Traveling World

Avila, Spain - attractions, pictures

Avila is famous, first of all, with its walls, preserved in excellent condition. They appeared in the XI century, reconstructed in the XIV century. It is assumed that they were built (or rebuilt) on the basis of Arab (and, in turn, on the basis of Roman) fortifications.




 Avila Fortress walls

Fortress walls
Las Murallas (XI-XIV century)

 Avila Fortress walls - the gate of the castle

 Fortress walls - the gate of the castle
Las Murallas (XI-XIV century) - Puerta del Alkazar

 Avila Fortress walls - the gate of St. Vincent

Fortress walls - the gate of St. Vincent
Las Murallas (XI-XIV century) - Puerta de  San Vicente


The main Avila monastery is the Incarnation of the Lord. At the beginning of the XVI century he was moved outside the city, to the territory of the former Jewish cemetery.
This monastery of the Carmelites is not very ancient, but it is important for the believers that Saint Teresa of Avila spent all of her life there. She is the first Spanish women-writer and reformer of the church (and the Carmelite Order in particular - she is founder "barefoot Carmelites" Order, which is distinguished by a more severe charter).


 Avila Monastery of the Incarnation

Monastery of the Incarnation
Convento de la Encarnacion (XVI century)


The church of Santiago is also located outside the walls, under the mountain. It is of Roman origin, but the current building XIV-XVI century. This is the only church in the city with a square bell tower in the plan.


 Avila Church of St. Jacob

Church of St. Jacob
Iglesia de Santiago (XIV-XVI century)


Umiyadero, as far as I could understand - it's some sort of prayer place, located more often near the road and usually marked with a cross on the pedestal. Here it took the form of a small church at the city gate.


 Avila Umiyadero Chapel

Umiyadero Chapel
Ermita del Humilladero (XVI century)


The basilica of Saint Vincent is located near the same gate, also outside the walls. This is just a sample of the evolution of architectural styles - from the Romanesque, through the Gothic, to neoclassicism (a gallery with columns was added in the XV century)


 Avila Basilica of Saint Vincent

Basilica of Saint Vincent
Basilica de San Vicente (XII-XV century)


At the opposite gate (northern) is built into the city wall, the Carmelite monastery. Because of this peculiarity of location, in the XVII century the abbot of the monastery had to apply directly to the king for a special permission for the construction of the bell tower.
Here, unlike the Monastery of the Incarnation, the Carmelites lived "shod". In addition to the availability of shoes, the difference was also in the fact that this monastery is male. Apparently, men are still more inclined to comfort. :)
In Spanish, the name sounds like "Convento del Carmen", but this has nothing to do with the female name. Those has, but the name, in this case, is secondary. Virgo Carmen (Virgen del Carmen) is one of the names of the Virgin Mary, derived from the name of Mount Carmel in the Holy Land. And the official name of the Order of the Carmelites is "The Order of the Brethren of the Blessed Virgin Mary from Mount Carmel," because it was on this mountain that the Order was founded.


 Avila The northern gate and the monastery of the "shod" Carmelites

The northern gate and the monastery of the "shod" Carmelites
El Arrabal del Norte y Convento del Carmen Calzado (XV-XVIIcentury)


Further behind the gate the Adaja river (tributary of Duero) is shallow, but quite turbulent.


 Avila Adaja river

Adaja river
Rio Adaja


Near the river there are a couple of remarkable churches.

Church of St. Stefan is a wonderful example of the Romanesque style. In the XVI century the reconstruction was carried out, but the materials used were original ones.


 Avila Church of St. Stefan

Church of St. Stefan
Ermita de San Esteban (XII-XVI century)


St. Secundus is not the most famous martyr, but it is the patron of Avila. In the I century he among the seven other preachers, was sent from St. Peter and St. Paul to the Spain. Secondus became the first bishop of the city of Abul. It is no means a fact that Abula is the current Avila. It is possible that now it is the city of Abla in Almeria (this is exactly what happens if you follow the general rule of Avila and the evolution of the Spanish language). But, when in 1519 in the church of St. Sebastian and St. Lucia was found a grave with the inscription "San Segundo", for all it was natural to find that these are the remains of the same Secundus. The church was immediately renamed. In 1615 the relics, with proper pomp, were transferred to the cathedral.
As for the present church of St. Secundus, its appearance, basically, is the result of the restructuring of the 16th century, when the church tried to reform in accordance with the unexpectedly obtained status.


 Avila Church of St. Secundus

Church of St. Secundus
Iglesia de San Segundo (XII-XVI century)


Church of St. Thomas initially looked absolutely Romance, but with the reconstruction of the XVI century the apses and arches were removed, so that the building now resembles a stone box. Inside there is a branch of the archaeological museum, which is a warehouse of stone parts (partly from the same church). The entrance is free.


 Avila Church of St. Thomas

  Church of St. Thomas
Iglesia de Santo Tome el Viejo (XII-XVI century)


Church of St. Peter is located on the Big Market Square. Before the completion of the construction of the cathedral, it was the main city church, both in size and location - directly opposite the gate of the Alcázar.


 Avila Church of St. Peter

Church of St. Peter
Parroquia de San Pedro Apostol (XII-XIV century)


The construction of the Cistercian monastery of St. Anna was completed in 1350. In the XVI century scale reconstruction was carried out, as a result of which almost nothing remained from the old building. The royal monastery is called because it was loved by Isabella of Castile, and then by Philip II and Philip III.


 Avila Royal Monastery of St. Anna

 The Royal Monastery of St. Anna
Real Monasterio de Santa Ana (XIV-XVI century)


Looking at the Church of Our Holiness Christ, can understand how the usual parish church of Avila looked in the 15th century. A small squat building without any decorations - rich people here obviously did not go.


 Avila Church of Our Holiness Christ

 Church of Our Holiness Christ
Ermita del Santisimo Cristo de la Luz (XV century)


Construction of the Chapel of the Annunciation was started by Don Diego de Bracamonte - one of the city's noblemen. In 1592, for the rebellion against Philip II, he was executed on the Small Market Square, and the construction was completed by his son Mosen Rubi. This story is so remembered to the inhabitants that the chapel was only called de Bracamonte, forgetting about the Annunciation.
Later researchers found in the chapel some traces of the first Masons, I do not know how genuine.


 Avila. Часовня Мосена Руби де Бракамонте

Chapel of Mosen Ruby de Bracamonte
Capilla de Mosen Rubi de Bracamonte (XVI century)


And here, by the way, and the same square, of course, in the modern form. 


 Avila. Площадь Малого рынка и здание Администрации

Small Market Square and Administration Building
Plaza del Mercado Chico y Ayuntamiento  (XIX century)


The Chapel of Bracamonte is almost the only religious building inside the city walls (excluding the Cathedral, of course).
More precisely, one church is available, but it was discovered much later, in the 16th century - it was altered from the family's castle of St. Theresa (in the world - Teresa Sanchez Zepeda d'Avila-i-Aumada). The building belongs to the monastery of the Ascension and, in addition to the church, includes a museum of St. Theresa.


 Avila The church and the house of St. Theresa

 The church and the house of St. Theresa
Convento y Museo de Santa Teresa


All the other noteworthy houses are the palaces of the local nobility. As a rule, they do not represent anything special from the outside. The traditional Castilian palace is a large, gloomy building with a minimum of ornaments, serving exclusively for protection. All that is required for body and soul rest is in the courtyard. But it's not easy to get there, and even now it's not easier than in the Middle Ages. :)
Later buildings look a little more elegant, as the protection function gradually receded into the background.



 Avila Polentinos Palace

Polentinos Palace
Palacio de Polentinos (XVIcentury)


 Avila The palace of don Juan de Henao, then the Marquis of Benavitas

The palace of don Juan de Henao, then the Marquis of Benavitas
Palacio de don Huan de Henao o de Benavites (XVI century)


 Avila The Palace of the Family d'Avila

 The Palace of the Family d'Avila
Palacio de los D'Avila (XIII-XVI century)


 Avila The Palace of Serrano

The Palace of Serrano
Palacio los Serrano (XVI century)


There is still a small complex of buildings semi-religious. Here were the Jesuits, which contained a church, a shelter and a college. Now it's the bishop's palace.


 Avila House of the Jesuits (Episcopal Palace)

 House of the Jesuits (Episcopal Palace)
Casa de los Jesuitas (XVII century)


Cathedral of St. Savior in Avila is located directly at the city wall. Moreover, he himself is a part of it, thus fulfilling and defensive functions too.
The construction was started in 1172, when Alfonso VIII ordered the expansion of the existing church of St. Savior (the large Romanesque windows in the gallery, the foundation and part of the walls survived from it). Construction continued for a very long time. Only in the XIV century put the vaults. The covered gallery was ready in the 16th century, then the stone walls began to be bricked. In the XVIII century still completed some chapels.


 Avila Cathedral of St. Savior

Cathedral of St. Savior
Catedral de San Salvador (XII-XVIII century)


 Avila Cathedral of St. Savior

 Cathedral of St. Savior
Catedral de San Salvador (XII-XVIII century)


 Avila Cathedral of St. Savior

Cathedral of St. Savior
Catedral de San Salvador (XII-XVIII century)


 Avila Cathedral of St. Savior

 Cathedral of St. Savior
Catedral de San Salvador (XII-XVIII century)


 Avila Cathedral of St. Savior

 Cathedral of St. Savior
Catedral de San Salvador (XII-XVIII century)


 Avila Cathedral of St. Savior

Cathedral of St. Savior
Catedral de San Salvador (XII-XVIII century) 


Tourist map of Avila's sights
Tourist map of Avila's sights


Spanish coins


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