijon History underwent some twists and turns. Learn about these facts through this guide.

Gijon History – Early Settlement to Roman Occupation

The original settlement in Gijon dates back to 2,500 years ago when it was most likely populated by the Astur gens, also known as the metalworkers, of the Cilurnigos. Relics made of metal were unearthed in a hill near the area of Gijon.

At the start of the new millennium, both the Cilurnigos and Romans settled in the village. It was also during this time that the village was moved from the hill to a nearby peninsula. This formally started Gijon History. The city became a vital place for interaction between the cities because it was situated at the center part of the Cantabrian coast. By the year 300 AD, the whole Roman settlement in the area was fortified.

Gijon History – Medieval Period and the Renaissance

During the 9th century, Norman boats were docked off the coast of Gijon. However, for a time, the city was deserted and was known branded civitas deserta. It was only during the reign of Alfonso X in 1270 that Gijon was reborn granting the city the Carta Puebla. A century later, the city took part in dynasty wars. It welcomed Henry of Trastamara during his revolt against his brother Peter I. The fight between the monarchs continued and culminated in the final battle in Gijon in 1391.

For a while during the Renaissance, the city had once more experienced a decline due to the reconstruction of its port. After the rebuilding was finished in 1595, Gijon developed into Asturias’s main coastal site.

Gijon History – Industrialization and Crisis

The 19th century marked great industrial progress throughout the world. A few road and railway networks were built from 1842 to 1884. All these roads and railway lead to the port of the city. There was a need to expand the port since trading here grew. In 1892, the construction of El Musel was decided and shortly after became Spain’s first coal harbor. The city persisted to progress and by the 1920s, population growth was inevitable.

The Civil War prevented further growth in the number of the city’s residents. Gijon, as always, supported the Republicans. It became the setting for Asturias and Leon’s Sovereign Council of the Government. Many of Gijon’s heritages were destroyed during the war including some valuable documents.

Gijon History – Towards the Future

Following the war, Gijon took up once more the industrialization progression. A few more industries sprang in the city. This industrial explosion continued until the 1980s. A crisis that hit the city brought problems to various industries.

The economic crisis did not last long. Gijon was able to get back to its feet and solve the problems of the city. At present, Gijon is able to maintain its reputation as a very successful city in the Asturias and is now recognized as one of Spain's developed area, alongside Vigo and Pamplona.

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