Deva, Gijón, Spain

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Geography

Deva is a parish of the municipality of Gijón, Asturias, Spania. The toponym itself comes from an old pre-Roman/Astur deity.

Its population in 2012: 705 inhabitants. Deva is a residential and rural zone, near the municipality Villaviciosa in the east, bordering Cabueñes in the north and Caldones in the south. The region mostly consists of plains (mainly occupied by cows), belonging to adjoining farms. There are several cabins, houses and a riding centre.

There is also a little river, in the area, and it is common for people to come to Deva at the end of the week to enjoy the fresh air and many bars and “merenderos” (picnic areas). The highest mountain is Monte Deva (423m). There is a little natural park which surrounds the peak, where deer, wild boars and many species of birds can be seen. The peak offers beautiful landscapes of Gijón and there is, also, a little astronomical observatory.

History

The first evidence of human presence was found in Monte Deva, where there are many graves, and in Monte Areo, where there are some Neolithic dolmens. These dolmens were discovered in 1990 and it is said they had been built in 5000 B.C.

The 21st century brought huge developments, such as the coal trade, due to the fact that the roadway Gijón-León and the railway Langreo-Gijón were built. This meant a quick expansion of the port, owing to traffic development. A new port, El Musel, was built in 1893 and it was the first coal port on the peninsula. Gijón was going through a major change, being transformed from an industrialized village into a new bourgeois town, opening markets, building new streets, having modern utilities like running water, waste disposal, street lighting and so on. All these new industrial developments brought new workforce in town and new neighbourhoods appeared, like Natahoyo, La Calzada, Tremañes or El Humedal.

In the 20th century, during the Spanish civil war, the town supported the republican side. The army was located in El Coto. The resistance was eliminated in August 1936. Later, the village was the capital of the Sovereign Council of Asturias and Leon until the 20th of October 1937, when the troops of the general Francisco Franco occupied the city.

The iron metallurgy was the main industry of Gijón, fromthe end of the 19th century until the last decades of the 20th century. Uninsa was set up in 1971 and merged with Ensidesa. At the end of the 20th century it was transformed into Aceralia and integrated into Arcelor. The last decades of the century brought an industrial crisis, which mainly affected the iron metallurgy and the local shipbuilding industry. Since then, new beaches, parks and neighbourhoods have been built. A campus for the University in Oviedo has been built, as well.

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