Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Avila
Ávila is situated on a ridge of high ground, falling steeply down on three sides, in a treeless plateau watered by the Río Adaja.
Originating as the legendary Roman town of Avela, Ávila alternated between Arab and Christian rule for more than three centuries after the Moorish invasion in 714, but was finally won for the Christians by Alfonso VI in 1085. Thereafter many noble families settled in the town, earning it the name of Ávila de los Caballeros ("Ávila of the Nobles") - as its numerous noble palaces still testify. Ávila's heyday was in the 16th century, when its life was dominated by the presence of Santa Teresa de Jesús (1515-82). After the expulsion of the Moors in 1607-10, during the reign of Philip III, the town fell into decline. It is still a quiet little town with much of the atmosphere of medieval Castile. Town Walls After the final reconquest of the town Ávila became an important element in a defensive line against the Moors. Raimundo de Borgoña, son-in-law of Alfonso VI, built the massive circuit of walls, the best preserved in Spain, which still completely enclose the town, between 1090 and 1099.