Ávila Cathedral

Ávila, Spain

The Cathedral of Ávila has Romanesque and Gothic architectural traditions. It was planned as a cathedral-fortress, its apse being one of the turrets of the city walls. It is surrounded by a number of houses or palaces.

It is not known exactly when the construction of the Cathedral began, there being two theories. One states that Alvar García started its construction in 1091 inside the remains of the Church of the Saviour, which was in ruins as a result of successive Muslim attacks, and that Alfonso VI of Castile raised the money necessary to build it. Other historians believe the Cathedral to be the work of the maestro Fruchel in the 12th century coinciding with the repopulation of Castille led by Raymond of Burgundy.

Of the 13th century are the first stages of the towers and aisles and of the 14th century the second stage of the towers, the cloister, the vaults and the flying buttresses. Already in the 15th century the cathedral was complete and in 1475 Juan Guas built the mechanical clock.

The Cathedral of Ávila is considered by its age (12th century), along with the Cathedral of Cuenca, as the first two Gothic cathedrals in Spain. It shows French influences and great resemblances to the Abbey Church of St Denis, the first European Gothic church.

References:

Comments

Your name



Details

Founded: 1091
Category: Religious sites in Spain

Rating

4.5/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

David L. Brooks (7 months ago)
A wonderful cathedral that inspires one's imagination.
Laura Hale (8 months ago)
Really enjoyed myself. Staff were super kind in letting me store my luggage after I got caught out not realizing my hotel wasn't doing luggage storage because of Covid-19. Bottle fed infant inside cathedral and zero issues either . Audio tour is on mobile phone. Handy but bring your own headphones. €6 admission feels reasonable if you're paying to see it, especially as there is a museum attached.
Martin V Mathew (13 months ago)
I love the beautiful Cathedral. It's very renowned for its wonderful and unique art works.. The entrance pass includes also the visit to the Cathedral museum, a home for magnificent paintings of the middle ages..
Nami Haghighi (15 months ago)
Straight out of history books. One if the best preserved fortified cities I have had the pleasure of visiting. The cathedral was closed as I was there in the evening but around every corner there was a beautiful building to see and photograph. One if my favourite cities in my tours around Spain over the years. Well worth a visit.
andy ford (2 years ago)
Fantastic cathedral. The audio tour wants around an hour to an hour and a half to do properly. Although it's a popular tourist destination there is still a good prayerful atmosphere. Well worth the visit.
Powered by Google

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Kalozha Church

The Kalozha church of Saints Boris and Gleb is the oldest extant structure in Hrodna. It is the only surviving monument of ancient Black Ruthenian architecture, distinguished from other Orthodox churches by prolific use of polychrome faceted stones of blue, green or red tint which could be arranged to form crosses or other figures on the wall.

The church is a cross-domed building supported by six circular pillars. The outside is articulated with projecting pilasters, which have rounded corners, as does the building itself. The ante-nave contains the choir loft, accessed by a narrow gradatory in the western wall. Two other stairs were discovered in the walls of the side apses; their purpose is not clear. The floor is lined with ceramic tiles forming decorative patterns. The interior was lined with innumerable built-in pitchers, which usually serve in Eastern Orthodox churches as resonators but in this case were scored to produce decorative effects. For this reason, the central nave has never been painted.

The church was built before 1183 and survived intact, depicted in the 1840s by Michał Kulesza, until 1853, when the south wall collapsed, due to its perilous location on the high bank of the Neman. During restoration works, some fragments of 12th-century frescoes were discovered in the apses. Remains of four other churches in the same style, decorated with pitchers and coloured stones instead of frescoes, were discovered in Hrodna and Vaŭkavysk. They all date back to the turn of the 13th century, as do remains of the first stone palace in the Old Hrodna Castle.

In 2004, the church was included in the Tentative List of UNESCO"s World Heritage Sites.