The basilica of Santa Maria la Mayor is one of the jewels in the crown of Galician Gothic architecture. It was built in the 16th century, by order of the Guild of fishermen. It was granted the status of small basilica in 1962, by Pope John XXIII.
The west façade that was designed by Cornelius de Holanda, has been built in the style of an altarpiece, with three ornately decorated sections. There is a massive transept in the south façade and the main entrance opens up under a semicircular arch, bordered by a stone jamb and ornate Baroque ornamentation. Inside there are three naves that are separated by columns. The High Altarpiece, is made of chestnut tree wood and walnut tree wood, dating back to the end of the nineteenth century. It is a work of art that was made by a cabinetmaker and woodcarver from Santiago. To the left of the south doorway lies a sculpture of the Christ of Safe Journeys, to which the faithful flock in the hope that they may be granted protection during their journeys.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.