Solid church in granite built inside the medieval town walls. Work began in 1488 under the guidance of Biscay master Tomé de Tolosa, and using parts of a primitive Romanesque chapel (remains are visible in the north side); it pursued slowly, until the completion of the tower of the main façade in 1556. Important architects involved in the construction include João de Tolosa and Pero Galego. Inside, the building is a basilica with main nave and two aisles, and is notable for its inlaid ceiling (1565) showing oriental influences. The Mareantes Chapel, built by the corporation of seafarers, is one of the earliest renaissance works in Portugal. The church was classified as a National Monument on June 16, 1910.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.