Located in the centre of the Asturias coast, the Avilés town belongs to the Avilés District, composed of the councils of Avilés, Corvera, Illas and Castrillón. Avilés is a town of contrasts with a long and old history which played a key role in the Asturias history and development. (Link to Basic Data) Since the Middle Ages Avilés used its harbor as a focus for commercial development which facilitated its growth and expansion. During the second half of the 20th century several heavy industries were allocated in the District which changed significantly the physiognomy of the town with the creation of new industrial and urban suburbs. Today Aviles struggles between the conservation of its rich historical heritage and the regeneration of its fabric and industrial areas with the search of alternatives for the future.
With regard to its historical heritage, Avilés has one of the largest and most impressive Old Tows in Asturias The Avilés Old Town is a wide area right in the centre of town with traffic restrictions and pedestrian streets. It expands through the remarkable streets of Galiana and Rivero, around the City Hall and the Carballo Plaza, and between the Ferrara Park and the Harbor (Link to Basic Data). Along these streets we can admire stately houses and constructions from different architectural styles (Romanesque, Gothic, Baroque, and Modernist) with their typical balconies and colorful facades. On both sides of the street we find the emblematic arcades with arches and columns to protect pedestrians from the rain or the sun and which are, with no doubt, one of the most recognizable symbols of Avilés.
There are two major parks around the Old Town offering the visitor more choices to go for a walk. The Ferrara Park with 80.000m2 is one of the largest in Asturias. It is a beautiful park with English Style gardens, resting and playing areas and fitness equipments. It is massively attended because of its convenient location and the wideness of its green areas. The Harbour Park is the traditional park of Avilés. Located by the harbor and very close to the Niemeyer Centre it has 14.000m2 with a nicely maintained gardening and some remarkable sculptures and vegetal arcades.