The Cathedral of Santa María de Vitoria is a Gothic-style, Roman Catholic cathedral located in Vitoria-Gasteiz.
Construction of the cathedral of Santa María in Gothic-style began in the late 13th century and continued throughout the 14th century. It was conceived as a fortress church, with great volume and enclosed appearance, being part of the city's defences.
Between 1496 and 1861, the building operated as a collegiate church, and it was that year when it was declared a cathedral. It has a Latin-cross plan, with a wide transept crossing and circular apse containing several chapels.
The facade's portals are richly decorated with sculpture. The western portico is masterwork consisting of three portals: the central one consecrated to the Virgin, the left one dedicated to San Gil and the right one to the Final Judgement and Saint James.
Nowadays it is being restored within the project of the Santa Maria Cathedral Foundation, which manages guided tours and is in charge of restoration works.References:
The city walls of Avila were built in the 11th century to protect the citizens from the Moors. They have been well maintained throughout the centuries and are now a major tourist attraction as well as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visitors can walk around about half of the length of the walls.
The layout of the city is an even quadrilateral with a perimeter of 2,516 m. Its walls, which consist in part of stones already used in earlier constructions, have an average thickness of 3 m. Access to the city is afforded by nine gates of different periods; twin 20 m high towers, linked by a semi-circular arch, flank the oldest ones, Puerta de San Vicente and Puerta del Alcázar.