Covadonga is a small village in Asturias, Spain. The battle of Covadonga took place here, which was the first Christian victory in the effort to expel the Moors from the Iberian Peninsula. This was just the beginning of the reconquista. Legend has it that the leader of the Battle of Covadonga, Pelayo, saw the Virgin Mary whilst seeking refuge in the cave and prayed to her. He attributed the miraculous win over the Moors to their encounter.
Because of this miracle, King Alfonso I ordered that a sanctuary be built in this location. Today, the Santa Cueva de Covadonga (Holy Cave of Covadonga), a catholic sanctuary remains. The sanctuary was carved into the mountain side overlooking a waterfall. It is a breathtaking spectacle, and thinking back to all of those who came here before you sends chills down your spine. To enter the sanctuary, you walk in silence through a cave light by only candle light. There is a certain sense of serenity in the air.
Once you arrive at the sanctuary, you can walk up to the alter. If you look outwards from the mountainside sanctuary, there is a grand church, a mountainous background, and a waterfall coming out from beneath you. These mountains enabled the Christians to defend their homeland.
You exit through a side door and follow a set of steep steps down to the waterfall and fountain beneath. Carefully following a path beside the pool of water, you reach the fountain. Each person takes a turn drinking from the fountain because of the powers it is said to possess. Some believe the water has healing powers. Others believe that if you drink from all seven water spouts on the fountain without taking a breath, you will become pregnant or married within the year. Needless to say I did not drink from all seven of the spouts.
The experience inspires a feeling of peace into its visitors. A combination of the beautiful landscape, the hidden sanctuary, and the healing waters of the fountain makes for an experience in itself. There is also a grand church, Our Lady of Covadonga, which was built on the apex of a small mountain. Beside the church, boasts a statue of Pelayo, the man who lead the Christians to Victory in the eight century.