Asturias officially the Principality of Asturias is an autonomous community in north-west Spain. The Parroquia or parish is the subdivision of the Asturian municipalities. Currently, 857 parishes are integrating the 78 municipalities in the region, and they usually coincide with the ecclesiastic divisions.
The Asturian coastline is extensive, with hundreds of beaches, coves and natural sea caves. Notable examples include the Playa del Silencio near the fishing village of Cudillero. Also, many beaches surrounding the summer resort of Llanes, such as the Barro, Ballota and Torimbia. Most of Asturias’s beaches are sandy, clean, and bordered by cliffs, on top of which it is not unusual to see grazing livestock.
For centuries, the backbone of the Asturian economy was agriculture and fishing. Milk production and its derivatives were also traditional, but its significant development was a byproduct of the economic expansion of the late 1960s. Nowadays, products from the dairy cooperative Central Lechera Asturiana are being commercialised all over Spain. The primary regional industry in modern times, however, was coal mining and steel production. Meanwhile, in the times of Francisco Franco’s dictatorship, it was the centre of Spain’s steel industry. The then state-owned ENSIDESA steel company is now part of the privatised Aceralia, now part of the ArcelorMittal Group. The industry created many jobs, which resulted in significant migration from other regions in Spain, mainly Extremadura, Andalusia and Castile and León.
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