Covadonga combines history, spirituality and unique nature. It is home to a religious sanctuary with a basilica that can be seen for miles around as its two spires are very characteristic and sits half way up a mountain. In 722 Covadonga was the scene of a historic battle as the Moorish invasion of Spain was repeled by King Pelayo and the Moors were forced to turn back.
King Pelayo would establish the Kingdom of Asturias, the first Christian realm founded after the Muslim conquest.
The Basilica of Covadonga
The basilica’s structure is reminiscent of Norman Romanesque cathedrals and it was designed by German architect Roberto Frassinelli. The facade has large twin towers and a portico with busts of the bishops responsible for the construction. To be honest, the interior is not as impressive as the exterior but it has beautiful stained-glass windows that shed light to arched aisles.
According to legend, the Virgin Mary appeared during the battle to help the Christian soldiers and there is a small chapel in a natural cave dedicated to her. In reality, the monastic community in Covadonga has only been documented since the beginning of the 12th century.