Ávila is a city of great tourist interest because it is one of the few cities in Spain that has preserved its medieval walls and streets. It also has a university, making it an important centre for education.
The city was founded by the Romans as a military outpost, and during the Middle Ages it became one of the most important cities in Castile. The Gothic cathedral is considered one of the most beautiful buildings in Ávila and was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1985.
Avila has a lot to offer its visitors and as we usually recommend, there is nothing better than to have a professional guide like the Free Tours of Monumental Avila that we offer here at GuruWalk.
The Cathedral of Avila is a Gothic cathedral. It was originally built as a mosque in the 8th century, but was rebuilt as a Christian cathedral in 1129. The building has been classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1985.
This is one of the most important monuments from the time when Muslims ruled Spain. The Muslim rulers were tolerant of other religions and it is said that they even allowed Christians to build churches on this site.
The Cathedral became an important pilgrimage destination for Christians, who visited to see the supposed tomb of St. James, one of the twelve disciples of Jesus and patron saint of Spain.
The Walls of Avila are a defensive fortification surrounding the city and were built in the 16th century. The walls were built to protect the city from French attacks. Nowadays they are one of the city's main tourist attractions.
The old town of Ávila is built on a hill and surrounded by walls with three gates. The most important landmarks are the Cathedral, the Basilica of San Vicente and the Alcazar of Avila, which was originally built as a fortress in the 11th century.
The streets are lined with buildings from different periods, including Gothic churches and palaces from the 16th century and baroque mansions from the 17th century.
It is also known for its narrow, winding cobbled streets that have little traffic, making it an idyllic place to explore on foot.