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Visit Ávila

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The King, Loyalists and Knights

Ávila is the city where heritage, history and art, gastronomy, celebration and mysticism, culture and nature all come together. ÁVILA is a mediaeval city of three cultures, a World Heritage Site and part of the Network of Jewish Quarters. ÁVILA is a modern city offering quality tourism, comfort and vanguard amenities, as well as accessible and social tourism.

City walls, houses, palaces, churches and convents make up the city's rich artistic heritage that comes from an opulent historical past of the different cultures that once lived here. History, art, mysticism, traditions, gastronomy and nature come together to offer visitors a rewarding stay in Ávila. The mediaeval city is contained in the city walls, which in the case of Ávila are much more than a symbolic presence - they both explain and configure the city.

The city saw its maximum splendour in the 16th century and is the home to mysticism and spirituality, with the best example being Teresa de Cepeda y Ahumada [Teresa of Ávila]. If we trace the steps of Saint Teresa, we move from the Gothic to the Renaissance, to mannerism to the Baroque through the life and work of our most universal saint.

Ávila is a city of celebration and tradition. Most started with a religious bent, although they always have a Pagan nuance. In addition to the purely religious side, the city offers other leisure pursuits rooted in its habits and customs.

What to see

  • Ávila City Wall. The wall is mainly mediaeval. Running 2,516 m (enclosing an area of 33 H), it has 87 turrets or round turrets, 9 gates and 2 keeps, and 2,500 merlons. Ávila's wall is one of the best preserved in the world.
  • The Cathedral. Believed to be the first Gothic cathedral in Spain, it is built over the remains of an original building dedicated to the Saviour.
  • Basilica of San Vicente. Outside the city walls, the Basilica of San Vicente is made from La Colilla granite and adapts to the lie of the land. The location is where tradition states Vicente, Sabina and Cristeta were martyred and buried. It is the great Romanesque model in Ávila.
  • Royal Monastery of Santo Tomás. The monastery was built under the patronage of Hernando Núñez de Arnalte. Work began in 1482 and finished in 1493, although on orders of the Catholic Monarchs a palace was constructed later around the eastern or 'Royal' cloister.
  • Convent and Museum of Santa Teresa. The church was built over the birthplace of Teresa de Cepeda y Ahumada and is part of the Carmelite convent.
  • Monastery of La Encarnación. Founded in 1478 inside the city walls, the Carmelite convent moved in the early 16th century to the city outskirts, with a monastery being built on land purchased from the Ecclesiastical Council where a Jewish cemetery had once stood.
  • Casa de los Deanes. A manor house built in the 16th century in a Renaissance style as a residence for the Dean of the cathedral. It is a two-storey rectangular building with a porticoed courtyard in the centre that governs the layout and houses brick basket arches on granite columns.
  • Santo Tomé El Viejo. Built in La Colilla granite, it dates to the 12th century. It houses intricate figurative, plant and geometric motif décor.
  • Palace of the Superunda. Built in a Renaissance style, it dates to 1580 and was commissioned by the alderman Pedro Ochoa Aguirre. In the 20th century, it was purchased by the Italian painter Guido Caprotti who had had ties to the city since 1916.
  • San Pedro. Presiding over the Plaza del Mercado Grande, it looks similar to the Basilica of San Vicente. The Monarchs swore to respect the courts of Castile in the atrium - demonstrating the importance of this church during the city's political height.
  • Convent of San José. This is the first convent to follow the monastic ideal of Teresa of Ávila, characterised by simplicity and austerity.
  • Los Cuatro Postes. The San Sebastián shrine (a small chapel in the outskirts of the city) and popularly known as the Four Posts is located on the left bank of the Adaja River, dominating the city from the west. The monument comprises four Doric monolithic columns joined by an architrave bearing the city's coat-of-arms, with a granite cross at the centre.

Irene recommends

Visitávila Tourist Card

Visit Ávila's most emblematic monuments with the Visitávila Tourist Card.

Ávila Tourist Information Office

Visitor Welcome Centre

  • Avda. de Madrid, 39
  • 05001 - Ávila (Ávila)

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