The Abbey of La Clarté-Dieu was a Cistercian monastery. The abbey was founded in 1239 by the executors of Peter des Roches, Bishop of Winchester, as one of a pair, the other being Netley Abbey in Hampshire, England. The bishop had conceived the idea of founding a pair of monasteries some years before and had begun collecting the necessary endowments for them, but his death in 1238 prevented him from completing the project. The first monks arrived at the site in 1240.
The abbey was severely damaged in the course of the Hundred Years War and the cost of rebuilding proved a heavy burden on the finances of the community. Nevertheless, La Clarté-Dieu managed to survive until the French Revolution when it was closed and sold off along with all the other monasteries of France. Following the revolution the abbey was for a long time used as a farm and some of the buildings were allowed to fall to ruin. Despite this, much of the mediaeval abbey remains in excellent condition along with some fine post-mediaeval additions. The abbey is preserved as an historic monument and is open to the public.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.