Jimena Blázquez one 'hell of a woman'

The Middle Ages on the Castilian plains was turbulent as far as safety was concerned since the attacks made by the Moslems who lived in the Southern kingdoms alternated with the skirmishes between the kingdoms of León and Castile.

The apparently impregnable walls of Ávila could only be overcome by a long siege or if the defending soldiers were particularly careless. This was the occasion that arose for the Moslem battalions: the Ávila troops had to set off for the Menga mountain pass and all the men of fighting age were needed, possibly hoping to surprise the attackers. However, they had tricked them and decided to attack the city on another front when they found that it was undefended.

However, before setting off, the brave Jimena Blázquez, who was the mayor's wife, was appointed as the city's governor. Unknowingly, the Moors decided to attack the walls. With the first movements of the troops, Jimena summonsed all the women together. They dressed in military clothing and stood on the most visible parts of the walls with torches alight, shouting and playing war trumpets. In view of the fact that Ávila appeared to be heavily defended, the Arabs didn't even attempt the siege. Jimena had saved the city.

From that day on, the women of Ávila enjoyed the privilege of taking part in the City Hall meetings.

The Moslem siege of the city is not officially documented, but the attacks from the kingdoms in the south were most probably constant and quite possibly affected Ávila in one way or another.

Escultura de Jimena Blázquez en la Plaza de San Miguel de Ávila. Porta las llaves de la ciudad