Town Hall and Plaza del Mercado Chico
As the main building in Plaza del Mercado Chico, the Town Hall’s past is part of this public area. The plaza started to take shape with the repopulation of Ávila at the end of the 11th century. Said date also marked the beginning of Plaza del Mercado Grande and, together with Plaza de San Vicente, they were the town’s central areas.
The town hall building dates back to the reign of the Catholic Monarchs, when, concerned that the Council had nowhere to hold its meetings (they were held at the door of the church of San Juan, which was also on the Plaza), they ordered the construction of a town hall building. In the Middle Ages, the plaza was porticoed with brick pillars and lintels, which were replaced with others made of stone in 1518.
The plaza and town hall building fell into ruin in the mid-18th century and the Council was forced to launch a project to improve their appearance and build a regular-shaped plaza with a colonnade.
The current town hall building was built between 1839 and 1845; it was altered and extended between 1862 and 1868. It has a Spanish Isabelline style and the front is made of granite ashlar work with a geometrical composition. It is separated into three horizontal bodies: an ashlar-work colonnade with a quadrangular base supporting semi-circular arches; a middle body separated into three vertical sections, each of which has a door that opens on to a balcony; and an upper body finished off with twin towers on the sides.