ÁVILA is the town for heritage, history, art, gastronomy, festival, mysticism, culture and nature.
ÁVILA is the mediaeval town of the three cultures, a World Heritage Site and a town on the Jewish Quarter Network.
ÁVILA is a contemporary town that combines modernity and tourist quality with establishments that bring together comfort and the avant-garde for accessible, social tourism.
Walls, houses, palaces, churches and convents make up the town's artistic heritage as a result of its rich history, which was protagonised by the cultures that lived here.
The image of the mediaeval town comes from its walls, which are much more than a mere symbol in Ávila; they are the monument that explains the town and how it is structured.
Ávila reached its maximum splendour in the 16th century as the town of mysticism and spirituality and its main example is Teresa de Cepeda y Ahumada. If we follow the Teresian route, we will travel from the Gothic style to the Renaissance, from mannerism to Baroque through the life and works of our most universal saint, who lived halfway between both periods.
Ávila is a place of festival and tradition. Most of its festivities and traditions come from religion, but they also have a pagan side. Strict religion is joined by other leisure activities that are based on the town's customs and traditions. Each quarter has its own festival in remembrance of the divisions that existed in the past when each of the groups who went to repopulate the town settled around a parish church.
Visitors to Ávila should discover the town slowly. At different times of the day, the light changes and, as a result, so does the town's buildings, with the whitish reflection of the grey granite and the orange tones of the Caleno granite. Routes can follow a pre-established theme or they can be more random and, in one of the town's streets or plazas, visitors can enjoy discovering a building, a cornice, a window, a story, a legend, a bar or anything they can use as an excuse for returning.
Ávila, World Heritage Site
ÁVILA was designated a World Heritage Site in 1985 and has formed part of the Spanish Jewish Quarter Network since 2005, offering tourists a number of routes. Its cultural heritage is the result of its history, architecture, people and landscapes. This heritage requires an unhurried visit at different times of the day and, if possible, with the help of a good guide to understand the ancient town, the mediaeval town, the Renaissance town and the recovery it underwent in the 19th century.
As in many Spanish mediaeval cities, Ávila was home to Jews, Muslims and Christians. They all left their mark and form part of the town's cultural legacy. To guide tourists on their visit, a number of routes have been designed with different objectives and durations to suit the time that is available. What we do know is that any of these walks will make visitors want to return to Ávila.
A good place to start is the Museum of Avila, which has been located in the HOUSE OF LOS DEANES since 1969. The building is known by that name because its first owners, Cristóbal and Juan Vázquez de Medina, were deans of the Cathedral. The museum collections are separated into three sections: Archaeology; Popular Art; and Fine Art. A visit to the rooms in the Museum show visitors a palace from the 16th century and gives them a general view of the history of Ávila, its Vetton past, Romanisation and the presence of Muslims and Jews. It will also show them the customs and traditions of Ávila and its province.
The visit would be incomplete without a look at the Romanesque church of SANTO TOMÉ EL VIEJO, which has been converted into a unique and interesting museum storage area that is open to the general public. It has an exhibition of various archaeological pieces from different periods of history.
This visit offers a general idea of the town's past, but should be seen only as an aperitif for all the thematic routes listed in the corresponding section.