PARKS OF AVILÉS
It has a pond, sports area, access to the library, a great variety of tree species, some of them hundreds of years old, do you think we are talking about the Retiro Park? Well, no, it is Ferrera Park, one of the places you cannot miss if you want to take a quiet walk surrounded by nature.
It is the perfect place for walking or even jogging, as it has a sports circuit with some gym equipment, a playground for children, a pond with different birds (ducks, geese, swans), public bathrooms, an environmental classroom and a bandstand where concerts are held.
It was for many years the place of recreation of the Marquises of Ferrera, being located at the back of their palace, until it was acquired by the City Council of Aviles in 1974 and, after its rehabilitation, it was inaugurated by the King and Queen in 1976, after the disbursement of 91 million of the old pesetas, which would now be 547,000 €.
It is an English-style garden with an area of 81,000 square meters that is currently the great green lung of the city.
It has a great variety of trees, pines, oaks, yews, birches, etc, some of them centuries old. One of the yew trees is estimated to be more than 400 years old, which means that it was already on the estate before the construction of the palace itself.
Created before Ferrera Park itself, it has a regular and symmetrical layout with a central area featuring a stone pergola with fountains at both ends, flowerbeds on both sides and some of the most unique trees in Avilés.
If the park of Ferrera is already a jewel by itself, inside it you can still find a small paradise that you can’t miss.
It is the French garden, a space of 8000 square meters, created by the VI Marquis of Ferrera in the reform he made in the palace between 1848 and 1861. It was sold together with the palace, which was transformed into a hotel in 1998 and later ceded to the City Council.
It was chosen by Woody Allen for the filming of some scenes of the movie Vicky Cristina Barcelona starring Scarlett Johansson, Javier Bardem and Penélope Cruz.
Another must-see of the city where you can take some nice pictures.
Highlights in the park are the statues of French origin purchased in 1876 and originally located along the Paseo del Bombé. Based on mythological motifs of ancient Greece, they represent the goddesses Aphrodite and Artemis or the four allegories of the seasons, among others.
When the wall was demolished at the beginning of the 19th century, the first leisure area of the bourgeois Avilés of the time was created. It was a promenade built around 1835, formed by two rows of trees in what today would be the street La Muralla and that was up to where the estuary and place of berthing of ships.
Subsequently, all that area of the estuary and the marshlands between the city and the neighborhood of Sabugo were drained and the current pier park was built in that area at the end of the 19th century.
The park has a bandstand built in 1894 in which concerts are held in summer, and two outstanding statues, one of a seal in tribute to a specimen of this animal that was seen in the estuary in 1951 and the most important, the statue unveiled in 1918 in honor of the most prominent citizen of the town, Pedro Menéndez de Avilés, military and marine who was founder, in 1865, of the first city in the United States, St. Augustine, Florida.