San Lorenzo was one of the twelve religious buildings commissioned by king Ferdinand III of Castile in the city after its conquest in the early 13th century.
The church occupies the site of a pre-existing Islamic mosque, which in turn had been built above a Visigothic church. It was built between around 1244 and 1300, in a transitional style between Romanesque and Gothic architecture. It has the typical structure of Andalusian churches of the period, featuring a rectangular plan with a nave and two aisles, without transept and an apse.
It has a portico with three slightly ogival arcades, added in the 16th century. The Islamic minaret was converted into a Renaissance bell tower by Hernán Ruiz the Younger. Above the portico is the large Gothic-Mudéjar rose window. The nave has a coffered ceiling in Mudéjar-Renaissance style. The apse has 14th century paintings inspired by the Italian Gothic school, depicting Scenes of the Life of Jesus. There are also figures of saints and prophets with gilt halos, and a decoration imitating Byzantine azulejos. the high altar (17th century) has scenes of the life of St. Lawrence.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.