Noreña is the smallest of the Asturian councils, it is a kind of "island" in the middle of Siero's map, it occupies 6,37 Km² and to it is added the 0,57 Km² Walkway, an annex territory that borders the councils of Siero and Langreo. It has a population of 4.300 inhabitants, and despite its size it has become one of the most prosperous municipalities in the region, with a per capita income of the highest and very low levels of unemployment. Currently, urban development is one of its main sources of wealth due to its proximity to large cities. But the greatest contemporary economic boom has been given by its meat industry, which currently employs more than 600 people and exports its products in Spain and Europe.
It is located in the central area of the Principality of Asturias, in the center of the territorial space of another council that surrounds it: Siero. Its main nucleus, Noreña, borders the parish of San Martín de Anes to the north, Hevia to the south, La Carrera to the east and Argüelles to the west.
How to get
The council is perfectly connected given its excellent geographical situation. Noreña has an extensive network of communications, both by road and by rail, the most important routes being:
The Gijón-Laviana highway. The Oviedo-Santander highway, both the N-634 and the A-66, from El Berrón and / or through the Tiñana roundabout. The road of La Belga, from Pruvia to Noreña. The railroad, through FEVE, with the Laviana-Gijón and the Noreña-Oviedo lines.
10 km from Oviedo // 20 km from Gijón // 12 km from Langreo // 5 km from Siero
The council became popular once because it was a town where there were more than 200 leather craftsmen, who exported their products inside and outside the region. The first documented news about the municipality dates from the end of the 10th century and refers to the «Noreña» river. Noreña as a villa is cited in 1155.
Establish exactly the origins of this council is almost impossible, although, given its strategic location in the Siero term, where there are Palaeolithic and Castrean sites, it is logical to deduce that their lands also harbored activities of the primitive Astures. In La Pasera several megalithic mounds are located.
The documented history begins at the end of the 13th century when Rodrigo Álvarez de las Asturias, thanks to his influence as main knight in the courts of the monarchs Fernando IV and Alfonso XI, he managed to gather extensive domains and abundant rents with a solar house in the fortress and castle of Noreña, an ideal place from the strategic point of view.
In the fourteenth century Rodrigo will expand its domains in Asturias to the point of becoming the most important seigniorial force in the region, along with the other force, the Oviedo miter. The lordship of Noreña in later decades would have decisive importance at key moments in the history of the Crown of Castile.
What to see in Noreña
· Monument to the «gochu».
· El Rebollin Palace.
· Clock Tower.
· Church of Ecce Homo.
· Festivity of San Marcos or «Feast of the Hash and the Sabadiego», between the days 24 and 26 of April.
· Celebrations of Ecce Homo, from 14 to 21 in September.
· Weekly market on Saturdays.
Text: © Ramón Molleda for asturias.com