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Cangas de Onis
Cangas de Onís is a municipality in the eastern part of the province and autonomous community of Asturias in the northwest of Spain. The capital of the municipality is also Cangas de Onís.More than seventy square kilometres of the concejo form part of the Parque nacional de los Picos de Europa. Within the park is the village of Covadonga, where the battle of Covadonga, the first major victory by a Christian military force in Iberia after the Islamic conquest, marks the starting-point of the Reconquista.Until 774, Cangas de Onís was the capital of the Kingdom of Asturias. It was the site of the first church constructed in post-conquest Iberia, Santa Cruz de Cangas de Onís, built on an ancient dolmen.EtymologyThe name of the town may very likely have originated as the Visigothic/Ancient Germanic affirmation "kuningaz ðeow nis", meaning "a king is not a slave". This slogan would commemorate the former capture and brief enslavement of the Asturian Visigoth king Pelayo (also known as Pelagius of Asturias) at the hands of the Islamic Moors, who had invaded and taken control of Spain from the years 711-718 AD.Pelayo would soon escape from his enslavement in or around the year 720 AD and, after a long and dangerous cross-country evasion of his pursuing Moorish captors, eventually succeed in returning to his home territory in the mountains of Asturias. There he would lead his fellow Asturian Visigoths to victory against the Moors at the Battle of Covadonga. This victory would be the first of many all across Spain in the almost 800-year-long period of Reconquista which ultimately unified and reclaimed the entire nation for Christendom in 1491 AD.Plan your tour of Cangas de Onis and Spain travel itinerary using our Spain trip planner.
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