Determined to consign its gritty, industrial reputation to the past, the city of AVILÉS, 23km west from Gijón, has greatly cleaned up its act in recent years. Its arcaded old town, on the west bank of the namesake Ría de Avilés, is looking spruce, while immediately across the river the new Centro Oscar Niemeyer is an architectural showcase that sadly looks unlikely to match the impact of the Guggenheim in Bilbao.

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