CULTURAL TOURISM IN CANGAS DE ONÍS AND SURROUNDINGSS
Even those who have never been attracted by history won’t be able to escape the irresistible allure of Cangas de Onis’ cultural heritage…
Even those who have never been attracted to history won’t be able to escape the allure of the town’s cultural heritage. It’s the real starting point of one of the most decisive pages in Spain’s history. The town was the cradle of the Reconquista and the first city and court of the Asturian Monarchy; it will captivate the traveller with the traces of its rich past at every step. One of the most important monuments in the Principality is known as the Roman bridge of Cangas de Onís – even though it was built in medieval times. It’s known by the local Cangas people as the Puentón, and its beautiful arch and Victory Cross imposing itself on the inverted crescent moon is an iconic image that will inspire some truly memorable photos of your time here.
The legacy of Don Pelayo, who led the Asturian army when they defeated the troops of al-Àndalus in the legendary battle of Covadonga, is evident everywhere. You can visit his tomb in the sanctuary of the emblematic mountain, the Real Sitio de Covadonga, a unique area of pilgrimage where the Santa Cueva and the Basilica of Santa María la Real really stand out.
Those who’d like to travel a little further can visit what was Don Pelayo's first resting place, in the church of Santa Eulalia in Abamia. Just 6 km from Cangas de Onís, this Romanesque temple boasts some beautiful Baroque paintings that tell of the leader's deeds, and is a great option for a day trip.
Apart from Pelayo’s legacy, there are many other aspects of cultural tourism that a visitor can enjoy. There are routes on which one can discover the interesting legacy of colonial-style architecture, the handiwork of those who became wealthy in America, with such remarkable family mansions as Villa María, the house of Sarmiento, or the Palacio Cortés.
Imagen: Zarateman / CC0
Those who are interested in traditional trades can visit the Minas de Buferrera, a didactic centre that explores the history of mining, which was such an important part of the economic and social evolution of the Principality. In the Ethnographic Museum of Eastern Asturias, in the town of Porrúa, we can discover all about the traditional architecture of the region and the trades that have shaped its history.