Within Castilla y León we find cities as beautiful as Burgos with its majestic Cathedral or Segovia with its impressive aqueduct. This time we will highlight the essential to see if we decide to visit Avila.
As with the Camino de Santiago, the rise of the city was in the sixteenth century. It became an important pilgrimage destination because of the alleged appearance of Saint Teresa of Jesus.
What to see?
This city cannot be left behind in this autonomous community, and much less being the highest in Spain. Declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco, Avila is not only known for the altitude at which it is located. The city stands out notably for the medieval walls that delimit the historic center of the same. Once we have entered its walls it will seem as if we have gone back in time. We will find Renaissance palaces, Romanesque churches and even many medieval elements. Discover below what you can’t miss if you visit Ávila.
It is the hallmark of the city. It has a total perimeter of 2516 meters being practically rectangular in shape. Its structure is kept as complete as for the one of Segovia. If you have time it is advisable to visit it to be able to appreciate the details that it hides, in addition it is possible to go up and see it for an economic price.
Considered the first Gothic cathedral in Spain, it was declared a National Monument and World Heritage Site. It is centrally located, attached to the wall. As a curious fact we will say that it still remains unfinished and is walled in brick to prevent deterioration.
If we go through the walls of the wall, in the interior of Avila we will find a series of Renaissance palaces from the 15th and 16th century. Some of these palaces are: the Palace of the Mújica (Torreón de los Guzmanes), the Palace of Valderrábanos, the Palace of the Marquis of Velada, the Old Episcopal Palace and Episcopio, among others.
Plaza de Santa Teresa de Jesús and the Church of San Pedro
In the Plaza de Santa Teresa de Jesús, just outside the city walls, where the largest market in Avila is held. In this square we also find the Church of San Pedro, a beautiful Romanesque example of the twelfth century.
Basilica of St. Vincent
After the Cathedral of Avila, this basilica is the most important. We will find it outside the wall, in the place where it is believed that Saint Vincent was martyred. Romanesque in style, it was built mostly in the 12th century but completed in the 14th century.
Small Market Square
As in any self-respecting city, we will find the main square, in this case under the name of Plaza del Mercado Chico. We will be able to find the town hall or the Church of San Juan Bautista. It is named after the market that used to be held there.
Royal Monastery of Saint Thomas
We leave the walled enclosure again to find ourselves in a peaceful location in this monastery. Built thanks to the Catholic Monarchs in 1483, it also served as their summer palace.
Viewpoint of “Los cuatro postes” (The four posts)
The best viewpoint in the city of Avila where we can observe the city in all its majesty. Especially noteworthy are the views that we will find if we decide to approach at night. Like the Alhambra in Granada, we can see the impressive lighting of the wall that makes it even more grandiose and impressive.
We know that visiting the city and its impressive monuments will work up an appetite. And not everything is to see, we must also taste as Avila also stands out for its rich gastronomic offer.
Within the gastronomy of Avila we can highlight typical and famous dishes such as the chuletón de Ávila (the most famous dish), the patatas revolconas (mashed potatoes with garlic, paprika and bacon), the sopa Castellana or the Judiones del Barco. We can also taste their meats such as sirloin steak or roast suckling pig, lamb, etc..
And if after eating what we want is a good dessert, this city also offers us something very typical and unique, the yolks of Santa Teresa. Other sweets that we can highlight are the puff pastries of San Juan de la Cruz or the Huesos de Ávila.
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