Outside the Town Walls, Ávila
Basílica de San Vicente
San Vicente, Ávila's most important church after the cathedral, stands just outside the Puerta de San Vicente, on the spot where San Vicente and his sisters Sabina and Cristeta are believed to have been martyred in A.D. 300. Begun in the early 12th century (the apses, transepts and part of the nave were apparently built by 1109), it was not completed until the 14th, and the towers were left unfinished. On the south side of the church is a portico added in the 14th century which is said to have been a place of judgment. The south doorway, which dates from the earliest building period, has a very fine Romanesque Annunciation.
Address: Puerta de San Vicente, Spain
Opening hours: 10am-2pm, 4pm-6:30pm
Entrance fee: Adult Admission Cost
San Vicente - West Doorway
The west doorway, with a porch, has one of the finest groups of Romanesque sculpture, with column figures of Apostles and, on the central column, Christ with two other Apostles.
San Vicente - Interior
The interior of San Vicente, with an aisled nave, is dominated by the saints' magnificent shrine under the crossing. The late 12th century shrine, under a 16th Century canopy, is decorated with reliefs of outstanding quality. On the ends are Christ Pantokrator and the Adoration of the Kings; on the front are seven panels relating the story of San Vicente and his sisters. In the crypt of the church is the rock on which the saints are said to have been martyred. The crypt also contains several figures of the Virgin, the most notable of which is the Romanesque Virgen de la Soterraña.
Casa de los Deanes (Museo Provincial)
The 16th century Casa de los Deanes (Deanery), a two-story building, stands to the south of San Vicente in Plaza Naivillos. It now houses the Provincial Museum, which displays in three rooms a collection of sacred sculpture from the Romanesque period to the Renaissance, tapestries, a triptych attributed to Hans Memling, pictures, weapons and ceramics.
Immediately adjoining the Provincial Museum is the little 12th century church of San Tomé, now a lapidarium.
Farther east from the Provincial Museum is the convent of San José or Las Madres, the first house founded by Santa Teresa (1562). It contains a fine retablo by Alonso Cano.
Plaza de Santa Teresa
Just outside the Puerta del Alcázar is the spacious Plaza de Santa Teresa, another important shopping area, with many cafes. Not to be missed is the El Grande cafe with its wide range of tapas and drinks of all kinds.
Dominating the east side of Plaza de Santa Teresa is the church of San Pedro with its large rose window. This aisled church with a plain but impressive west doorway was built in the 12th and 13th Centuries. The most notable items in the interior are a painting by Morán ("St Peter in Chains", 1673) in the north aisle and the high altar by Juan de Borgoña.
The late 15th C Monasterio de Santo Tomás was used as a summer residence by Catholic Monarchs.
Nuestra Señora de Gracia
Under the southeast corner of the town walls is the Convento de Nuestra Señora de Gracia, in which the future St Teresa was brought up.
Teresa of Ávila spent 29 years of her life in the convent of the Encarnación (northwest of Ávila ), of which she was prioress. A chapel was built over her cell in 1630 and there is a museum containing relics of the saint.
Map of Avila Attractions