Aviles is a port city in Asturias, Spain. The city covers a total area of approx 27 km2 (10 mi2) and has a population of around 80,000.
The city occupies the municipality's flattest land (former seabed) surrounded by tiny promontories, all of which featuring an altitude of fewer than 140 m (459 ft). The city is on Aviles River's estuary, in Northern Central Asturia, and west of Penas Cape. It combines a large seaport and an industrial city.
Archaeological excavations showed that the area was already settled in the upper paleolithic era. The existence of town proper date is documented in the early Middle Ages, though the name "Aviles" is considered to come from the local Roman landowner named Abilius.
The estuary, closed to navigation since the early modern era, was partly drained and cleared during the 19th century. The water inlet which divides the place was covered, and the two nuclei, La Villa and Sabugo, were joined together. Afterward, the city started to grow outside its medieval wall, which was demolished in 1818.
During the 20th century, there was substantial growth in population because of the arrival of a number of large factories to Aviles. In 1953 the first earthworks for the construction of ENSIDESA factory (a large steel mill, now Aceralia, part of ArcelorMittal) were started. Other companies in the region include Cristaleria Espanola, which along with ENDASA, transformed Aviles into one of the industrial centres of Spain. Today, the city is focusing on new industries, particularly cultural tourism.
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