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Parador Avila

The Parador in Avila presents a wonderful opportunity to literally walk in the footsteps of history.There still stands an ancient mulberry tree in the gardens of the Parador that was climbed by Saint Teresa (a 16th century mystic nun) when she was a child! The story is that her mother was a relative of the Benavides family whose residence it was then - when it was known as the Piedras de Albas palace - and Teresa used to accompany her mother and play in the gardens on these visits - climbing the tree to pick its sweet fruit. Sit on the bench beneath the tree while you are here and contemplate what it might have been like in that bygone era.Avila is completely encircled by a magnificent stone wall.

Raimundo de Borgoņa, a medieval knight, conquered the city of Avila in the 11th century and ordered these fortifications constructed. They were completed over the span of 11 years. The walls, over two kilometers in circumference, have been called the greatest example of medieval stonemasonry in Europe. There are 88 towers and 11 monumental gates.

They seem to preserve the city of Avila in a somber, medieval air that has changed but little over the centuries. The city rests in stately slumber behind its perfectly preserved medieval - almost as if time has passed her by, yet she waits patiently for today's new pilgrims - the intrepid tourists.Parador Avila is now named after the man who regained the city during the re-conquest - Parador Raimundo De Borgoņas. The Parador has floors of solid granite, beautiful decorative elements throughout, antique Castillian furniture in the public rooms, and very pleasant and spacious bedrooms decorated in a rustic style.

Avila is for walking. In this "city of knights and nuns," you'll walk in the very footsteps of Saint Teresa - past her own Convento de Santa Teresa - past Spain's oldest gothic cathedral - past numerous stately homes, medieval and renaissance palaces - and along the top of the muralla - the awe inspiring city wall.Interesting excursions from Parador Avila into the city:.- Don't miss the earliest Gothic Cathedral built in Spain.
- The Basilica de San Vincente with it elegant Romanesque architecture.
- El Monasterio de Santo Tomas.

- The 17th century Convento de Santa Teresa.
.Interesting day trips include:.- Driving up into the Sierra de Gredos for beautiful natural surroundings and great hiking opportunities.

- If you are there in spring, be sure and drive down the the Jerte valley and view the astounding 'sea of white' - thousands of cherry trees in bloom. - Salamanca and Segovia are both within easy driving distance of Avila.Visiting Avila and staying at the wonderful Parador there gives the traveler a great chance to feel an older time - to get a sense of what a major city in Castillian Spain was like during ancient times.

.SpainParador.com makes it easy for you to plan and arrange your next trip to Spain. This time stay in palaces, castles, and other places of great historical interest and rare beauty - the wonderful Paradors of Spain. .

By: Gary Bumpas

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