Oviedo (in Asturian Uviéu) is a Spanish council and city, capital of the Principality of Asturias. Its origin dates back to the High Middle Ages -8th century-, or even earlier, originally called Ovetum. Oviedo is a council (the Asturian equivalent to the municipality), in addition to a parish of said council, of which the capital and city of the same name form part.
It is the geographical, university, religious, political and administrative center of Asturias, headquarters of the General Assembly of the Principality, its institutions, the University of Oviedo, the Museum of Fine Arts of Asturias, the Princess of Asturias Awards as well as the Archdiocese of Oviedo. It is recognized as one of the cities with the highest quality of life in Europe according to the European Commission.
The municipality of Oviedo is the second most populous in the autonomous community behind Gijón, with 217,552 inhabitants (2021), occupying the 23rd position among the most populous municipalities in Spain and is included in the central metropolitan area of Asturias, which encompasses 800,000 people, and in the so-called "Asturian eight".
It holds the titles of "very noble, very loyal, meritorious, undefeated, heroic and good" that appear on the municipality's coat of arms and is thus collected by a plaque located on the facade of the City Hall building.
Uviéu or Uvieo is the name given to the city in Asturian. The name in Spanish is "Oviedo", and since March 2019 the bilingual name "Oviedo / Uviéu" has been the official name for the city. In the medieval chronicles of the Kingdom of Asturias it is alternately called Ovetao or Oveto. Thus, in the Testament of Alfonso II it is called Ovetdao, Ovetao in the Albeldense Chronicle and Oveto in the Monastic Pact of San Vicente and in the Chronicles of Alfonso III, both in its Rotense and Sebastian version.
Etymologically, the origin of the city's name is not clear. Ramón Menéndez-Pidal attributed a Celtic origin to the place name. Various meanings have also been attributed to it in the Basque language. Some theories suggest that it comes from the medieval Latin Urbs Vetus, which means "old city".[nb 1] For others[nb 2], the origin would be from the union of Ovis with the suffix -etum, which means "place abundant in sheep", although this does not seem well founded. Other explanations consider that Iovetan is an adjective of Iove (which means Jupiter, so the place could have been a place of veneration to Jupiter),[nb 3] or that comes from the Celtic language. Joaquín Manzanares proposed the explanation that the name of the city comes from the Latin Albetum (whitish), due to the color of the mound where the original nucleus of the city was located; this coincides with the description made of the place by Father Carvallo. [nb 4] Thus, another possible interpretation of the origin of the name of the city arises, which indicates that Oviedo comes from Alvietum (from the union of Alveum and the ending -etum), which means "place abundant in streams" and which would also coincide with the description given by Father Carvallo. [nb 4] Despite everything, the etymological origin of "Oviedo" is still not clear and no theory is fully accepted.
There are other cities with the same name, all of them on the American continent: in Baja California, in Veracruz (Mexico), in Paraguay, in the Dominican Republic and in Florida (United States).
The name of the inhabitants of Oviedo is “ovetense”, although they are also popularly known as carbayones or carbayonas in memory of a tree that was a symbol of the city for many centuries. A carbayu is an oak in Asturian, a tree that was sacred to the ancient Astures and Cantabria.
One of them, several hundred years old, was known by the name of "el Carbayón" and was planted in what until