The Basilica of Covadonga
The Basilica at Covadonga becomes visible long before you reach it as sits perched half way up a mountain.
Given the setting, grandiose design and the overall mystique of the Covadonga, this quite probably may be one of the most awe inspiring sights that you are ever likely to see.
Once you actually reach the Basilica of Covadonga you realize that it is now part of a complex of buildings on a little plateau and that other structures number a museum and a hotel.
Additionally, if you visit during any summer or holiday period you will be one of many hundreds of tourists, but even this does not diminish the spectacle of this beautiful building and its surroundings.
History of the Basilica
The basilica is perhaps not as old as one initially assumes and work on it only commenced in 1877 with the building's official completion being in 1901. All materials in the basilica's construction were sourced locally and probably the most visually distinctive is the pinkish masonry which is a form of marble taken from the surrounding mountains.
Although one can almost be forgiven for assuming that the building is "Disney" like with its fairytale appearance, the motivations behind it construction and use were solely those of religious worship. A visit within the basilica also requires all to be respectfully silent and clerics are in the building at all times.
The Basilica of Covadonga is Neo Romanesque in design and has two grand spires on its frontal elevation, but the design is such that it is a spectacle from any angle. Inside the building has an impressive alter and chapels of “the Rosary” and "the Most Holy". It also holds a collection of art works and a reproduction of the cross of the "victory of Miranda".
Just to the side of Basilica of Covadonga sits the famous statue of Pelayo, sword in hand, whilst to either side of the structure there are views of the surrounding mountains.
The only downside to this religious and historic monument arises as you turn away from it and see the other more commercial buildings along with a large car park, all of which face the basilica.