The Spanish city of Ávila is part of the cultural heritage of humanity
The mystic Santa Teresa, venerated by many believers, was born in the Spanish city of Avila, in the Castile-Leon region. The place is at an altitude of just over 1,100 meters, making it the highest city in all of Spain. Tourists who visit this place on a study trip will notice the monumental granite city wall from afar. It is 2.5 kilometers long, on average twelve meters high and three meters thick. Because of its numerous monuments from the Middle Ages and its city walls, Ávila was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Teresa is the national saint of Spain
Many pilgrims take a trip to Ávila because of the mystical Santa Teresa. From 1560 the mystic paid no more attention to the things of the world and found her happiness in religious visions. She had already entered the Carmelite order in 1535. In 1622 she was canonized and has since become the national saint of the Iberian Peninsula. One of the most popular attractions in Avila is the Convento de Santa Teresa. The monastery was built on the southern city wall, where the birthplace of St. Teresa once stood. The room of her birth was converted into a chapel. The main destination of the pilgrims, however, is the Monasterio de la Encarnación, the convent where St. Teresa spent thirty years of her life. Also worth seeing is the Catedral San Salvador, the construction of which dates back to the 12th century.
Numerous city palaces shape the old town of Ávila
The Plaza de la Victoria is the center of the old town. The square is lined by the town hall, the Church of San Juan and some nice cafes that invite you to linger. Every Friday there is a market where products from the region are offered. The mansiones are also among the tourist attractions of Avila. These city palaces of the noble families are also located in the historical center of the city. Two particularly impressive magnificent buildings are the Mansion de los Dávila and the Mansion de los Velada.
Plaza Mayor in Salamanca
UNESCO World Heritage in the Spanish Baroque style
The Plaza Mayor is considered the most beautiful square in Spain and is a popular meeting place in Salamanca, with tourists and locals alike. Like many historical buildings in the region of Castile and León, the buildings surrounding the square were made of sandstone.
From 1729 to 1755 the Plaza Mayor was built on behalf of Felipe V as a venue for bullfights. For this reason, the facades surrounding the square have 247 balconies. The Plaza Mayor was also used for bullfights until the 19th century, when round arenas became fashionable. At the Plaza Mayor is also the Salamanca town hall, the Casa Consistorial, with the bell tower. Originally, the Casas Consistorial was planned with two towers, but they were never completed because it was feared that the construction would be unstable. The architectural model with two towers still exists.
a place to stay
The sides of the Plaza Mayor in Salamanca are now lined with numerous shops, restaurants and cafes. On the western side of the square is the tourist information office, where visitors can get help.
The place is ideal for taking a break and having a bite to eat after a sightseeing tour of Salamanca’s old town. Locals and tourists meet in the cafés to simply watch the hustle and bustle on the square. Due to its proximity to the university, the square is also a popular meeting place for students.
Anyone who has only seen the square during the day should definitely see it again in the evening. The facades are wonderfully lit and the restaurants are bustling with life until late at night.
National Art Museum of Catalonia
The National Art Museum of Catalonia, or MNAC for short, is located in Barcelona, the capital of Catalonia. It houses the most extensive art collection in Catalonia. In the largest museum in Barcelona you can find works of art from different epochs, from the Romanesque to the Gothic to Catalan Art Nouveau. It houses 1000 years of Catalan art, from the 12th to the 20th centuries. For art lovers traveling to Barcelona, a visit to this museum is an absolute must, especially because of the Romanesque wall paintings. Whether on a study trip through Spain or on a city break, a visit to this museum is worthwhile.
A large part of the museum is devoted to Romanesque fresco painting. This collection of murals is extremely impressive and unique in the world. Many of these murals once adorned rural churches in Catalonia. The museum also houses a Gothic collection. Works by artists of Catalan modernism such as Gaudí and Casas can also be found here. Paintings by Renaissance and Baroque painters such as El Greco and Velázquez are also on display. A coin collection and numerous sculptures can also be admired.
The National Palace “Palau Nacional de Montjuïc”
The building that houses the museum, the impressive Palau Nacional with its towers and domes, is worth a visit in itself. This national palace at the foot of the Montjuïc mountain was built for the 1929 World’s Fair. In addition, the view of Barcelona from the steps of the palace is simply magnificent.