St Aubin's Cathedral (1751-1767) is the only cathedral in Belgium built in academic Late Baroque style. It was the only church built in the Low Countries as a cathedral after 1559, when most of the dioceses of the Netherlands were reorganized.
In the interior, there is an ornamented frieze, carved with swags of fruit and flowers between the Corinthian capitals runs in an unbroken band entirely round the church. All colour is avoided, replaced by architectural enrichments and the bas-reliefs in the pendentives of the dome. The interior contains some pieces of art, like paintings by Anthony van Dyck, Jacob Jordaens and Jacques Nicolaï, a Jesuit brother and student of Rubens. The is also an old, romanesque baptismal font.
In the cathedral a marble plaque near the high altar conceals a casket containing the heart of Don Juan of Austria, Habsburg governor of the Spanish Netherlands, who died in 1578; his body lies in the Escorial near Madrid.
Despite being in Belgium, the cathedral design has an Italian influence; it was built to designs of the Ticinese architect Gaetano Matteo Pisoni in 1751 and 1767. A tower of the former Romanesque church dated from the 13th century that stood on the site has survived and is located at the west end of the church.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.