Here’s a place you may not have heard of in Spain – little Avilés, a town in Asturias on the northern seafront. And this weird building is part of the Oscar Niemeyer International Cultural Center.


Avilés is one of the major towns in Asturias (along with Gijón and Oviedo), but it’s still really tiny. I was only there for an afternoon after a long weekend of travel and sidra parties in Asturias. I was exhausted and really sick, so I took a tour of the pretty town and then had a lovely café con leche in a small café.

One of the coolest parts of the town was the Centro Cultural Internacional Oscar Niemeyer – the Oscar Niemeyer International Cultural Center. Despite its name, it was actually designed by a Brazilian architect (I mistakenly thought he must be German or something).

The center celebrates culture (as the name suggests), education, and peace. It had buildings for exhibitions, performances, and going out. My favorite was this twisty tower, which you can go up to get a view of the beautiful countryside. The circle at the top is a cocktail bar, which I would love to go to for a late-night drink.

Brad Pitt and Kevin Spacey have worked with the center, and Woody Allen shot some of Vicky Cristina Barcelona there. Pretty good for a place I’d never even heard of after spending over a year in Spain!