At the end of the first century the Romans had a strong presence in the north of the Spanish peninsula. The legions of Roman soldiers, lead by Augustus Caesar, were finding it difficult to conquer the region but with the knowledge that the area was rich in precious metals, especially Asturias gold, the Romans fought on, finally defeating the local Astures and setting up a system of mining the would change the shape of the region and culture of ever more.
Today, Asturias has a rich mining heritage that has spanned over a millennium and visitors to the region can see firsthand how this was brought about by vitising the Archeological museum of Asturias in Oviedo, the Asturias Gold museum of Navelgas and the Aula del Oro in Belmonte de Miranda.
Better still, there are plenty of physical remains left behind by the Romans such as man-made aqueducts and Roman villas…… which are great for those with a keen interest in Roman history.
The Romans also utilized the local hilltop forts of the Celts/Astures called Castros to store the Asturias gold as the where considered to be the most protected places while the gold was waiting to be shipped to Rome. There are many remnants of these Castros dotted throughout Asturias and despite been of huge historical importance, they also offer a wonderful and tranquil place to visit. Hundreds of Castros remain unexcavated but there are plenty that have been and a visit to Castros such as Grandas de Salime, San Chuis in Pola de Allande and Coaña should be considered a “must” when visiting Asturias.
The story of Roman influence in Asturias is a fascinating one and visitors to the region will marvel as they travel through the national parks and reserves that are today, as they where when the first Romans set foot in Asturias. Following the story of the Romans is a great way to discover some of the most wonderful locations in this region.
We would like to offer a special thank you to Narciso Santos Yanguas, Professor in Old History of the University of Oviedo and Patricia Arguelles, archaeologist, for all their help in developing the script for the video about the Asturias Gold.
We would also like to thank the SRT and the Culture and Patrimony Department of the Principality of Asturias for their help in organizing some of the locations. Special thank you to Archaeologist and presenter of the video Alfonso Fanjul Peraza for giving up his time to film and offering advice.
Some of the locations for this video are Valledor, Montefurado and Castro San Chuis in Pola de Allande, Navelgas and the Gold Museum in Tineo, Archaeological Museum of Asturias in Oviedo, Castropol and in the Villa Romana de Veranes in Gijon.
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