Asturias Spain – Maps, History, and Culture

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Interactive Map of Asturias, Spain

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Asturias, Spain is officially called the Principality of Asturias and is found on the coastline of Spain’s Northern Atlantic border. Most of Spain’s coastline is on the Mediterranean, but Asturias, Spain resides on the Northern Atlantic Ocean. Asturias is a small region in Spain, covering a total area of just 4,000 square miles.

City List:

  • Gijon
  • Oviedo
  • Aviles
  • Siero
  • Langreo
  • Mieres
  • Castrillon
  • San Martin del Rey Aurelio
  • Corvera de Asturias
  • Villaviciosa

Quick Facts:

  • Population: 1.02 million
  • Languages: Spanish, Asturian dialect (western, central, and eastern), Leonese dialect, Cantabrian dialect, Montanes dialect, Eonavian dialect
  • Ethnicities: Spanish, Asturian, Celtic, Germanic (Visigoth)
  • Capital: Oviedo

The History of Asturias

Roman, Celtic, Islamic, then Christianity. This is the timeline of Asturias.

Roman emperor, Augustus, conquered the region around 29 BC. The area was under Roman control until the 4th Century when Celtic tribes entered the land and briefly took control before the Islamic Moorish invasion of Spain in the 5th Century. During this time, both Roman and Celtic societies were overruled by the Muslims during the Muslim Conquest of the Iberian Peninsula.

The geography of Asturias played a major role in how the land was settled. When the Muslims invaded the region, they were unable to penetrate the rugged mountainous terrain; therefore, these areas remained unconquered, never becoming part of Islamic Spain.

Christians took advantage of the unconquered mountains and developed a refuge. This area would be the beginning of the Christian Reconquest. In 722 AD, the Kingdom of Asturias was founded, which was the beginning of the Christian political party that would reconquest over the Muslims.

The Christian Reconquest lasted around 700 years. During this time, the Principality of Asturias, which is the region’s official name, was established. The establishment of the Principality of Asturias in 1388 helped colonize America, which resulted in Asturias’ rapid growth. Today, the successor to the throne is given the title Prince or Princess of Asturias.

In the 1700s, the Spanish Enlightenment began. The Age of Enlightenment began after the death of Charles II, the king of Spain, in 1700. Because Charles produced no children of his own, he gave his half-sister’s grandson, Philip V, the crown. Philip V had strong connections to France, which resulted in Bourbon Spain.

The Spanish Enlightenment reached Asturias, Spain, when Spanish King Ferdinand VII was abdicated from the throne in 1808. Asturias had been waiting for a time to stand up against the French House of Bourbon that had taken control of Spain. The biggest credit that Asturias gave to their cause was to the Spanish monk Benito de Feijoo.

Benito de Feijoo started the Spanish Age of Enlightenment after he settled in the Spanish Benedictine Monastery of San Vincente de Oviedo in Asturias. He joined the order at 14 years old and eventually became a professor of theology and philosophy.

Asturians followed his works and, by 1808, fought against how much control the French had throughout Spain. On May 25, 1808, Spain had entered into a war with French leader Napoleon Bonaparte. The Napoleonic War ended in 1815.

The Industrial Revolution during the 1830s is much of the reason that many Asturians migrated to the western New World. The region of Asturias was quickly on its way to being wealthier and more powerful than ever before.

By 1934, Asturias had entered the Spanish Civil War. During the Spanish Civil War, the country was divided in two between the Spanish-supporting Republicans and the Catholic Monarch-supporting Nationalists.

Asturias entered the civil war in 1934 when the Nationalist party entered the region and was met with strong Spanish Republic opposition by a large group of Asturians. These groups began to form all throughout the Asturias region in Spain.

Nationalists would enter the region and be met with strong Republican opposition. Asturians maintained their loyalty to the Second Spanish Republic, which resulted in the Battle of El Mazuco, a defensive battle by the Second Spanish Republic to keep the Nationalists from moving northward.

Nationalist General Franco was victorious throughout the opposition and eventually gained control of Asturias, as well as the remainder of Spain. Franco colonized what he called the Province of Oviedo in 1939 during the Spanish Civil War, until his death in 1975. The Province of Oviedo reverted to its original name Oviedo in 1977 when democracy returned to Spain.

Finally, in 1981, Asturias became an official autonomous colony in Spain and was given the official name the Principality of Asturias.


Asturias has an official language of Spanish, but many dialects are spoken throughout the region.

The first dialect is the Asturian language, which is broken down among the western, central, and eastern areas. These areas are separated by the major river systems that run through Asturias.

The western Asturian dialect falls between the borders of the Navia and Nalon rivers. In this area of Asturias, the language is sometimes called Leonese.

The central Asturian dialect falls between the borders of the Sella and Nalon rivers. Central Asturian has the most speakers, estimated at around 80% of the total population that speaks Asturian.

The eastern Asturian dialect falls between the borders of the Sella River and the Asturian cities Llanes and Cabrales. Eastern Asturian is the least-spoken dialect in Asturias.

The other dialects of Spanish spoken in Asturias are Cantabrian, Montanes, Eonavian. Cantabrian is spoken mostly in the neighboring region Cantabria on the eastern side of the region. Montanes is also spoken in eastern Asturias, while Eonavian is spoken in western Asturias.


Because Muslims never fully invaded the northern regions of Spain, the primary religion in present-day Asturias is Christianity; specifically, Roman Catholic. Roman Catholicism makes up around 63% of the total religion practiced in Asturias, while atheism makes up the remaining 37%.


Asturias, Spain is an extremely mountainous region with many rivers flowing through it. The mountainous region helped preserve the indigenous people from being invaded, which is why there are many Celts, Romans, and Christians still present today.

Because the region is largely coastal, Asturias has an extremely wet climate. It falls directly in the path of the gulf stream that flows through the area. The climate remains warm on the coastlines and valleys of the region throughout the year, while the mountains are often snowcapped during the winter.

The mountains of Asturias have created a thriving coal mining business, which gives the region much of its economical status. Coal mining has resulted in steel productions, which has been fluctuating industry since the 1980s.


Most of the Asturian culture is credited to the historical architecture that is still present today. Much of the architecture in the region has Romanesque and Baroque influences, giving credit to the Catholic church and the medieval time periods in which they were constructed. Some of the architecture found in the region have been honored as World Heritage Sites.

Immigration & Migration Patterns

Asturias migration was first recorded in the 1830s when emigrants left the region for the New World in the western hemisphere. Emigrants left the region during this time to find new ways to trade, invest, and start their own businesses as a result of the Industrial Revolution in both the Americas as well as Europe.

Some emigrants remained in the Americas while others returned to Spain wealthier than ever. This time period is the only recorded significant immigration event in Asturias history.


The genealogy of Spain is mostly Spanish, Germanic, and native Asturian. Asturias did not see a lot of invasion in the area, as the mountainous terrain throughout the region was difficult for invaders to penetrate and settle. However, many Asturians emigrated from the area to the Americas and other areas of the New World during the Industrial Revolution of the 1830s.

For this reason, it is likely that genealogy of those located in present-day southern United States, Mexico, and Central and South America possess DNA qualities related to the Asturias region of Spain. The features of Asturian genealogy can be a mixture of Germanic (light hair and eyes) or Spanish (dark hair, eyes, and skin), as both of these ethnicities are native to the region.

Caleb Pike
About the author

Caleb Pike is an avid hiker and nature lover, with a passion for exploring the great outdoors. He's a writer, photographer, and adventurer, always seeking new trails to blaze and peaks to conquer.