RIBADEDEVA AND LLANES

Pendueles, Llanes

RIBADEDEVA AND LLANES: THE DISPARITY.

The estuary of Tina Mayor in the mouth of Deva river is forming a natural frontier between Asturias and Cantabria since 1834. Once the Real Valle de Ribadedeva did belong to the former Santander province –today the Cantabrian Autonomous Community-. The Real Valle de Ribadedeva was tear off from Santander and formed the Asturian municipality of Ribadedeva; Its forms a narrow fringe from the border town of Bustio in the West, to the sierra Cabrariver froming the limit to Llanes municipality, in the East. Ribadedeva is stretched between the Cantabric Sea and the Cuera sierra in the South. The rocky formations, very close to the coast, provide its peculiar aspect, unmatched in Asturias. Crossing the Tina Mayor estuary and the Bustio town, we take a left-hand fork leading to Colombres, the capital of Ribadedeva municipality. The town keeps some masterpieces of the arquitectura de indianos, villas and mansions built by returning emigrants, mostly from Cuba and Mexico. The most outstanding is the Quinta Guadalupe, the actual Archive of Indianos; The hiouse was built in the 1906 by a famous architect of Santander to Don Iñigo Noriega Mendoza, was very important in Mexico as business man and also of great political influence. More examples of this style are the red House, erected at a hillock in the middle of the real estate; the Stone House, upper Colombres town and the statue to Manuel Ibáñez Posada the count of Ribadedeva, a work of the sculptor Agustín Querol. From Colombres, via Villanueva –with its Piniella Tower, today almost destroyed-, Noriega and Boquerizo, we take an small road that enters into the wide valley between the Cuera and the small hills of La Borbolla. In the outskirts of Noriega stands the Noriega tower, of square plan and crenellated: It was allegedly built during the Reconquest times; other scientists believe the tower belongs to the thirteenth or fourteenth centuries; a ditch and a draw bridge was preserved until the nineteenth century. Opposite Colombres, on the other side ofhighway stands Pimiango, we descend from Colombres to the highway and in El Peral we take a branch road on the right-side that climbs down to the San Emeterio Lighthouse. A few meters before the lighthouse stands the monastery Santa Ana de Tina, built in the twelfth century –also known as Virgen de Tina-. The church is well kept, but the rest of monastery are only a few sparse ruins. The temple has one Nave, with three semicircular Apses on the Head, erstwhile tallying with three chapels of the Chapter. In Pimiango, close to sea stands the El Pindal cave (visits 10 to 12.30 hours and 16-18.30 hours). The first find of prehistoric Wall Art Manifestations in Asturias were discovered here; the most important figures are two hundred meters into the cave, a mixing of engravings and pictures in red and black paints, with some symbols: Figures, twenty eight in total correspond to deers, bisons and horses; but the most interestinf are a fish with three speckels in the belly and a elephant –an infrequent animal in the Cantabric Wall Art-, painted in red. About the signs –all but two are painted in black- , they are nailforms, vulviforms, lacyforms and one has a form of tree. Back to highway the route follows to La Franca, a beach on the Santiuste estuary in the mouth of Cabras rives. Here begins the Llanes coast, stretched from the Ribadedeva border to the Ribadesella one, with more than thirty beaches some of them wild and undeveloped; Llanes is a site attracting plenty of tourists, even from foreign countries. In Buelna stands the palace of Conce del Valle de Pendueles eighteenth century. It had been erected erstwhile in popular Asturian style, but later suffered many reforms; by chance the pristine trace and symmetry have been preserved almost intact. The central body has a porch with two arches; above it, crowning the building there is an attic room with a gallery between two firewalls. In Pendueles the San Acisclo church keeps its southern Portal –from the late Romanesque era-, of pointed Arches and four archivolts supported on a Phryse. The interior is gothic. The exact date of erection is unknown, but can be estimated from fourteenth or fifteenth century. Among the civil structures in Pendueles the most outstanding are: The Palace of Santa Engracia nineteenth century, built with plenty of wrought iron and glass. The Casona de Verines built around 1920, erected by the Llanes emigrant Ricardo Ortiz; today it belongs to the Salamanca University and every year the Casona is the meeting point for literary symposium. The coastal fringe in this area is protected by high cliffs, whose Karstic composition, combined to direct assault from high waves produce plenty of caves and intricate caverns; waves entering into cavities provoke powerful spray spouts called bufón, tens of meters high and sometimes at hundreds of meters from the shore. The most famous is the Arenillas bufón in Vidiago; it inspired José Zorrila, the well known romantic author in his poem El Bufón de Vidiago. Zorrila spent a summer holiday in Vidiago –at El Palacio de Villar, built in the eighteenth century and former seat house of the family Nava-. He also wrote here the play El Cantar del Romero.  THE PEÑA TÚ IDOL.  We leave the car in Puertas and start a hike up to the monolith of Peña Tú (free aceess), on a hill dominating the sea and surrounded by many burial mounds. It is a huge rock a sandstone, with carved and painted signs, almost schematic: Among them the most important are: the some human figures and the silhouette of a bronze sword. Also the Cabeza Gentil (pagan head), as peasants call the image of an idol. The Idol depicts a man covered with a great robe; it is the most magnificient example of the Bronze Era. Many theories have been created about its significance: A military Chieftain, a Goddess and even a Space Creature. Close by the Idol image are dancing figures –possibly women-, forming a circle; in the centre there is a man with an stock in a hand. Some imaginative investigators believe –by the stances of the dancing girls bodies-, the picture represents some fertility ritual dance, a sort of the erstwhile corri-corri. In San Roque de Acebal we suggest taking a right-hand turn off via Andrín –it is a narrow track, but clearly signposted from the highway-. Some hundreds of meters from of highway, near a hermitage yet another fork; taking the right-hand branch we reach the village of Andrín, with the medieval Tronquedo Tower, almost destroyed. On the other hand the left track climbs up to the mirador de la Boriza, a concrete structure atop a cliff splitting the Ballota and Andrín beaches, towering down the valley and a wide are of the coast. This secondary road follows along the coast, via Cué toward Llanes, the capital of municipality and the most important tourist centre in Western Cantabric. Llanes, was founded and granted privileges by King Alfonso IX, 1225, Llanes was quickly developed under Alfonso X’s reign and became an important economic and cultural enclave: The fishing industry and the path of pilgrims to San Salvador in Oviedo –and to Santiago in Compostela-, contribute to establish its progress. The city keeps its medieval trace and part of the encircling walls  built in the eighteenth century; its Torre del Castillo, a circular turret in masonry stands in a corner. The construction of Santa aria del Concejo basilica ended in the late fifteenth. It is one of the best examples of gothic art –the most important in Asturias, besides the Oviedo cathedral-. It consists of a Nave (higher), two Aisles and a triple Head, the central Apse being of polygon –five sides- plan. The bays are separated by pointed arcades resting on pillars, purpose-built to support the vaults. The western front –built in late Romanesque style-, is the older one, while the main façade dating from the thisteenth century exhibits its rather pointed arches. The main and the left-hand reredos (devolted to Trinity), are two masterpieces of sculpture art. El Cercau, a house near the basilica and wall-encircled is a palatial unit, from a clear renaissance style. It was built sixteenth century by bishop Pedro Junco de Posada. Its front is split in two parts vertically: One with arcades in three storeys, the other one almost flat. The building is of irregular plan, because of its many extensions, added during the centuries. Nearby are the remains of the Dukes of Estrada Palace, consisting in a main central body and two towers on the wings. The Gastañaga Palace was built in late medieval times –fourteenth and fifteenth centuries-; it is organised in two bodies connected by flying passageways. Also from the same era is La Casona. From modern time is the former Façade of the Agustinas Recoletas Convent seventeenth century –today used as a main entrance to a hotel-. The Llanes Casino, built between 1908-1910 on the site of the former market has a baroque-style façade and the interior decorated in modernist style. From Llanes there is an alternative route to coming back onto the highway: We take a rural road to la Arquera. With its school fionanced by the Indiano Manuel Cué; then there is a pleasant excursions along the slopes of Cuera sierra. The route crosses La Pereda, then climbs to El Mazuco pass; from the top we can admire the impressive scenary of a wide coastal area. Then the road follows along the handsome Caldueño valley until the junction to the Posada-La Robellada road.  Another alternative road to leave Llanes is via Poo, with its houses of indiano architecture, as La Javariega. Then we reach Celoriu; there is the Benedictine monastery of San Salvador; it keeps up from erstwhile structure one Front thirteenth century and the base of a tower, visible from the Cloister. A few meters past Celoriu we take a right-hand branch leading to Barru; there is La Fontana cave; with findings of the Asturiense period; also stands the Niembro village, whose cemetery, in a picturesque site on the sea edge is one of the best attractions. Following on, westbound along the coast we reach Torimbia beach, famous for being one of the first nudist beaches in Asturias; also the steeps slopes in the area are frequented by fans of hang-glider flight. Near the towns of Balmori and Posada there we important finds, valuable for prehistoric investigations but with few artistic contents. In Balmori are: El Quitanal cave, with remains of Solutrense, Magdaleniense and Asturiense periods. La Ería cave, with Palaeolithic paintings. Also La Llongar cave and the abrigo (shelter del Alloru), with Asturiensis remains. The most important archaeologic deposits stand around Posada town: The abrigo del Cueto de la Mina and the caves of La Riera, Bricia and Tres Calabres; the findings on these sites range since Auriñaciense till to Asturiense periods. The most relevant structures in Posada are: The Soto de Posada Palace eighteenth century, built atop the former house of Inquisitor Pedro Junco de Posada; also El Torrexón, a peculiar medieval tower. From Posada starts southbound the cabrales-Onis road, along the river Cabra canyon, short but of breathtaking beauty. The area can be explored, based in Puentenuevo –nearby is the Palace of Cardinal Inguanzo, Spain’s primate in 1824-, then connecting in Riensena the road Nueva-Corao. Ardisana is a valley, open northwest toward the sea; there is the Santa Eulalia church, now disfigured by its is a mixture of Romanesque and gothic elements. The close San Miguel church keeps from its Romanesque original the one Nave plan and the square Head. Among civil structures we note the La casona sixteenth century; it belonged to Posada family. Following the road there is Riocaliente, with a quarter of hórreos (raised granaries) very interesting.  San Antolín de Bedón.  Coming back to Posada we take the highway running Westbound down the church of San Antolín de Bedón, a short while from the sea and near the village of Naves, on the mouth of Bedón river. The church –together with Santa María de Valdediós are the best examples of Cistercian architecture in Asturias-; it is the last remain of a Benedictine monastery built eleventh century by count Munazán, the son of the almighty don Rodrigo Álvarez de lasAsturias. There are some legends about its origins; the most common says Saint Antolin’s spectre did appear before the count, while hunting down a huge boar; Munazán understood the vision as a wish of the saint to erect a convent in that place. The temple is of Romanesque style, with three Naves, partitioned by columns. The Head forms three semicircular Apses. The central nave is greater than the Aisles; the crossing few marked, is covered by a small square Dome. The Cistercian influence may be noted in the use of pointed arches and the austerity in decoration. The Naves parish church –erstwhile a depending of Bedón-, guards among other pieces the baptismal Font, with carvings of a Crozier and a fish. In Villahormes, a pair of kilometres westward, the La Espriella palace is kept up, a magnificent ensemble consisting of an spacious mansion of the sixteenth century with a leaned church. Hontoria, taking a right-hand branch road has te church of San Miguel, with Romanesque Gate and Tower, this one chronicled in the book libro becerro de los Beneficiados de Llanes. In Nueva, in the middle of its vast real state raises the count of Vega del Sella Palace, built since the end of the seventeenth with the beginning of the eighteenth centuries in late classicistic style, atop the Torre de San Jorge, and old medieval turret belonging to the Aguilar stock –one of its walls can been seen, embedded in the rear façade of the Palace-. The interior guards some pieces collected by the count in his archaeological investigations, as the ones in the Penicial cave, close to Nueva river; there is also a valuable collection of hunting trophies. Near Nueva stands the Cuevas del mar beach; it has some peculiar rocky formations, carved by the waves. The San Antonio beach is adjoining to Cuevas and connected by a path; it is also accessible by car from Nueva, via Ovio and Picones; the track ends near a small chapel erected over a hilltop, which offers a magnificent scenery. Westbound, in Belmonte we take a right-hand fork to the mouth of Guadamía river; nearby stands the village of Llames de Pría. On its cliffs there are plenty of bufón.The estuary of Tina Mayor in the mouth of Deva river is forming a natural frontier between Asturias and Cantabria since 1834. Once the Real Valle de Ribadedeva did belong to the former Santander province –today the Cantabrian Autonomous Community-. The Real Valle de Ribadedeva was tear off from Santander and formed the Asturian municipality of Ribadedeva; Its forms a narrow fringe from the border town of Bustio in the West, to the sierra Cabrariver froming the limit to Llanes municipality, in the East. Ribadedeva is stretched between the Cantabric Sea and the Cuera sierra in the South. The rocky formations, very close to the coast, provide its peculiar aspect, unmatched in Asturias.

Crossing the Tina Mayor estuary and the Bustio town, we take a left-hand fork leading to Colombres, the capital of Ribadedeva municipality. The town keeps some masterpieces of the arquitectura de indianos, villas and mansions built by returning emigrants, mostly from Cuba and Mexico. The most outstanding is the Quinta Guadalupe, the actual Archive of Indianos; The hiouse was built in the 1906 by a famous architect of Santander to Don Iñigo Noriega Mendoza, was very important in Mexico as business man and also of great political influence. More examples of this style are the red House, erected at a hillock in the middle of the real estate; the Stone House, upper Colombres town and the statue to Manuel Ibáñez Posada the count of Ribadedeva, a work of the sculptor Agustín Querol.
From Colombres, via Villanueva –with its Piniella Tower, today almost destroyed-, Noriega and Boquerizo, we take an small road that enters into the wide valley between the Cuera and the small hills of La Borbolla. In the outskirts of Noriega stands the Noriega tower, of square plan and crenellated: It was allegedly built during the Reconquest times; other scientists believe the tower belongs to the thirteenth or fourteenth centuries; a ditch and a draw bridge was preserved until the nineteenth century.
Opposite Colombres, on the other side ofhighway stands Pimiango, we descend from Colombres to the highway and in El Peral we take a branch road on the right-side that climbs down to the San Emeterio Lighthouse. A few meters before the lighthouse stands the monastery Santa Ana de Tina, built in the twelfth century –also known as Virgen de Tina-. The church is well kept, but the rest of monastery are only a few sparse ruins. The temple has one Nave, with three semicircular Apses on the Head, erstwhile tallying with three chapels of the Chapter.
In Pimiango, close to sea stands the El Pindal cave (visits 10 to 12.30 hours and 16-18.30 hours). The first find of prehistoric Wall Art Manifestations in Asturias were discovered here; the most important figures are two hundred meters into the cave, a mixing of engravings and pictures in red and black paints, with some symbols: Figures, twenty eight in total correspond to deers, bisons and horses; but the most interestinf are a fish with three speckels in the belly and a elephant –an infrequent animal in the Cantabric Wall Art-, painted in red. About the signs –all but two are painted in black- , they are nailforms, vulviforms, lacyforms and one has a form of tree.
Back to highway the route follows to La Franca, a beach on the Santiuste estuary in the mouth of Cabras rives. Here begins the Llanes coast, stretched from the Ribadedeva border to the Ribadesella one, with more than thirty beaches some of them wild and undeveloped; Llanes is a site attracting plenty of tourists, even from foreign countries.
In Buelna stands the palace of Conce del Valle de Pendueles eighteenth century. It had been erected erstwhile in popular Asturian style, but later suffered many reforms; by chance the pristine trace and symmetry have been preserved almost intact. The central body has a porch with two arches; above it, crowning the building there is an attic room with a gallery between two firewalls.
In Pendueles the San Acisclo church keeps its southern Portal –from the late Romanesque era-, of pointed Arches and four archivolts supported on a Phryse. The interior is gothic. The exact date of erection is unknown, but can be estimated from fourteenth or fifteenth century. Among the civil structures in Pendueles the most outstanding are: The Palace of Santa Engracia nineteenth century, built with plenty of wrought iron and glass. The Casona de Verines built around 1920, erected by the Llanes emigrant Ricardo Ortiz; today it belongs to the Salamanca University and every year the Casona is the meeting point for literary symposium.
The coastal fringe in this area is protected by high cliffs, whose Karstic composition, combined to direct assault from high waves produce plenty of caves and intricate caverns; waves entering into cavities provoke powerful spray spouts called bufón, tens of meters high and sometimes at hundreds of meters from the shore. The most famous is the Arenillas bufón in Vidiago; it inspired José Zorrila, the well known romantic author in his poem El Bufón de Vidiago. Zorrila spent a summer holiday in Vidiago –at El Palacio de Villar, built in the eighteenth century and former seat house of the family Nava-. He also wrote here the play El Cantar del Romero.

THE PEÑA TÚ IDOL.

We leave the car in Puertas and start a hike up to the monolith of Peña Tú (free aceess), on a hill dominating the sea and surrounded by many burial mounds. It is a huge rock a sandstone, with carved and painted signs, almost schematic: Among them the most important are: the some human figures and the silhouette of a bronze sword. Also the Cabeza Gentil (pagan head), as peasants call the image of an idol. The Idol depicts a man covered with a great robe; it is the most magnificient example of the Bronze Era. Many theories have been created about its significance: A military Chieftain, a Goddess and even a Space Creature.
Close by the Idol image are dancing figures –possibly women-, forming a circle; in the centre there is a man with an stock in a hand. Some imaginative investigators believe –by the stances of the dancing girls bodies-, the picture represents some fertility ritual dance, a sort of the erstwhile corri-corri.
In San Roque de Acebal we suggest taking a right-hand turn off via Andrín –it is a narrow track, but clearly signposted from the highway-. Some hundreds of meters from of highway, near a hermitage yet another fork; taking the right-hand branch we reach the village of Andrín, with the medieval Tronquedo Tower, almost destroyed. On the other hand the left track climbs up to the mirador de la Boriza, a concrete structure atop a cliff splitting the Ballota and Andrín beaches, towering down the valley and a wide are of the coast. This secondary road follows along the coast, via Cué toward Llanes, the capital of municipality and the most important tourist centre in Western Cantabric.
Llanes, was founded and granted privileges by King Alfonso IX, 1225, Llanes was quickly developed under Alfonso X’s reign and became an important economic and cultural enclave: The fishing industry and the path of pilgrims to San Salvador in Oviedo –and to Santiago in Compostela-, contribute to establish its progress. The city keeps its medieval trace and part of the encircling walls built in the eighteenth century; its Torre del Castillo, a circular turret in masonry stands in a corner.
The construction of Santa aria del Concejo basilica ended in the late fifteenth. It is one of the best examples of gothic art –the most important in Asturias, besides the Oviedo cathedral-. It consists of a Nave (higher), two Aisles and a triple Head, the central Apse being of polygon –five sides- plan. The bays are separated by pointed arcades resting on pillars, purpose-built to support the vaults. The western front –built in late Romanesque style-, is the older one, while the main façade dating from the thisteenth century exhibits its rather pointed arches. The main and the left-hand reredos (devolted to Trinity), are two masterpieces of sculpture art.
El Cercau, a house near the basilica and wall-encircled is a palatial unit, from a clear renaissance style. It was built sixteenth century by bishop Pedro Junco de Posada. Its front is split in two parts vertically: One with arcades in three storeys, the other one almost flat. The building is of irregular plan, because of its many extensions, added during the centuries. Nearby are the remains of the Dukes of Estrada Palace, consisting in a main central body and two towers on the wings.
The Gastañaga Palace was built in late medieval times –fourteenth and fifteenth centuries-; it is organised in two bodies connected by flying passageways. Also from the same era is La Casona. From modern time is the former Façade of the Agustinas Recoletas Convent seventeenth century –today used as a main entrance to a hotel-. The Llanes Casino, built between 1908-1910 on the site of the former market has a baroque-style façade and the interior decorated in modernist style.
From Llanes there is an alternative route to coming back onto the highway: We take a rural road to la Arquera. With its school fionanced by the Indiano Manuel Cué; then there is a pleasant excursions along the slopes of Cuera sierra. The route crosses La Pereda, then climbs to El Mazuco pass; from the top we can admire the impressive scenary of a wide coastal area. Then the road follows along the handsome Caldueño valley until the junction to the Posada-La Robellada road.
Another alternative road to leave Llanes is via Poo, with its houses of indiano architecture, as La Javariega. Then we reach Celoriu; there is the Benedictine monastery of San Salvador; it keeps up from erstwhile structure one Front thirteenth century and the base of a tower, visible from the Cloister.
A few meters past Celoriu we take a right-hand branch leading to Barru; there is La Fontana cave; with findings of the Asturiense period; also stands the Niembro village, whose cemetery, in a picturesque site on the sea edge is one of the best attractions. Following on, westbound along the coast we reach Torimbia beach, famous for being one of the first nudist beaches in Asturias; also the steeps slopes in the area are frequented by fans of hang-glider flight.
Near the towns of Balmori and Posada there we important finds, valuable for prehistoric investigations but with few artistic contents. In Balmori are: El Quitanal cave, with remains of Solutrense, Magdaleniense and Asturiense periods. La Ería cave, with Palaeolithic paintings. Also La Llongar cave and the abrigo (shelter del Alloru), with Asturiensis remains. The most important archaeologic deposits stand around Posada town: The abrigo del Cueto de la Mina and the caves of La Riera, Bricia and Tres Calabres; the findings on these sites range since Auriñaciense till to Asturiense periods.
The most relevant structures in Posada are: The Soto de Posada Palace eighteenth century, built atop the former house of Inquisitor Pedro Junco de Posada; also El Torrexón, a peculiar medieval tower.
From Posada starts southbound the cabrales-Onis road, along the river Cabra canyon, short but of breathtaking beauty. The area can be explored, based in Puentenuevo –nearby is the Palace of Cardinal Inguanzo, Spain’s primate in 1824-, then connecting in Riensena the road Nueva-Corao.
Ardisana is a valley, open northwest toward the sea; there is the Santa Eulalia church, now disfigured by its is a mixture of Romanesque and gothic elements.
The close San Miguel church keeps from its Romanesque original the one Nave plan and the square Head. Among civil structures we note the La casona sixteenth century; it belonged to Posada family. Following the road there is Riocaliente, with a quarter of hórreos (raised granaries) very interesting.

San Antolín de Bedón.

Coming back to Posada we take the highway running Westbound down the church of San Antolín de Bedón, a short while from the sea and near the village of Naves, on the mouth of Bedón river. The church –together with Santa María de Valdediós are the best examples of Cistercian architecture in Asturias-; it is the last remain of a Benedictine monastery built eleventh century by count Munazán, the son of the almighty don Rodrigo Álvarez de lasAsturias. There are some legends about its origins; the most common says Saint Antolin’s spectre did appear before the count, while hunting down a huge boar; Munazán understood the vision as a wish of the saint to erect a convent in that place.
The temple is of Romanesque style, with three Naves, partitioned by columns. The Head forms three semicircular Apses. The central nave is greater than the Aisles; the crossing few marked, is covered by a small square Dome. The Cistercian influence may be noted in the use of pointed arches and the austerity in decoration. The Naves parish church –erstwhile a depending of Bedón-, guards among other pieces the baptismal Font, with carvings of a Crozier and a fish.
In Villahormes, a pair of kilometres westward, the La Espriella palace is kept up, a magnificent ensemble consisting of an spacious mansion of the sixteenth century with a leaned church. Hontoria, taking a right-hand branch road has te church of San Miguel, with Romanesque Gate and Tower, this one chronicled in the book libro becerro de los Beneficiados de Llanes.
In Nueva, in the middle of its vast real state raises the count of Vega del Sella Palace, built since the end of the seventeenth with the beginning of the eighteenth centuries in late classicistic style, atop the Torre de San Jorge, and old medieval turret belonging to the Aguilar stock –one of its walls can been seen, embedded in the rear façade of the Palace-. The interior guards some pieces collected by the count in his archaeological investigations, as the ones in the Penicial cave, close to Nueva river; there is also a valuable collection of hunting trophies. Near Nueva stands the Cuevas del mar beach; it has some peculiar rocky formations, carved by the waves. The San Antonio beach is adjoining to Cuevas and connected by a path; it is also accessible by car from Nueva, via Ovio and Picones; the track ends near a small chapel erected over a hilltop, which offers a magnificent scenery. Westbound, in Belmonte we take a right-hand fork to the mouth of Guadamía river; nearby stands the village of Llames de Pría. On its cliffs there are plenty of bufón.

The estuary of Tina Mayor in the mouth of Deva river is forming a natural frontier between Asturias and Cantabria since 1834. Once the Real Valle de Ribadedeva did belong to the former Santander province –today the Cantabrian Autonomous Community-. The Real Valle de Ribadedeva was tear off from Santander and formed the Asturian municipality of Ribadedeva; Its forms a narrow fringe from the border town of Bustio in the West, to the sierra Cabrariver froming the limit to Llanes municipality, in the East. Ribadedeva is stretched between the Cantabric Sea and the Cuera sierra in the South. The rocky formations, very close to the coast, provide its peculiar aspect, unmatched in Asturias.
Crossing the Tina Mayor estuary and the Bustio town, we take a left-hand fork leading to Colombres, the capital of Ribadedeva municipality. The town keeps some masterpieces of the arquitectura de indianos, villas and mansions built by returning emigrants, mostly from Cuba and Mexico. The most outstanding is the Quinta Guadalupe, the actual Archive of Indianos; The hiouse was built in the 1906 by a famous architect of Santander to Don Iñigo Noriega Mendoza, was very important in Mexico as business man and also of great political influence. More examples of this style are the red House, erected at a hillock in the middle of the real estate; the Stone House, upper Colombres town and the statue to Manuel Ibáñez Posada the count of Ribadedeva, a work of the sculptor Agustín Querol.
From Colombres, via Villanueva –with its Piniella Tower, today almost destroyed-, Noriega and Boquerizo, we take an small road that enters into the wide valley between the Cuera and the small hills of La Borbolla. In the outskirts of Noriega stands the Noriega tower, of square plan and crenellated: It was allegedly built during the Reconquest times; other scientists believe the tower belongs to the thirteenth or fourteenth centuries; a ditch and a draw bridge was preserved until the nineteenth century.
Opposite Colombres, on the other side ofhighway stands Pimiango, we descend from Colombres to the highway and in El Peral we take a branch road on the right-side that climbs down to the San Emeterio Lighthouse. A few meters before the lighthouse stands the monastery Santa Ana de Tina, built in the twelfth century –also known as Virgen de Tina-. The church is well kept, but the rest of monastery are only a few sparse ruins. The temple has one Nave, with three semicircular Apses on the Head, erstwhile tallying with three chapels of the Chapter.
In Pimiango, close to sea stands the El Pindal cave (visits 10 to 12.30 hours and 16-18.30 hours). The first find of prehistoric Wall Art Manifestations in Asturias were discovered here; the most important figures are two hundred meters into the cave, a mixing of engravings and pictures in red and black paints, with some symbols: Figures, twenty eight in total correspond to deers, bisons and horses; but the most interestinf are a fish with three speckels in the belly and a elephant –an infrequent animal in the Cantabric Wall Art-, painted in red. About the signs –all but two are painted in black- , they are nailforms, vulviforms, lacyforms and one has a form of tree.
Back to highway the route follows to La Franca, a beach on the Santiuste estuary in the mouth of Cabras rives. Here begins the Llanes coast, stretched from the Ribadedeva border to the Ribadesella one, with more than thirty beaches some of them wild and undeveloped; Llanes is a site attracting plenty of tourists, even from foreign countries.
In Buelna stands the palace of Conce del Valle de Pendueles eighteenth century. It had been erected erstwhile in popular Asturian style, but later suffered many reforms; by chance the pristine trace and symmetry have been preserved almost intact. The central body has a porch with two arches; above it, crowning the building there is an attic room with a gallery between two firewalls.
In Pendueles the San Acisclo church keeps its southern Portal –from the late Romanesque era-, of pointed Arches and four archivolts supported on a Phryse. The interior is gothic. The exact date of erection is unknown, but can be estimated from fourteenth or fifteenth century. Among the civil structures in Pendueles the most outstanding are: The Palace of Santa Engracia nineteenth century, built with plenty of wrought iron and glass. The Casona de Verines built around 1920, erected by the Llanes emigrant Ricardo Ortiz; today it belongs to the Salamanca University and every year the Casona is the meeting point for literary symposium.
The coastal fringe in this area is protected by high cliffs, whose Karstic composition, combined to direct assault from high waves produce plenty of caves and intricate caverns; waves entering into cavities provoke powerful spray spouts called bufón, tens of meters high and sometimes at hundreds of meters from the shore. The most famous is the Arenillas bufón in Vidiago; it inspired José Zorrila, the well known romantic author in his poem El Bufón de Vidiago. Zorrila spent a summer holiday in Vidiago –at El Palacio de Villar, built in the eighteenth century and former seat house of the family Nava-. He also wrote here the play El Cantar del Romero.

THE PEÑA TÚ IDOL.

We leave the car in Puertas and start a hike up to the monolith of Peña Tú (free aceess), on a hill dominating the sea and surrounded by many burial mounds. It is a huge rock a sandstone, with carved and painted signs, almost schematic: Among them the most important are: the some human figures and the silhouette of a bronze sword. Also the Cabeza Gentil (pagan head), as peasants call the image of an idol. The Idol depicts a man covered with a great robe; it is the most magnificient example of the Bronze Era. Many theories have been created about its significance: A military Chieftain, a Goddess and even a Space Creature.
Close by the Idol image are dancing figures –possibly women-, forming a circle; in the centre there is a man with an stock in a hand. Some imaginative investigators believe –by the stances of the dancing girls bodies-, the picture represents some fertility ritual dance, a sort of the erstwhile corri-corri.
In San Roque de Acebal we suggest taking a right-hand turn off via Andrín –it is a narrow track, but clearly signposted from the highway-. Some hundreds of meters from of highway, near a hermitage yet another fork; taking the right-hand branch we reach the village of Andrín, with the medieval Tronquedo Tower, almost destroyed. On the other hand the left track climbs up to the mirador de la Boriza, a concrete structure atop a cliff splitting the Ballota and Andrín beaches, towering down the valley and a wide are of the coast. This secondary road follows along the coast, via Cué toward Llanes, the capital of municipality and the most important tourist centre in Western Cantabric.
Llanes, was founded and granted privileges by King Alfonso IX, 1225, Llanes was quickly developed under Alfonso X’s reign and became an important economic and cultural enclave: The fishing industry and the path of pilgrims to San Salvador in Oviedo –and to Santiago in Compostela-, contribute to establish its progress. The city keeps its medieval trace and part of the encircling walls built in the eighteenth century; its Torre del Castillo, a circular turret in masonry stands in a corner.
The construction of Santa aria del Concejo basilica ended in the late fifteenth. It is one of the best examples of gothic art –the most important in Asturias, besides the Oviedo cathedral-. It consists of a Nave (higher), two Aisles and a triple Head, the central Apse being of polygon –five sides- plan. The bays are separated by pointed arcades resting on pillars, purpose-built to support the vaults. The western front –built in late Romanesque style-, is the older one, while the main façade dating from the thisteenth century exhibits its rather pointed arches. The main and the left-hand reredos (devolted to Trinity), are two masterpieces of sculpture art.
El Cercau, a house near the basilica and wall-encircled is a palatial unit, from a clear renaissance style. It was built sixteenth century by bishop Pedro Junco de Posada. Its front is split in two parts vertically: One with arcades in three storeys, the other one almost flat. The building is of irregular plan, because of its many extensions, added during the centuries. Nearby are the remains of the Dukes of Estrada Palace, consisting in a main central body and two towers on the wings.
The Gastañaga Palace was built in late medieval times –fourteenth and fifteenth centuries-; it is organised in two bodies connected by flying passageways. Also from the same era is La Casona. From modern time is the former Façade of the Agustinas Recoletas Convent seventeenth century –today used as a main entrance to a hotel-. The Llanes Casino, built between 1908-1910 on the site of the former market has a baroque-style façade and the interior decorated in modernist style.
From Llanes there is an alternative route to coming back onto the highway: We take a rural road to la Arquera. With its school fionanced by the Indiano Manuel Cué; then there is a pleasant excursions along the slopes of Cuera sierra. The route crosses La Pereda, then climbs to El Mazuco pass; from the top we can admire the impressive scenary of a wide coastal area. Then the road follows along the handsome Caldueño valley until the junction to the Posada-La Robellada road.
Another alternative road to leave Llanes is via Poo, with its houses of indiano architecture, as La Javariega. Then we reach Celoriu; there is the Benedictine monastery of San Salvador; it keeps up from erstwhile structure one Front thirteenth century and the base of a tower, visible from the Cloister.
A few meters past Celoriu we take a right-hand branch leading to Barru; there is La Fontana cave; with findings of the Asturiense period; also stands the Niembro village, whose cemetery, in a picturesque site on the sea edge is one of the best attractions. Following on, westbound along the coast we reach Torimbia beach, famous for being one of the first nudist beaches in Asturias; also the steeps slopes in the area are frequented by fans of hang-glider flight.
Near the towns of Balmori and Posada there we important finds, valuable for prehistoric investigations but with few artistic contents. In Balmori are: El Quitanal cave, with remains of Solutrense, Magdaleniense and Asturiense periods. La Ería cave, with Palaeolithic paintings. Also La Llongar cave and the abrigo (shelter del Alloru), with Asturiensis remains. The most important archaeologic deposits stand around Posada town: The abrigo del Cueto de la Mina and the caves of La Riera, Bricia and Tres Calabres; the findings on these sites range since Auriñaciense till to Asturiense periods.
The most relevant structures in Posada are: The Soto de Posada Palace eighteenth century, built atop the former house of Inquisitor Pedro Junco de Posada; also El Torrexón, a peculiar medieval tower.
From Posada starts southbound the cabrales-Onis road, along the river Cabra canyon, short but of breathtaking beauty. The area can be explored, based in Puentenuevo –nearby is the Palace of Cardinal Inguanzo, Spain’s primate in 1824-, then connecting in Riensena the road Nueva-Corao.
Ardisana is a valley, open northwest toward the sea; there is the Santa Eulalia church, now disfigured by its is a mixture of Romanesque and gothic elements.
The close San Miguel church keeps from its Romanesque original the one Nave plan and the square Head. Among civil structures we note the La casona sixteenth century; it belonged to Posada family. Following the road there is Riocaliente, with a quarter of hórreos (raised granaries) very interesting.

San Antolín de Bedón.

Coming back to Posada we take the highway running Westbound down the church of San Antolín de Bedón, a short while from the sea and near the village of Naves, on the mouth of Bedón river. The church –together with Santa María de Valdediós are the best examples of Cistercian architecture in Asturias-; it is the last remain of a Benedictine monastery built eleventh century by count Munazán, the son of the almighty don Rodrigo Álvarez de lasAsturias. There are some legends about its origins; the most common says Saint Antolin’s spectre did appear before the count, while hunting down a huge boar; Munazán understood the vision as a wish of the saint to erect a convent in that place.
The temple is of Romanesque style, with three Naves, partitioned by columns. The Head forms three semicircular Apses. The central nave is greater than the Aisles; the crossing few marked, is covered by a small square Dome. The Cistercian influence may be noted in the use of pointed arches and the austerity in decoration. The Naves parish church –erstwhile a depending of Bedón-, guards among other pieces the baptismal Font, with carvings of a Crozier and a fish.
In Villahormes, a pair of kilometres westward, the La Espriella palace is kept up, a magnificent ensemble consisting of an spacious mansion of the sixteenth century with a leaned church. Hontoria, taking a right-hand branch road has te church of San Miguel, with Romanesque Gate and Tower, this one chronicled in the book libro becerro de los Beneficiados de Llanes.
In Nueva, in the middle of its vast real state raises the count of Vega del Sella Palace, built since the end of the seventeenth with the beginning of the eighteenth centuries in late classicistic style, atop the Torre de San Jorge, and old medieval turret belonging to the Aguilar stock –one of its walls can been seen, embedded in the rear façade of the Palace-. The interior guards some pieces collected by the count in his archaeological investigations, as the ones in the Penicial cave, close to Nueva river; there is also a valuable collection of hunting trophies. Near Nueva stands the Cuevas del mar beach; it has some peculiar rocky formations, carved by the waves. The San Antonio beach is adjoining to Cuevas and connected by a path; it is also accessible by car from Nueva, via Ovio and Picones; the track ends near a small chapel erected over a hilltop, which offers a magnificent scenery. Westbound, in Belmonte we take a right-hand fork to the mouth of Guadamía river; nearby stands the village of Llames de Pría. On its cliffs there are plenty of bufón.