The Sanctuary of Covadonga has become a symbol of pilgrimage and an area of great importance for Asturias and Spain, according to the legend and history of the place.
The Sanctuary of Covadonga is an ecclesiastical pilgrimage complex made up of the Basilica, the Cave and different buildings, surrounded by a wide natural environment and beautiful landscape. It is located in the Picos de Europa National Park, between mountains and forests.
Visit the Holy Cave
This cave excavated in rock above the waterfall the abode of the patron saint of Asturias for over 1,300 years. The Santina, as the image of the virgin is known, is a 15th century work that was later reformed. Santina Virgin stands on a stone pedestal and is visited by many pilgrims in the country.
The cave is located on Mount Auseva and can be accessed there through a tunnel built that allows visitors to pass through the Santina. It is necessary to cross a long scale guarded by two lions sculpted by the Italian Marchesi before entering the tunnel.
In the cave there is a small chapel and an altar where the virgin rests. Below this are 7 jets known as the fountain of the sacraments, formed by the waters of the river Deva.
A spectacle to contemplate the union between the sacred and nature and a reason to visit the Sanctuary of Covadonga.
Visit to the Basilica
A monumental work that opened its doors in 1901 and which was promoted by the Archbishop of Oviedo D. Benito Sanz Forés in order that the Sanctuary of Covadonga had a greater splendor. This neo-Romanesque architectural jewel houses works of art by important and renowned artists.
Inside is the fountain of the lion, a majestic semicircular pond built by Luis Menéndez Pidal.
Nearby is the home Escolania, a former hostel for pilgrims and the exercise house where you can stay and participate in activities of recollection and reflection.
A tour to contemplate the architectural beauty of the Sanctuary, as well as the works of art that surround it.
Natural route around the Sanctuary of Covadonga
There are two routes that you can choose according to the length of the road. The Reconquest Route has a much larger extension of road and the Orandi Route has a much smaller extension.
A natural tour of the Prince’s Park
It is a trail little explored by visitors, however, is one of the most beautiful for its vast and lush vegetation. It is located below the sculpture of the lions and is surrounded by beautiful wooden bridges to make the tour easier for visitors, thus enhancing the beauty of the place. In the interior there are also pieces of great artistic value and some buildings of dedicated architectural elaboration.
There are also other symbolic places such as the Statue of Pelayo created by Gerardo Zaragoza in 1965 which marks the mountain of the sanctuary. The Bell 3 meters high with beautiful reliefs on the surface created by Xaverio Sortini.
Other places of interest around the Sanctuary of Covadonga
Los Lagos de Covadonga is where the Picos de Europa National Park originates. There are two glacial lagoons known as Enol and La Ercina, near them there is a smaller lake called El Bricial which receives the water that comes down from the ice in the mountains. The tour gives you a wonderful and majestic landscape of nature, these have guided trails where you can reach viewpoints that allow panoramic contemplation of the mountains, and the area of Cangas de Onis.
As you can see, there are many plans you can make when you visit the Sanctuary of Covadonga, a place to reflect and contemplate, with surroundings full of landscapes that invite you to rest and meditation. For the more restless it is the perfect place to explore on long or short walks.
So you know, if you are close to Asturias or if you are planning a trip to the Basque Country, the Sanctuary is a must to visit, as it has everything in one place.