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Ávila, Spain; Spain's Infamous Walled City

As Ávila, Spain is a very small city, arriving in the morning and leaving at night is plenty of time to accomplish all that Ávila has to offer. Regardless, it has escaped my memory whether the city has many hotel or hostel options.

Must Do's

The Roman Walls

If you're going to Ávila, it's more than likely because you've heard of the Roman Walls and that's what you're heading to the city to see anyways. They surround the heart of the city of Ávila which is in the province of Castilla y León.

While Ávila is a very small city, the section of the walls that can be trekked are 1.3km long. I HIGHLY recommend to not set out to hike the walls if you have bags on you or if you or someone you are traveling with has walking difficulties. If you happen to have bags with you (beyond a light backpack) it is my recommendation you find a way to ditch them before the hike.

There are exits along the way so if hiking the entirety of open section of the walls doesn't sound like your kind of bag, you certainly don't have to. Although, it is my recommendation that you hike the full section of the wall. You're standing on a remarkable piece of history and this is probably why you came to Ávila after all!

Entrance fee is €5. Worth every penny.

Catedral de Ávila

The Catedral de Ávila is believed to be one of the first two Gothic Cathedrals in Spain. Construction on the cathedral started in 1095, shortly after the reconquest in the Romanesque style. The date in which it was finished is unknown but historians widely believe it to have been finished in the 12th century. What you see today was mostly constructed between the 12th and 14th centuries. It was during this period that the style of the cathedral went from Romanesque to Gothic.

Stepping inside you'll notice it's darker than most of the cathedrals you've been to and you're used to. It is this very reason that the inside of the cathedral is colder than it is outside. It is advisable, unless you're visiting in the summer heat, to bring a jacket with you. In February, it was, what felt like, dang near freezing temperatures inside.

Not to give too much away but you'll see that the cathedral is built into the Roman Walls. In the basement of the cathedral you can actually see where the wall goes through the cathedral.

Entrance fee is €5.

Basilica de San Vicente

If you're arriving to Ávila from the train or bus stations, this is the building you'll notice to the right just outside the main city wall entrance. Inside you'll find incredible gold Catholic paraphernalia and relics. You'll also find a very large cenotaph in memory of a couple of different saints. The basilica is a great stop on your way out of the city. It's not very large which means you can get through it quickly without much effort if tired.

The Four Posts

This is an absolute must. Going to Ávila and missing out on the views of The Four Posts is a wasted trip. Here you can see the entirety of the Roman Walls.

This is the place for someone looking for a new profile picture for social media or that perfect Instagram shot that will get all the likes. From here, you'll understand the true nature of the Roman Walls of Ávila.

A Stroll Outside The Roman Walls

It's very much worth it to just walk around outside the Roman Walls. They're way bigger than you think. The best way to do this is to walk from the eastern part of the walls (the cathedral) through to the very small Plaza Mayor and then to the Convent de Santa Teresa and out the west exit of the walls. There you can take a right going north to the Four Posts. It is along this walk you'll realize just how big the walls are.

Other Things

Convento de Santa Teresa

I passed by and stopped in the Convento de Santa Teresa as I made my way from east to west through the town of Ávila. It was just before I made my way out the west exit of the walls that I arrived at the convent. I don't regret going but I certainly didn't find it a necessity to visit.

Honestly it's a very weird place. Teresa of Ávila or Saint Teresa of Jesus' ring finger is in a display case in the convent exhibit that you can find to the west of the actual convent. She died in 1582 so hopefully that helps in giving you an idea of what that finger might look like today. *pictures aren't allowed here*


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