Covadonga, a key stageA rebellion that changed history
The cave of Covadonga and the Auseva mountain, on the rural landscape of the Picos de Europa, form the natural bastion that would protect the people that would rise up against the new government established by the Moors on the peninsula. This first nucleus of resistance -which undoubtedly was not the only one, but perhaps the most successful and the quickest too-, sought protection in a territory they were very familiar with in the Valley of Cangas de Onís and the projection thereof into the mountainous interior.Read more
A symbol of Asturias and a constant source of creativityPelayo and Covadonga represent the essence of a cultural identity
Pelayo and Covadonga constitute the founding tale of the origins of a Kingdom that is the precedent of the medieval peninsular kingdoms, the origin of our country as a historical reality and even the beginning of a Reconquista mission which would be consecrated as an identifying element due to excellence. Therefore, since the period of the Asturian Monarchy, Pelayo has been recognised as its origin.Read more
- The Cruz de la Victoria
- The connection with the monarchy
- Inspiration for literature, music and cinema
- A myth recreated in the visual arts
The Cruz de la Victoria and the Roman Bridge, also known as the Puentón, in Cangas de Onís, represent unequivocal symbols of the History of Asturias. The Roman Bridge is located on the river Sella, which also has a strong link to the life of Pelayo and his achievements and from its main arch hangs an enormous Victory Cross which reminds us of the historic and already mythical episode which gave rise to the birth of a small kingdom, which had its first headquarters in the forever hospitable Canicas, today Cangas de Onís.
Pelayo and Covadonga and the story of his epic accomplishment -although very often drenched by legend-, has become a real symbol of identity over the centuries of the entire region of Asturias. The achievements of Pelayo and the Asturian people are represented on many emblems and shields of the towns and councils of Asturias and such a deep-rooted historical symbol such as the Cruz de la Victoria, are related to an alleged cross raised by Pelayo in Covadonga. The Spanish monarchy, despite the dynastic changes over the centuries, are rooted in Pelayo and Covadonga. Since the 14th century, the heir to the Spanish throne has held the title of Prince of Asturias and it was in the Sanctuary where Spain's current king, Felipe VI, was sworn in as Prince of Asturias in 1977.
The playwrights, poets, novelists, musicians and filmmakers who have had the myth of Pelayo and Covadonga as an inspiring element are numerous. Since the Renaissance and the Spanish Golden Age until now, works of theatre of epic, comic, tragic and romantic themes have fed the world of culture. In addition, poets have seen in Pelayo and the tale of Mount Auseva an inspiration for their verses and names as illustrious as Espronceda or Campoamor have let themselves be seduced by this myth of myths.
Cinema and music have also found their creative stimulus in this mysterious and charismatic story and Pelayo has even been the protagonist of an opera.
The mountains of Covadonga, the Cave, the Basilica, the landscapes of Picos de Europa, the people...This already eternal myth has definitely been recreated a hundred times in the visual arts. Paintings, engravings, sculptures, shields, photographs, posters, labels, etc. have been the support that has disseminated this great story throughout the whole world, making imagination and creativity the best instruments for showing all the beauty and uncountable nuances of an event that many centuries later -thirteen- continues to be an endless source of inspiration.