St. Teresa Church

Ávila, Spain

St. Teresa Church was built on the house in which Teresa de Cepeda y Ahumada was born and is part of the Carmelite convent. Underground, the large vaulted burial crypt, which is currently used as the Museum of St Teresa, is the only example of its kind in Spanish religious architecture. The work was directed by the Carmelite architect Fray Alonso de San José and began in 1629. The building was opened on 15 October 1636.

In the purest Carmelite Baroque style, the church has a Latin-cross layout with a central nave and four chapels on each side. With the main altar in the northwest, it does not keep to established liturgical orientation as the presbytery was built to coincide with the room in which Teresa of Jesus was born. The entrance to the chapel of St Teresa opens up on the right arm of the transept and coincides with the area in which her family home once stood, together with the 'small garden where the saint prayed' opposite.

The front, which was designed in the style of an altarpiece, is separated into three bodies, giving prominence to the marble statue of the saint and the coats of arms of the Cepeda and Ahumada families, the Order of the Barefoot Carmelites, that of the Duke of Olivares, that of the Governor and that of Doctor of the Church.

Inside, the sculptures by Gregorio Fernández (17th century) and his school are of particular interest.

References:

Comments

Your name

Website (optional)



Address

Plaza la Santa 3, Ávila, Spain
See all sites in Ávila

Details

Founded: 1629
Category: Religious sites in Spain

More Information

www.avilaturismo.com

Rating

4.4/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Stephen Jesenko (15 months ago)
Beautiful place! Rich history! España is wonderful.
samer arraj (16 months ago)
Important site for catholic especially for those devoted to Santa Theresa
black Joh (16 months ago)
Santa Teresa was born here so that the prayers from all over the world visit here
David Gehrig (2 years ago)
Awesome tourist stop, lots to see
Rolando Descalzo (3 years ago)
A very special place. Perhaps because I was surprised to see that my last name is found on one of the marker on one of the door near the church. First time to learn about the life of St. Teresa. You can also see the artifacts of St. Teresa's remains in one of the religious display nearby. Very contemplative atmosphere, specially when the place is not inundated with tourists. I wonder what the place feels like during winter when tourists are far between. Would like to put that in my bucket list. Someday....God willing. Overall impression, it will have more impact if you come with a religious frame of mind as opposed to party-going sightseeing mode.
Powered by Google

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Externsteine Stones

The Externsteine (Extern stones) is a distinctive sandstone rock formation located in the Teutoburg Forest, near the town of Horn-Bad Meinberg. The formation is a tor consisting of several tall, narrow columns of rock which rise abruptly from the surrounding wooded hills. Archaeological excavations have yielded some Upper Paleolithic stone tools dating to about 10,700 BC from 9,600 BC.

In a popular tradition going back to an idea proposed to Hermann Hamelmann in 1564, the Externsteine are identified as a sacred site of the pagan Saxons, and the location of the Irminsul (sacral pillar-like object in German paganism) idol reportedly destroyed by Charlemagne; there is however no archaeological evidence that would confirm the site's use during the relevant period.

The stones were used as the site of a hermitage in the Middle Ages, and by at least the high medieval period were the site of a Christian chapel. The Externsteine relief is a medieval depiction of the Descent from the Cross. It remains controversial whether the site was already used for Christian worship in the 8th to early 10th centuries.

The Externsteine gained prominence when Völkisch and nationalistic scholars took an interest in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. This interest peaked under the Nazi regime, when the Externsteine became a focus of nazi propaganda. Today, they remain a popular tourist destination and also continue to attract Neo-Pagans and Neo-Nazis.