The 17th-century Convent of Sant Agusti, in the heart of Ciutadella, is still used as a residence for a community of nuns while also being a cultural focal point for the public at large because it houses the Diocesan Museum.
The Church of Socorro (Solace), alongside the cloister, is built in the Renaissance style, with one single nave and side chapels, covered by a barrel vault and a transept topped with a dome. The facade, defined by its two twin towers, reveals a late 18th-century gateway, with three gates opening onto a great atrium, decorated with the emblems of the Augustinian order and crowned by Our Lady of Perpetuo Socorro. It was heavily refurbished during that period, with the construction of the main reredoses, the organ and the interior decoration, which left the vaults, dome and walls covered with fresco murals.
The devastation suffered during the Civil War led to the destruction of the reredoses and the other liturgical furniture. Meanwhile, over the decades during which it was closed or used for a whole range of functions it suffered ever worsening deterioration, a process which has been arrested over the last 15 years by embarking on the costly and complex task of restoration and refurbishment now in progress. Nonetheless, only a few fragments remain. The Baroque organ was built in 1793 by the Catalan master craftsman Josep Casas i Soler, was destroyed in the Civil War, and recently rebuilt by the team of organ maker Albert Blancafort. The choir retains its beautiful walnut seating with marquetry ornamentation.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.