Trying to describe Avila in a few words is like trying to write ancient history on a single page. Avila began in 700 B.C. Its most remarkable feature is the old Roman medieval wall built to protect the city in the 3rd century B.C. It is a work of art in stone with 2,500 crenelations and a hundred towers. Entering the ancient city through the Gate of Leales, it quickly becomes apparent that Avila is a city of cathedrals and churches. The first Cathedral you will see is built like a fortress but has stunning and elaborate interior pieces of art. Other churches worth seeing are the Basilica of San Vicente, and the Church of San Pedro. All have unique architectural features and an interesting history that includes martyrs and monarchs.
Avila is the birthplace of one of the world’s most famous mystics – Santa Teresa. You can visit the monastery of Encarnacion where she lived for 20 years. But Avila is also known for the surviving houses of Renaissance nobility. The Mansion of Velada and the Palace of Nunez Vela are just two that can be toured. But churches and houses are not the only historical treasures. In Avila you will find a building that housed specially appointed cathedral priests called the Palace of the Deans. Last, but not least by any means, visit the monastery of Santo Tomas, which was the Spanish royal family summer residence.
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