Ruth's Church (Ruts Kirke) was built in the early 13th century in the Romanesque style. Situated on a hilltop 130 m above sea level, it is the island's highest-standing church. The oldest reference to the church dates from 1490 where Sancti Michelssogen (St Michael's Parish) is mentioned. The church was initially consecrated as St Michael's, possibly because of its high location. By 1621, the name had become Ruth's Church after Ruth the Moabite in the Old Testament.
The church was probably built first with a nave and chancel. The tower at the west end and the porch on the south side were added later. The chancel and the finely rounded apsis are part of the original structure. At the end of the 19th century, the north wing was added. The old tower and porch were removed a little later, the nave was lengthened by some 3 metres and a new tower was built.
Constructed in the second half of the 16th century, the bell tower in the churchyard is said to be the oldest on the island. It has not, however, been used since 1886 when the bells were transferred to the new tower at the west end of the church.
In 1908, frescoes were discovered in the late Gothic apsis vaults. Depicting the signs of the evangelists, they were restored in 1930. Next to the fresco of Matthew, the date 1559 can be seen. Also of interest is the granite Romanesque font which is almost cylindrical in shape.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.