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Photographer's Note

Here you have the Ávila City Walls again, this time from a closer POV beside Puerta del Puente (gate of the bridge). I have shown this face of the walls twice: the part behind the POV appears on this post and this same part appears on this WS from a distant POV about 120 degrees to the left of this one. The San Segundo church and yellow water mill that I have shown in earlier posts also lie to the left.

WS's: A view of the yellow water mill and the river from the bridge that lies to the left of the POV, in front of the gate. I posted them for two reasons: I can't decide about the quality of the compo and I liked your opinion about the fake sky I used in #2. The #1 features a natural (OE) sky.

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The rest of the note is a copy of what I wrote in the earlier post of the city walls.

To my eyes, nearly all Spanish towns manage to have very interesting old parts that seem to not having changed much since the 16th century, at least - stone houses, mazing narrow streets, lots of old churches, sometimes with rough exterior walls, but often with rich interior decorations dating from the 12th to the 18th centuries, palaces, you named it... As amazing as the preserved architecture, it's the life that perspires in nearly every corner, Spaniards seem to spend much more time in the street than they do elsewhere, specially at evening, when everybody seems to come out and those who don't go the the balconies and windows of their homes.

That said, maybe in the context of Spain Ávila isn't that special, but as its "rivals" also do, it has its own appealing character, even for those less religious who associate the town with its most famous children and long time residents, Saint Teresa of Ávila and Saint John of the Cross.

However, the city has at least one thing that is obviously unique even for those who don't know about the other unique things of the city (for instance: oldest Gothic cathedral and highest province capital in Spain) and just pass by it: the city walls that surround all the medieval nucleus. In most of the towns that once had great walls, all that remains are just some parts, that more often than not were rebuilt as early as the 18th century, so no matter how impressive or long they are, they don't look "very medieval" because of the shapes of the fortifications changed much with the advent of artillery and its evolution. That didn't happen in Ávila, where the city walls haven't a single break (the only ways in and out of the old city are the original gates) and the last reconstruction (at least for military reasons) occurred in the 16th century (according to Spanish Wikipedia). Not surprisingly, they are classified by UNESCO as World Heritage Site since 1985. They are said to be the the best kept city walls in Europe and the longest ones in the world after the Great Wall of China.

The walls were built between 1090 and 1099, soon after the conquest of the city from the Muslim rulers that occupied it since the 8th century, apparently using the remains of the older fortifications, namely from Romans and Visigoths times.

Link to all my posts of Avila: *

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Location (latitude, longitude): 40.65755,-4.70735

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Additional Photos by Jose Pires (stego) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4422 W: 612 N: 7301] (24132)
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