Cangas de Onis and its place in History
Like many Asturian towns, Cangas de Onis played an important role in the north of Spain's successful resistance to the invasion of the Moors.
This resistance and a victorious battle at near by Cavadonga started what became known as the "reconquista", or re-conquest of Spain, by its indigenous people. The reconquista became an ongoing battle and expulsion of the muslim Moors from the Iberian Peninsula and it lasted for over seven hundred years.
It was the juncture of a critical point in Spain's future history and without this moment the country we now know as Christian Spain may have been taken down a very different path.
In 718 AD Don Pelayo, who led the first and most famous victory at Cavadonga (within the principality of Cangas de Onis), foundered the town and it became the capital of what would ultimately extend to be the country of Spain. Pelayo himself was a king.
Early history of Cangas de Onis
Centuries earlier the Roman Empire took hold of this area of Asturias and the remains of an old Roman road have been unearthed in the vicinity of Cangas de Onis. Parts of a stone bridge in the town are also said to be Roman in origin although much of the structure has since been rebuilt.
Early history saw Cangas de Onis with numerous Kings and with a different spelling of "Kangas".
The town is also mentioned in historical texts dating back to the twelfth century and its significance in Spainís history and evolution cannot be overlooked.
Today though, Cangas de Onis is best known as one of the more popular destinations in rural Asturias and in the month of August, when many Spaniards take there annual holiday, its population swells several fold. As previously suggested, this is definitely not the best time to visit this area of Asturias, but it remains one of the most important and beautiful parts of Spain, what ever time of year you choose to see it.