The La Laboral City of Culture is a stunning architectural monument on the outskirts of Gijon near the Atlantic Botanic Garden. Most noteworthy, it is the biggest building in Spain with approximately 270.000 square meters. Furthermore, it is considered the most important architectural project in Asturias from the XX century. Architect Luis Moya Blanco built it in between 1946 and 1956.
The founding objective was overall the education of children orphans of the mining industry victims. At a later stage, it transformed into a university, to offer professional training for young people. Thus, the building became Universidad Popular de Gijon.
The premises were practically abandoned and suffered deterioration during the 80s. The Government of the Principality of Asturias took under its wing in 2001. Their mission to recover and rehabilitate the building into Laboral Laboral Ciudad de la Cultura. It is now a multifunctional environment to promote culture and host initiatives such as:
• Laboral Art Centre and Industrial Creation
• Vocational Training Centre
• Laboral Theatre
• School of Performing Arts
• Professional Music and Dance Conservatory of Gijon
• Paraninfo Auditorium
• Jovellanos Faculty of Commerce, Tourism and Social Sciences from the University of Oviedo.
• Principality of Asturias Broadcasting Corporation (RTPA)
The main entrance to Laboral Ciudad de la Cultura goes through a Corinthian Patio with huge pillars where you will find the visitor’s reception and information office. After this patio, you will see the main square presided over by the Church. This building with an area of 807 square meters is considered the largest elliptical plant church in the world.
Sala de Pinturas
There are beautiful murals in Laboral Ciudad de la Cultura. The main dining room of the cafeteria shows different guilds worshiping the Virgin of Covadonga, the patroness of Asturias. The Hall of Paintings (Sala de Pinturas) shows an allegory of the struggle between good and evil.
There are remains of original furniture in good condition scattered around the building. Even more, there are walls decorated with colorful ceramic tiles from the 50s of Talavera de la Reina.
La Laboral Panoramic Terrace
Behind the church, you find the imposing tower with a height of 130 meters becoming the tallest building in Asturias indeed. Furthermore, this is also the tallest stone tower in Spain. You access it through the elevator to the viewing terrace on the 17th floor. Above all, the views of the city of Gijon and its surroundings are stunning.
La Laboral Gardens
Also, the historic gardens opened to the public with terraces. Furthermore, they decorate with ponds to sit and rest on a sunny day. Overall, contemplate with awesomeness the stunning architecture.
First of all, for more information on timetables, guided tours, and prices, please visit La Laboral Ciudad de la Cultura web page with details available in several languages. Even more, combine this outing with a visit to the nearby Atlantic Botanical Garden. Also, for information on the cinema screenings and activities at the Paraninfo Auditorium, please visit the web page Laboral Cinemateca. Finally, for other cultural events including theatre, the agenda is also available online.
Plan a visit to La Laboral and enjoy!
This post is also available in: Spanish