Coal from the Oviedo mines is exported coastwise, and in 1904 the shipments from Aviles for the first time exceeded those from Gijon, reaching a total of more than 290,000 tons.
The estuaries of these rivers are rarely navigable, and along the entire littoral, a distance of 130 m., the only important harbours are at Gijon and Aviles.
Gijon, a seaport of northern Spain, in the province of Oviedo; on the Bay of Biscay, and at the terminus of railways from Aviles, Oviedo and Langreo.
The older parts of Gijon, which are partly enclosed by ancient walls, occupy the upper slopes of a peninsular headland, Santa Catalina Point; while its more modern suburbs extend along the shore to Cape Torres, on the west, and Cape San Lorenzo, on the east.
Few of the buildings of Gijon are noteworthy for any architectural merit, except perhaps the 15th-century parish church of San Pedro, which has a triple row of aisles on each side, the palace of the marquesses of Revillajigedo (or Revilla Gigedo), and the Asturian Institute or Jovellanos Institute.
Jovellanos, a native of Gijon, is buried in San Pedro.
The Bay of Gijon is the most important roadstead on the Spanish coast between Ferrol and Santander.
Besides large tobacco, glass and porcelain factories, Gijon possesses iron foundries and petroleum refineries; while its minor industries include fisheries, and the manufacture of preserved foods, soap, chocolate, candles and liqueurs.
Gijon is usually identified with the Gigia of the Romans, which, however, occupied the site of the adjoining suburb of Cima de Villa.
Early in the 8th century Gijon was captured and strengthened by the Moors, who used the stones of the Roman city for their fortifications, but were expelled by King Pelayo (720-737).
In 844 Gijon successfully resisted a Norman raid; in 1 395 it was burned down; but thenceforward it gradually rose to commercial importance.