Oviedo (ōvyāˈħō) [key], city (1990 pop. 194,637), capital of Oviedo prov. (coextensive with the autonomous region of Asturias) NW Spain, near the great mining district of the Cantabrian Mts. Oviedo is one of the most important industrial centers of Spain; ordnance, firearms, gunpowder, textiles, food, and many other products are manufactured. The mining of coal and iron is a major industry. Founded c.760, Oviedo flourished in the 9th cent. as the capital of the Asturian kings but lost much of its importance after the capital was transferred to León early in the 10th cent. The cathedral, begun in 1388, contains the tombs of the Asturian kings and has a high square tower. Adjoining it is the Camara Santa (9th and 11th cent.), which housed the cathedral's store of sacred relics and treasures, famous throughout all Spain. The Univ. of Oviedo was founded in 1604. The city suffered severely during the revolt of the Asturian miners in 1934 and in a siege during the civil war. A new quarter has since been built on the southwest side of the city.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.