SPECIAL PLACES IN SPAIN: AVILA
Avila is situated in the beautiful region of Castilla and Leon; this ramparts city is one of the most spectacular urban sights in Spain. However, in Spain, Avila is famous for one thing: the image of Saint Teresa.
Avila is situated in the beautiful region of Castilla and Leon; this ramparts city is one of the most spectacular urban sights in Spain. However, in Spain, Avila is famous for one thing: the image of Saint Teresa. The mystical Saint Teresa was born here in 1515 and the monasteries and church dedicated to her bless the streets of the city. Avila is a small city, only 50,000 inhabitants, and is situated on a crag above the Adaja river, at an altitude of over 1,130 meters. Winters are extremely rough, but any other season is absolutely wonderful for exploration on foot of the city and its surroundings.
Sightseeing in a small city
The perfectly preserved walls of Avila date back to the 11th century when, in order to defend it from the Moors, 88 cylindrical towers and nine gates were built. For a panoramic view, you can cross the two and a half kilometers that surround the walls. Supported on the walls and situated at the most eastern and the oldest corner lies the Cathedral, dating back to the 12th century. The first bricks were laid in the 12th century, but the cathedral was finished in the 15th century. Search for the grave of El Tostado, a 15th century bishop nicknamed „the fried one”, because of his olive skin. Here you can also visit the choir stalls, beautifully sculptured in the Plateresque style. The altar is built in the Renaissance style. Don’t miss the 13th century sacristy, with its octagonal vaulted ceiling. In the museum you can admire a gigantic silver shrine. The Gothic Monastery is situated right next to the museum. While in Avila, you can also visit the Basilica de San Vicente. This Romano-Gothic construction has an exquisitely sculptured western portal. In the interior you will find a sarcophagus covered with a canopy belonging to Saint Vincent and his sisters.
The symbol of the city
Saint Teresa is one of the patrons of Spain. She was a mystic, a rebel, a writer and the one who founded the Carmelite order whose members walk barefoot. Her birth place in Avila is marked by the monastery, Convento de Santa Teresa. The place she lived in for 27 years is now a museum dedicated to her life. As you can see, Avila is the perfect place for those who love the church and religion; here they find a peaceful place, one that nourishes the soul.
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