Covadonga in Asturias, Spain, pilgrimage goal

Our Lady of Covadonga, The queen of the mountain.
Covadonga, is one of 11 parishes in Cangas de Onís, a municipality within the province and autonomous community of Asturias, in Northwestern Spain. It is situated in the Picos de Europa mountains. Our Lady of Covadonga or Santina, as she is affectionately called in Cantabria. It consists essentially of the «Real Sitio de Covadonga» / «Real Sitiu de Cuadonga» also known as the «cradle of Spain», a pilgrimage site dedicated to Our Lady of Covadonga / Cuadonga and commemorating the Battle of Covadonga of 718/722.
The Battle of Covadonga of c. 722 was the first Christian victory in the Iberian Peninsula over the Arabs and Berbers invading from north Africa under the Umayyad banner, and is often considered to be the start of the 770-year effort to expel Muslim rulers governing the Iberia during the Reconquista. Our Lady of Covadonga is a significant Marian shrine. The Spanish Army has, over the years, named several of its units «Covadonga».

In the mountains above the town are located the two lakes of Covadonga, Enol and Ercina, and the road leading to the lakes is often featured in the Vuelta a España bicycle race.

The Sanctuary of Covandonga is a monument dedicated to Our Lady of Covadonga that commemorates the Battle of Covadonga. It comprises the:

Basilica of Santa Maria la Real («Basilica of Saint Mary the Royal of Covadonga»), a church built in the 19th century to a design by Roberto Frassinelli,
    Holy Cave of Covadonga («Holy Cave of Covadonga»), in which the bodies of Kings Pelagius and Alfonso I lie,
    Collegiate church of Our Lady of Covadonga, built in the 16th century and declared a Property of Cultural Interest («Property of Cultural Interest») in 1884,
    Monastery of Saint Peter («Monastery of Saint Peter»), and
    Esplanade, with the Museum of the Real Sitio de Covadonga («Royal Site of Covadonga»).

Every year in Covadonga, approximately 1,200,000 people meet as pilgrims. Not only do believers approach Covadonga, but “one comes to this home as his own home. In this home, you know that there is always someone waiting for you and hugging you, which is Mary. ” A very interesting statistic, of those who visit the sanctuary a year: 10% are atheists and 12 or 14% are agnostic. A very curious thing happens in Asturias: there are many people who are not believers, as in many parts of the world, but they still have a must-see in Covadonga.
As the Asturian phrase says par excellence: «I don’t believe in anything but don’t touch the Santina «.

Our Lady of Covadonga is still in its place of origin … Covadongas Cave

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