Socrates-Comenius Project: “Finding
similarities; understanding differences”
The Principality of Asturias,
The Principality of Asturias is a region located in North West Spain
and lies between the Atlantic coast, on the Cantabrian Sea shore,
and the natural boundary of the Cantabrian Mountains, separating
it from the Spanish Northern plain. The region has an extension of
10,604 square kilometres and 334 km of coastline. The territory is
administratively divided in 78 municipalities
Asturias has a population of
about 1,076,635 inhabitants.
Average density of population
is 101,5 inhabitants per
square kilometre. 80% of the
population is concentrated in
the Asturias central and
metropolitan area formed by
the most populated cities:
Gijón, Oviedo (Administrative
capital), Avilés, Mieres and
Langreo, where the industrial
activities and services are
also concentrated. The
peripheral areas on the
regional East and West wings
are basically rural and
dedicated to agriculture,
farming and tourism mainly.
• The Principality of Asturias is a region
administratively divided in one province
bringing together 78 municipalities. The
Government territory is ruled by the Regional Government
as a whole and by the 78 local governments
ruling the different municipalities. Each one of
these public institutions has their own
competences according to the Spanish
Constitution and the Regional Autonomy Chart.
Regional Government structure
• The Asturias Regional Government is the so
called ‘Principality of Asturias’, formed by the
President and 10 Regional Ministers (Executive
branch), and supported by the Regional
Parliament with 45 representatives (Legislative
• The Regional Government has a wide range of
competences in the regulation of the social,
economic and political life of the Region,
except those competences exclusive of the
Spanish National Government: Constitutional
law, Nationality and immigration, Foreign
relations, Defence and Armed Forces, Justice,
Criminal law, Trade law, Labour law, Civil law,
Social security regulation, Customs, Treasury,
• Due to its situation and difficult terrain, the
territories along the north coast of Spain were
never part of Islamic Spain; the north served as
the nucleus of a small Christian enclave, the
Kingdom of Asturias, which was linked to Spain's
visigoth kingdom. For this reason since the 14th
century the heir to the Spanish throne
automatically takes the title Prince of Asturias,
much as the heir to the British throne is the Prince
Geography & Climate
• The Cantabrian mountain range (Cordillera Cantábrica) is Asturias' natural border with
León province to the south. The Picos de Europa National Park forms the eastern range
and contains the highest and most spectacular mountains, rising to 2648 metres at the
The Cantabrian mountains offer opportunities for activities such as climbing, walking,
skiing and caving, and extend some 200 kilometres in total, as far as Galicia province to
the west of Asturias, and Cantabria province to the east.
• The Asturian coastline is extensive, with hundreds of beaches, coves and small fishing
villages (Cudillero, Tazones) , and summer resort towns (Llanes, Ribadesella)
• The climate of Asturias, as with the rest of northwest Spain, is more varied than that of
southern parts of the country. Summers are generally humid and warm, with
considerable sunshine, but also some rain. Winters are fairly mild but with some very
cold snaps. The cold is especially felt in the mountains, where snow is present from
November till May.
Asturias: mountain landscape
The Asturian language
• In Asturias there´s a regional language called Asturiano or Bable. It´s
not much spoken nowadays, except in small villages, though it´s
taught in schools and university.
• The problem with “bable” is that even within Asurias there´re many
varieties and most words are pronounced differently in each valley.
Most of the words come from celtic languages and from latin.
• You´ll probably here words like “guaje” meaning child or “antroxu”
• A conversation in bable may sound like this;
BABLE: ¿Onde ta tu pa? Colo a trabayar
ESPAÑOL: ¿Donde está tu padre? Fue a trabajar
ENGLISH: Where is your father? He left for work
• The county of Mieres: situation
General view of Mieres; a valley between mountains
• Mieres is a municipality of Asturias, Spain with
approximately 45,000 inhabitants. The municipality of
Mieres is comprised of the capital Mieres del Camino,
and many smaller villages like Baiña, Figaredo, Cenera,
Loredo, Bustiello, etc.
• Mieres is the heart of the coal mining industry in Spain
and the industrial backbone of Asturias. The topography
of Mieres is mountainous with the greatest population
centers being located in the valley along the banks of the
Rio Caudal(Caudal River), in the center of Asturias.
• In the sixties and seventies
this was one of the most
important industrial centres in
the region with a huge steel
and Iron factory (Fábrica the
Mieres) and several coal
mines around the city. At that
time the river and this area
was very polluted. The factory
was moved to the coast and
most of the coal mines are
• At present we have several
new factories in the industrial
areas on the other side of the
river, but services is an
important part of the
• In Mieres there are all kind of facilities and
services, including 3 High Schools and a
modern Technical university where you can
study different engineering branches. At the
moment they are building a residence for
students and a huge research centre.
• Mieres del Camino is an example of working-Spain, far from the sunny vacation
destination typically associated with Spain. Mieres is located in a valley, flanked by
mountains along the banks of the Caudal River (Rio Caudal) and Route 66 in the center
• Mieres has a several small museums and cultural centers, a couple of art galleries and
numerous restaurant-bars, boutiques and shops. The highest concentration of shopping
is located along “calle Manuel Llaneza” and the pedestrian mall on “calle La Vega”. On
market days, the city market, the “Mercado de Mieres” and nearby streets are filled
with all kind of vendors selling a wide variety of products, most especially food and
Mieres Some of Mieres’ main gathering places are the Catholic
church of San Juan de Bautista, adjacent to the Cider
Square (Plaza de Requejo) popular for al fresco dining;
the Jovellanos Park (Parque Jovellanos) for relaxing,
sports and the evening “paseo”; and the plaza at the
Ayuntamiento de Mieres (City Hall Plaza) for festivals
and cultural gatherings.
Mieres’ most popular and important festival St. John's
Bonfire (La Foguera de San Juan) occurs every June
24th's eve, and is high-lighted by a huge bonfire,
cultural events, live concerts, fire works and great
quantities of al fresco food and drinks. Another
important festival is the Folixa na Primavera, in April,
in which you can have a good time listening to celtic
music from all over celtic countries and a bit of cider,
sidra, the most typical asturian drink.
San Juan´s church La LLechera´s square
IES BERNALDO DE QUIRÓS
• Our school is one of
the oldest in Mieres
and it has recently
being renovated. The
main bulding was a
palace of the Bernaldo
de Quirós family, one
of the most powerful
families in this region
since the Middle Ages.
The palace is from the
XVII century but there
was a defense tower
here since the XIII
• Ten years ago there were more than 1200
students, but now the area´s population has
decreased and we are only 535 students and
about 65 teachers.
• We have four years of secondary education
(from 12-16) and 2 years of High school (1st
and 2nd of Bachillerato, from 16-18).
• In our High School you can choose between
3 different branches of studies:
a. Technology and Sciences
In each of the branches you can
choose several subjects.
After the last year you have to take the
university entrance exam or Selectivity test.
• Our school is famous for its Art
collection and the cultural activies that
often take place here: conferences; art
exhibitions, trips, cultural days, etc.
• Graduation day is also very important
in this school and we are looking
forward to it.
Our Comenius Project: “Finding similarities,
a) Linguistic objectives:
To achieve a basic knowledge of the language of both
countries participating in the project by attending classes in
the preparation phase of the exchanges.
To improve linguistic communication skills in English .
b) Cultural objectives:
To promote and widen cultural awareness through the study in
both countries of the history, culture and economy.
To research and find similarities and differences in the history
and culture of both regions.
To participate in and experience culture and traditions through
games, food, visits, music, etc. during the exchanges.
Comenius Project: Objectives
c) Attitudinal objectives:
To promote and foster the understanding of other
cultures in the context of a multicultural society.
To promote attitudes of respect and tolerance
towards other nationalities and other people.
Comenius Project: Activities
• Language classes in both countries to learn some basic linguistic skills in the
• Cultural / educational visits to increase their understanding of both
regions/countries. The visits include monuments, museums, rural villages,
natural landscape, craft centres, local government institutions, etc.
• Research work carried out by the students using different resources (written
information, interviews, field work, multi-media, observation etc.) to study and
understand the history, culture and economy of both regions.
• Attending some regular classes and lectures in both schools in different
subject matters (History, Mathematics, Sports, English, Economy).
• Experiencing some customs and traditions by listening to music, participating
in games, eating traditional food, dancing.
• Active reflecting on cultural issues by participating in group and plenary
• Writing essays in English in order to exchange information on the different
topics of the project and daily diaries during the exchange time.
THAT´S THE END
• THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR YOUR