King Alfonso II founded the Monastery of San Paio de Antealtares in the year 830. It fell into decay at the end of the 13th century, and in ruins, the Catholic Monarchs eliminated it and included it into S. Martín Pinario. In 1495, Gómez de Marzoa´s efforts to set up a college for poor students led to the monastery becoming Compostela´s first school and the origin of Galicia´s Renaissance University. The Order of benedictine nuns occupied it as of 1499.
The present-day building, in baroque style, appeared between 1599 and 1744. Fernández Lechuga the closing wall of La Quintana as a large, undecorated canavas, gicving the sensation of perfection and grandeur; Velasco Agüero built the other walls of the cloister and doorway facade, with a monumental doorwayframed by four giant order Doric columns; Fernando de Casas y Novoa extended the building to the Carros Gateway, finished by Lucas Ferro Caaveiro and known as 'Puerta de la Borriquita' (the Donkey Gateway), thanks to the relief image of the Flight to Egypt (Francisco de Lens, circa. 1750). Church (Friar Gabriel de las Casas, 1703-07) in cut-stone granite and tiled, two-sided roof. Greek cross ground plan extended at the western end to accommodate the choir. Simple, monumental facade with the figure of St. Pelayo Martyr. Interior covered with a dome over pendentives. Main retable by Castro Canseco.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.