Ávila palaciega y curiosa
Avila is undoubtedly one of the best preserved cities for palaces of our national heritage. Between the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, a series of palaces and fortresses, which seem to shine even more with the passing of time, were primarily built inside the walls. The palace of the Veladas is an example of the power of the age. Noble knights and even Isabella the Catholic were guests at this palace. Its colonnaded courtyard greets us, having been converted into an aesthetic and defensive area away from the gateway, thus making any entrance by the enemy difficult. Another of the oldest palaces in the city, built with the same material used to construct the wall, is the Davila palace, with a defensive character we can appreciate as a result of its battlements, open balconies from where boiling water and oil was poured on the enemy. The Palace of the Verdugo (executioner) is undoubtedly one of the most austere palaces in the city and it is now the Avila headquarters of the heritage cities. Inside, the beautiful Mudejar carved ceilings stand out. Continuing with our tour, we arrive at the provincial museum located in the Saint Tome the Elder church and former Palace of the Deanes, used for years as a mechanical warehouse, now it houses a museum where we can find Roman and Celtic pieces, such as the mosaics on the floor and the stone boars found throughout the province. They were figures used as protective symbols for cattle. The boars were also used to delimit the land. We will see that the boars are always male in order to enhance the cattle’s fertility. Also unique is Avila´s ethnological museum, where we can delve into the history and traditions of the area as we see typical dresses, looms, old typewriters, scissors used to cut the candle threads... We end our tour at the St. Tomas monastery, the first headquarters of the Inquisition and the Summer Palace of the Catholic kings. In this monastery we find the Renaissance tomb of Prince Don Juan, the only son of the Catholic Kings, and the Pedro Berruguete altar. Also noteworthy is the Cloister of the Kings where, among others, theology, philosophy and law classes were imparted... In fact today the auditorium where students graduated still remains. Here we can read "Such distinguished people as Jovellanos graduated here". In other palatial rooms we find two of the most peculiar museums in the area, the Oriental Art museum, composed of the gifts the Dominicans received during their evangelical work in Japan, China, Vietnam and the Philippines. In the Vietnam room a beautiful shrine dedicated to the ancestors stands out. Particularly beautiful are the kimonos, the Japanese bronze and the gongs. Also worth a visit , the science museum where one surprisingly can find a variety of themes.