Welcome to Avila
Welcome to Avila- The city of the Medieval walls
Ávila is a Spanish town located in the autonomous community of Castile and León, and is the capital of the Province of Ávila. It is sometimes called the Town of Stones and Saints, and it claims that it is one of the towns with the highest number of Romanesque and Gothic churches in Spain. Ávila is well-known for the amazingly intact wall surrounding the city, for being the birthplace and home of Santa Teresa of Jesus and for sweetmeats made by local nuns and sold in small shops throughout the city. Ávila's long history begins with the old Celtiberian settlement of the Vettones around the year 700 BC. When the Romans arrived in the 3rd century BC, the first wall was built and Ávila became an important defensive location: for almost a millennium it was a means of protection for the city and a way of inspecting trade exchanges. After several centuries of decadence, the city was repopulated and rebuilt in the 11th century. The city's period of greatest splendour was in the 16th century, when wool manufacture launched its economy. During that time of prosperity, many civil and religious buildings were erected in the city, and are still standing today in the city's historic centre. Designated a “City of Three Cultures” (Jewish, Islamic and Christian), Ávila is, moreover, an important stop on the so-called “Camino de la Lengua”, an historical and cultural route highlighting the various places that influenced the development of Spanish as a language, which is now one of the most important in the world. At the beginning of July, there is an International Festival of Street Theatre and Circus Arts, and in the first weekend of September, there is a medieval market that takes place in the main streets of the old quarter and many of the locals dress in traditional costume.
You will discover a very active nightlife in Ávila. The best place to party at night is Calle Vallespín, as here you will find a variety of pubs and different late-night vibes all in the same area.
The main shopping area can be found in Calle Mayor in the city centre. If you prefer shopping centres, then you should try Centro Comercial el Bulevar, which boasts almost 100 shops and a Carrefour hypermarket and is within easy reach of the city; Galerías San Roque, located in Paseo de San Roque; Centro Comercial Multitienda in Calle Eduardo Marquina; Centro Comercial Maceros. Moreover, there is a modern shopping center on the outskirts of the city which you pass if you arrive on the motorway from Madrid. And if you like religious articles, then you will enjoy the numerous little statues and images dedicated to St. Teresa in particular and the Catholic church in general.
The main sights are the Cathedral, built between the 12th and 15th centuries, which acted as a military fort thanks to the shape of its façade; St. Vincent's Basilica; The palace of Don Diego de Ávila, which dates back to the 15th century. The most important museums that you can visit in Avila are Museo de la Encarnación; Museo de Santo Tomás; Museo de Arte Oriental. The most famous theatres, instead, are Teatro Cine Castilla and Teatro Avenida. Some interesting Romanesque churches can also be visited, such as the Iglesias de San Pedro, San Andres, San Esteban, San Segundo, San Nicolas, San Martin or Santo Tomé. An important mention for the attractive City Wall, which began to be built in 1090 and protects a total area covering 31 hectares. The monuments are a major attraction for the many students who decide to study Spanish in Avila.
Standard Time Zone: GMT/UTC + 1 hour
There is a tropical climate in Ávila, characterised by rainfalls all over the year: it rains heavily even in the driest month.
Ávila is easily reached from Madrid via the RENFA, the Spanish national railway, with operates trains to Avila daily: the two-hour journey includes some wonderful views in its own right. The nearest airport to Avila is Madrid Bajaras International Airport (MAD), a busy modern facility with daily international flights. With three terminals serving roughly 30-million passengers each year, Madrid Bajaras is one of the most important airports in the country. It is also an excellent place to hire a car, with discounts of up to 65 per cent being offered.