Covadonga, Asturias, Spain

Covadonga is a village and one of 11 parishes in Cangas de Onís, a municipality within the province and autonomous community of Asturias, in northwestern Spain. It is situated in the Picos de Europa mountains.

History

In 722 AD, Iberian Christians won a namesake battle over the Moors in Covadonga. This was the first significant Christian victory over the occupying Moors and is often considered to be the start of the 770-year effort to expel the Moors from Iberia, theReconquista. Our Lady of Covadonga is a significant Marian shrine. The Spanish Army has, over the years, named several of its units “Covadonga”. In the mountains above the town there are lakes known as Lagos de Covadonga, and the road leading to the lakes is often featured in the Vuelta a España bicycle race.

Lakes of Covadonga

The Lakes of Covadonga (el. 1134 m.) are of two glacial lakes located on the region of Asturias, Spain. These lakes, usually also called Lakes of Enol, are Lake Enol and Lake Ercina located in the Picos de Europa range and they are the original center of the Picos de Europa National Park, created in 1918.

Vuelta a España

The road ascending from Covadonga to the lakes is a popular climb in professional road bicycle racing, having been used by Vuelta a España many times in the last 25 years. Lagos de Covadonga is the most important climb in the modern history of the Vuelta. The road that leads to the lakes starts at Covadonga and is 12.6 kilometres long at an average gradient of 7.3% (height gain: 1056 m). The most demanding section is La Huesera, 7 kilometres from the top of the climb, with an average gradient of 15% during 800 meters. It was featured for the first time in 1983 with the victory of Marino Lejarreta.

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