Avila, Spain

Known as the village of pebbles and saints, Avila, Spain is an ancient city known for medieval walls and Romanesque architecture. Avila’s location on top of a rocky summit makes it the highest elevated provincial capital in Spain. It is tucked in between massive boulders and towering mountains, and is situated just a short distance from Madrid, making it an excellent day trip.

Avila’s history dates back to around the 5th century B.C. when the Vettones, a Celtic Roman group from the Iberian Peninsula, inhabited the area and called it Obila, which means high mountain. Avila was a thriving city for quite some time, especially under Catholic Monarch rule in the early 16th century, but the population declined rapidly in the 18th century as the city decayed.Cathedral of Salvador, Avila, SpainAvila holds high cultural significance for historians. The older part of the city was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Cathedral of Avila, Basilica de San Vincente, and Iglesia de San Pedro are three architectural masterpieces in the city, all highlighting Romanesque or Gothic styles. The walls of Avila are considered the city’s main monument and were started in 1090. The walls are about one and half miles long with ninety towers and nine entrance gates and are still in very good condition. Historians consider the walls in Avila to be the longest and best preserved city walls in the world. Visitors can walk along the top of the walls for panoramic views of the city, and the city has many vantage points of the walls from across the river.

Modern day Avila is very much alive. The city is home to two universities and three colleges. There are several museums in Avila including Museum of Santa Teresa, Museum of the Cathedral, and Museum Caprotti. The food in Avila and the surrounding region is well known throughout Spain. Yemas de Avila are trademark sweet pastries of the city, made with egg yolks and sugar. Nuns from the local monastery make a delicious variety of cakes and chocolates which are sold in many of the city’s shops. For tourists who love to shop, there is a large shopping center on the edge of the city. Travelers will find many hotel options in the area and an array of gourmet restaurants and tapas bars are found within the city.

Avila is a must-see location in Spain. The city’s preserved history, architecture, and culture make the city a fascinating place to explore the past. Summer visitors will enjoy the break from the sweltering heat of Madrid, or larger Spanish cities, and find the more relaxed pace of Avila restful and rewarding. Whether visiting Avila for a day or a week, visitors will find plenty of adventures in this historic city.


Speak Your Mind