Just two hours from Madrid by train Ávila is a real medieval gem. It boasts the most complete Romanesque city walls in Spain and walking on top of them gives you a real feel for the days of El Cid and the vast Castilian plain. The city is crammed with Gothic churches and the cool vaults of the Cathedral are a welcome relief on a hot summer’s day. Known as the City of Stones or Saints Ávila’s most famous inhabitant was Saint Teresa, who gave her name to the delicious sweet pastries known as Yemas. These are found in many pastry shops the best being the famous La Flor de Castilla.
As the name implies this convent has strong links with Saint Teresa as it is built over her birthplace. You can see the exact spot where she was born (marked by a huge plaque). The beautiful baroque church is decorated with scenes of Saint Teresa's life. Unless you're really dedicated to studying her life in intricate detail than this is probably the only church/museum which is worth visiting as entry is free.
Plaza de la Santa - a 20min walk from Ávila's train station.
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