After presenting annual Princess of Asturias awards last night, Today, King Felipe and Queen Letizia of Spain with their daughters headed to the this year’s winner of Exemplary Town Award in Asturias. This year’s winner is Somao, Privia in Asturias.
The Exemplary award, in its thirty-first edition, is given to a town, village, population centre, space landscape or human group of the Principality of Asturias that has stood out in a notable way in the defence and conservation of its natural and environmental environment, its historical, cultural or artistic heritage, in initiatives of economic and social impulse or in the realization of communal works or other outstanding manifestations of solidarity.
This award was convened for the first time in 1990, on the Princess of Asturias Foundation’s tenth anniversary, and has a different nature and character from the Princess of Asturias Awards. Its financial endowment is twenty-five thousand euros.
Nestled in the geographical environment of the lower Nalón, in a transition region between rural and urban areas the rural parish of Somao marks the northernmost point of the Pravia council, while ecclesiastically it belongs to that of Muros de Nalón. The town is located on a hill overlooking the sea and the mouth of the Nalón River.
With about three hundred inhabitants today, Somao is one of the thirty-nine rural parishes in Asturias with its own legal personality and with the capacity to manage and organize their assets, among which are some four hundred hectares of mountains and several pastures, which are an important source of income for the town, as well as others from the rental of several houses and the management of the social centre bar.
The parish was governed between 2015 and 2019 by a manager without a political sign, formed after the resignation of the previous mayor to preserve its legal status and prevent its assets from becoming the property of the Pravia City Council. After the 2019 municipal elections, the elected board is made up of the members of the previous manager.
Somao’s past is linked to the history of emigration and has an architectural heritage of Indian origin of notable value. But in addition to the outstanding palaces of this era – some of them the work of the architect Manuel del Busto – the town also benefited because the Indians invested in bringing water, roads and fountains and financed the construction of public buildings, such as schools (1925), the charity school cinema (1920) and the church (1903), in addition to the local park.
The Indian legacy coexists with the typical Asturian constructions, such as granaries, bread boxes and haystacks, being the Quintana or casería the type of construction that shows an agrarian past linked to the exploitation of the field and livestock.
At present, the neighbours organize several popular xuntanzas, both for the realization of altruistic works such as the restoration of the church and laundry rooms and the cleaning of fountains and drinking fountains, as well as for the maintenance of traditions such as Christmas, carnival, bonfire San Juan and Amagüestu, in addition to the patron saint festivities in honour of Sant’Olaina, which are celebrated on December 10 and the last weekend of August, organized by the Sant’Olaina Cultural and Festivities Association, and various events cultural and charitable activities throughout the year.
This year once again Princess of Asturias, Leonor, presented the award and addressed the gathering.
Then the family began the tour of the town and met with the residents and saw the local artistic works.
Family during the tour.
A video of the day.
For the day, Queen Letizia of Spain kept her look comfortable and minimal.
She was wearing her camel Hugo Boss ‘Cirala’ Trench coat.
Letizia paired the coat with a new check trouser and
black leather loafers.
She was carrying her Uterqüe black leather studded messenger bag.
Her Chanel ‘Comete’diamond earrings
and her Karen Hallam ring finished the look.