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Gijon, with its population of more than 275.000 inhabitants, has in the human factor its principal asset which may be seen in the warm and caring character of this land; these ancient traits of the Gijonés personality form the heritage of a town which opens itself quickly and sincerely to visitors. A willingness to show hospitality and the coexistence which has been captured and praised by numerous travellers since the 19th century and which today, in these times of making the most of all tangible and intangible skills in order to be competitive, has also become a tourist asset.
The human factor, without doubt Gijón's principal asset, may be seen in the warm and caring character of this land; these ancient traits of the Gijonés personality form the heritage of a town which opens itself quickly and sincerely to visitors. A willingness to show hospitality and the coexistence which has been captured and praised by numerous travellers since the 19th century and which today, in these times of making the most of all tangible and the intangible skills in order to be competitive, has also become a tourist asset.
Around its coastline of eighteen kilometres of cliffs (like the Santa Catalina, on this hill stands Eduardo Chillida's magnificent Elogio del Horizonte) alternating with nine magnificent beaches, three of them right in the town centre, nearly 5,000 years of history and culture have unfolded here and the roman and pre-roman (Astures) remains may be seen in the archaeological museums at the Campa Torres and the Campo Valdes. From the sea of the "Ruta de la Plata" (Silver trade route), a famous travellers route and an important stage of the coastal variant of the Santiago Way, the restaurants and "sidrerías" get the best products - an essential part of their wide and well-known gastronomy -for their abundant and exquisite dishes and stews.
In the city centre and on the outskirts there are singular and noble buildings, many parks and gardens, commercial, industrial and technological zones, a university campus and a good transport system make up a modern European city in continual progress.
And in a landscape of rolling green hills of incomparable beauty, and long paths perfect for walking or cycling, twenty-five beautiful rural parishes dotted with rustic farmhouses are proof also of the country and farming origin and identity of Gijón.
Cultural activities (official or organized by hundreds of associations) take place in every corner of the town, in museums, a municipal theatre and the multiple centres and libraries located in all the suburbs as well as in other installations. "La Semana Negra" (The Black Week), the International Film Festival, the Latin American Book Show, the World Conferences on Bioethics or the International Equestrian Show-Jumping Championship, among many others, are the most widely known annual events, and deservedly so.
Sport forms an essential characteristic of Gijón and its people. One million Gijoneses every year use and enjoy the swimming pools, golf courses (two municipal and one private), sports centres and other municipal installations, or take part in water sports and many more do sport privately or in clubs like the "Grupo Covadonga", with 30,000 members or the "Santa Olaya", with 15,000.
Gijón strives to preserve and multiply its charms, for itself and to attract visitors, and for that reason it perfects its tourist excellence and it promotes enormously attractive projects: an aquarium, on the new Poniente beach; an Atlantic Botanical Garden, next to the Laboral University, designed by Luis Moya; and a thalassotherapy spa, in the west of the city.
The Atlantic Botanical Garden of Gijón, the only one in the whole of the north of Spain, was inaugurated on the 25th April 2003. The Atlantic Botanical Garden has been installed in land belonging to the parishes of Deva and Cabueñes on an approximate surface of 16 hectares taking advantage of the Carbayera of the Tragamón and the installations of the La Isla estate. The facility has four well-differentiated environments: The Cantabrian Garden, the Vegetation Factory - that is organized around the Rionda mill-, the Atlantic Itinerary and the La Isla estate. This Estate, of about 40.000 square metres, holds the Historical Garden, where the visitors can see, among other elements, a rustic pool, a lagoon of 1.300 square metres and two other ponds that are part of the hydraulic complexes.
The facility has four well-differentiated environments: The Cantabrian Garden, the Vegetation Factory -that is organized around the Rionda mill-, the Atlantic Itinerary and the La Isla estate. This Estate, of about 40,000 square metres, holds the Historical Garden, where the visitors can see, among other elements, a rustic pool, a lagoon of 1,300 square metres and two other ponds that are part of the hydraulic complexes.
The Aquarium of Gijón puts within your reach a tour of 60 aquariums of fresh and salt water that will allow you to get know the flora and fauna of every sea in the world in detail. More than 2,000 cubic metres of water to recreate the life in the rivers of Asturias, the Cantabrian Coast, the Caribbean Sea, the Pacific and Indian oceans, the Red Sea, the African Ocean, the South Atlantic Ocean and the Subtropical Atlantic Ocean.
Talasoponiente is the modern thalassotherapy center of Gijón that offers you the possibility of enjoying the benefits of the sea to relax your body and mind with advanced treatments. A twenty-first century spa, designed to live from within, every day of the week. Feel the sea, take care of yourself inside and out and take advantage of an incomparable range of services to suit all tastes and needs.
Laboral City of Culture, situated in the old Laboral University of Gijón (3 kilometres away from the town), a grand building erected in the middle of the 20th century to offer the best professional training to workers´ children, has been turned into a cultural space in constant change in the 21st century. In its restored walls there are now university, professional and artistic training centers; rooms for conferences, events and seminars, the headquarters of Radio Television of the Principality of Asturias and, as the driving force of the city, Laboral Art and Industrial Creation Centre, a space for the exchange between art, design, industry and economic development.
Gijón, unarguably, the "Sede Mundial de la Bioética" (the "World Bioethics Headquarters") due to the work of the SIBI, joyfully welcomes the World Conference on Bioethics. This is a good example of the drive and prestige of this city for organizing both scientific and other types of conferences, such as business tourism, and incentive trips. With its up-to-date infrastructures, and the collaboration of the Conference Office and the Business Club, they facilitate the organization of any type of national or international event and guarantee its successful staging.