Covadonga's shrine is considered the birthplace of Spain. Here, in 718, a handful of sturdy Asturian Christians led by Don Pelayo took refuge in the Cave of St. Mary, about halfway up a cliff, where they prayed to the Virgin Mary to give them strength to turn back the Moors. Pelayo and his followers resisted the superior Moorish forces and set up a Christian kingdom that eventually led to the Reconquest. The cave has an 18th-century statue of the Virgin and Don Pelayo's grave. Covadonga itself has a basilica, open to visitors except during services, and its museum (Daily 10:30–2 and 4–7:30 €2.50) has the treasures donated to the Virgin of the Cave, including a crown studded with more than a thousand diamonds.
Covadonga, 33589, Spain