In the center of Avila, you will inevitably encounter the Plaza del Mercado Chico and the Cathedral.
Plaza del Mercado Chico
Avila was continuously inhabited since the Roman Age. Presumably, the Plaza del Mercado Chico, the central square of the city, is located at a crossroads of two Roman roads.
In the Middle Ages, various guilds gathered around the square. The center of the arcaded square is the Town Hall (Ayuntamiento). Neoclassical architecture characterizes the overall picture.
Opposite the city hall is the church Iglesia de San Juan Bautista. The name of the square has a long tradition.
Although it was originally called Plaza del Mercado Chico, it experienced some changes of its name within the last two centuries, until it got its original name again in 2001.
On our first visit, we experience the place somewhat united. For this, a pastry shop attracts our eyes.
It offers a highly acclaimed specialty of Avila: The Yemas of Avila or Yemas de Santa Teresa after the saint Teresa. Teresa was born in Avila and as one says, she was not averse to a good meal.
This delicacy is known throughout Spain and is taken along with pleasure as a souvenir.
The Yemas consist of egg yolk which is baked mixed with a syrup of lemon juice and cinnamon.
On our second visit, the impression of the deserted square is completely different. It is market day and a great variety of fresh products is available.
Among other things, there are fruits, vegetables, cheeses, meat and sausage products.
But also plants for the house and the garden. The buyers queue patiently in front of the market stalls. Every now and then they find time for a little chat.
We leave the bustling activities and go further on to the Plaza de la Catedral.
Cathedral of Avila – Catedral del Salvador
The Cathedral of Avila is considered the first Gothic cathedral in Spain. It was designed as a fortress cathedral and stands on the remains of the Church of the Savior (Salvador).
The eastern apse is part of the Romanesque wall and thus part of the fortifications of the city.
The cathedral was commissioned by King Alfonso VII in the 12th century. The early Romanesque parts made of a unique white red “blood” limestone.
The Gothic parts were white stone built. In the 14th century, the nave was completed.
In the 16th century, the choir and the cloister were completed. Due to the many extensions, problems with the statics occurred.
In the 18th century, support arches had to be added and the crossing piers strengthened.
The organ, built by the organ builder Leandro Garcimartín, dates from the 18th century originated by.
The Museum of the Cathedral exposes in a gallery, among others, works of El Greco.
Please read on > Convento de Santa Teresa and Palacio de Polentinos
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