The oldest recorded mention of the place (Feyena) has been dated to 1325. At this time, there was a fortified manor or a castle at the site, the remains of which were reconstructed and expanded in a romantic fashion during the 19th century but are still visible in the manor park.
The present manor house was commissioned by the Baltic German von Stackelberg family and built 1784-1797. It was designed by an anonymous Italian architect in latebaroque style. The wings of the long main house have circular pavilions with preserved decorated vaulted roofs, where formerly the family displayed their art collection, which reputedly held works by Hans Holbein, Nicolas Poussin, Claude Lorrain and Antoine Watteau . The main building also showcases some preserved architectural details, notably two painted ceilings as well as further, albeit later, architectural details.
The most famous resident of the manor house was the archaeologist Otto Magnus von Stackelberg who grew up there. Nowadays the manor houses an elementary school (est. 1855), a public library and a public Internet point of access.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.