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Oviedo (Asturian: Uviéu) is the capital city of the Principality of Asturias in northern Spain. It is also the name of the municipality that contains the city.

Oviedo, which is the administrative and commercial centre of the region, also hosts the annual Prince of Asturias Awards. This prestigious event, held in the city's Campoamor Theatre, recognizes international achievement in eight categories. Award winners in 2007 include Bob Dylan in the category of Arts and Al Gore in the category of International Cooperation. Oviedo University's international campus attracts many foreign scholars from all over the globe.

It is said that two monks, Máximo and Fromestanus, founded the city in 761. That settlement was to be soon completed with the construction of a small church dedicated to Saint Vincent. Nevertheless, the archaeological register has shown traces of occupation since the first century, in Roman times.

King Fruela I of Asturias, the fourth of the Asturian monarchs, was the first decided promoter of the city as may be witnessed by his construction of both a palace and a nearby church. Oviedo owes to a later king, Alfonso II The Chaste (791-842), its establishment as a capital city and ruling seat as a result of the moving of the court from Pravia and the creation of the Pilgrim’s Route to Santiago de Compostela, a major event in the history of Oviedo, a church dedicated to The Saviour, the Cathedral of San Salvador (Oviedo), and a royal palace formed the nucleus and motive power of Oviedo.

During this period the city became the centre of an original and unique architectural expression, inheritor of Visigothic, Roman and Nordic traditions, which was to reach its high point during the reign of Ramiro I of Asturias. Ramiro I sponsored many unique construction projects, which remain a signature of Oviedo to this day.

The moving of the royal court to León, after the death of Alfonso III, The Great, links the life of the city to the relics preserved in its cathedral and the passing of pilgrims that visit El Salvador, and continue on their way to Santiago de Compostela. The following centuries (12th-16th) witness the development of the medieval city, the outlines of which are still preserved today, the construction of the city walls, a devastating fire which took place on Christmas Eve in 1521, and the aqueduct works, Los Pilares, constructed in order to provide the city with water throughout the 16th century.

The foundation of the Arts College (University of Oviedo) by Fernando de Valdés Salas, at the beginning of the 17th century, opened Oviedo to a progressive urban expansion. Further impulse was in the 18th century by the regional nobility and the construction of remarkable palaces; in the 19th century by industrial growth and the suburban development of Uría Street; and finally in the 20th century by administrative and commercial development.

The Siege of Oviedo in 1936 was a memorable event in the Spanish Civil War. The army garrison rose in support of the coup d'état and stood a siege of three months by a rag-tag ensemble of forces loyal to the Republican government until relieved in 1937.

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