The Sanctuary of Covadonga in Asturias

One of the great attractions that Asturias has, which has many, is the Sanctuary of Covadonga , which is inside the Picos de Europa National Park. It is located in the municipality of Cangas de Onís and has an incredible beauty that makes it a must-see if you are in the area, or even organize a trip just to get to know this place.

Covadonga means "Cave of the Lady", and the first construction in the Holy Cave was in the times of Alfonso I, who ordered the construction of a chapel to commemorate the victory of King Pelayo in his fight against the Muslims. The tomb of King Pelayo is currently in the same cave, although the chapel that exists now dates from the 40s and is romantic in style, having a polychrome wooden Santina that holds the Child and a golden rose.

The magic of this place is completed with the lower lake of the Cave, the tunnels that connect with the high areas and the staircase that must be crossed to reach it, all forming a spectacular natural environment. The Basilica of Covadonga is built entirely in pink limestone that was obtained from the surrounding mountains, and in the portico of the entrance there are two busts that correspond to the bishops of the Ovetense See, who were the ones who started and finished the work.

The Sanctuary also has a museum , which has suffered several fires throughout its history but still preserves pieces of great historical value. There you will find the Crown of the Virgin of Covadonga (made with gold, diamonds, rubies and platinum), the Ivory Christ (donated by King Felipe II) and various paintings, drawings, liturgical clothing and goldsmith works.

The Collegiate Church is the oldest building in the entire Sanctuary, with a rectangular plan that is distributed around a courtyard and has a ribbed vault, a choir and a square tower. The interior cannot be visited but only otherwise it is worth seeing.