Don Pelayo first king of Asturias

This is the story of Don Pelayo, first King of Asturias. The lack of documentation concerning the figure of Pelayo has made possible the appearance of certain legends around him. However, there are enough grounds to assert the historicity of the character. In a ninth-century manuscript, he is considered the son of Duke Fávila and a member of the court of Visigoth King Witiza. (700-710).

Don Pelayo

Don Pelayo

Beyond the strategic location, it is said that Covadonga was a magical place. There legend tells that a hermit had revealed to Don Pelayo the secrets of the cave and the secret exit through the cave of Orandi.

On May 28, 722, the famous battle took place which marked the beginning of the expulsion of the Muslims from the country of the Visigoths. There are historians who have questioned the actual existence of this battle. What seems true is that there has been an exaggeration of the facts, which is justified by the importance of this fight as the embryo of the Spanish nation. Moreover, the struggle of a small army against a much larger army is commonplace in popular legends and heroic deeds of heroes, as is the case with the character of William Wallace in England.

The Alfonsina chronicle indicates that the Muslim army numbered 187,000 soldiers, a figure difficult to believe. Although one can understand the exaggeration of the chroniclers, as has already been said. Before the battle, Oppas was sent to negotiate with the Asturians, who did not want to listen to him. Pelayo reproaches him for his lack of faith and his betrayal of Christianity.

Faced with this, the Muslims launched a rain of arrows against the small resistance of the people asturian, who protected himself in the cave. In addition, the Asturians knew the territory and had expanded to nearby peaks. As soon as the Muslims entered through the gorge, they fell on them. The limited space and the number of men prevented them from maneuvering. According to the Chronicle, 124,000 Muslims, including Alqama, died.

The rest of the troops fled to Liábana in a disorganized manner. But their escape was interrupted by an avalanche, which, according to legend, was the result of divine intervention. It is also said that Pelayo saw the appearance of a Holy Cross, the current symbol of Asturias, which made the Muslims flee and that the Virgin herself helped in the victory.

When Governor Munuza saw the men fleeing Covadonga, he also tried to flee for fear of an uprising by the local nobility. However, the Asturians chased him to Olalíes and killed him.

Apart from the exaggeration of the number of armies and magical elements, the victory in the battle of Covadonga de los astures is due to a lack of judgment on the part of Cordoba, who did not consider the need to pay attention to the revolts , and General Alqama's lack of strategy. We can say, however, that this small revolt was the beginning of the Kingdom of Asturias. “When the legend becomes reality, the legend must be remembered. »

The Battle of Covadonga took place on May 28, 722 in Covadonga (Spain), near Cangas de Onís (Asturias), between the Christian army of Don Pelayo and the Muslim troops. Don Pelayo's troops, a small group of some 300 Asturian warriors, Basque and Galician, defeated a regular Muslim army led by Alqama.

This confrontation or battle is considered by historians to be the beginning of a long project called Reconquest, which ended on January 2, 1492, when Boabdil handed over the keys of Granada to the Catholic monarchs.

It was the story of Don Pelayo, first king of Asturias.