Located in central Spain is the city of Avila. It’s found in the community of Castile and Leon, and is also the capital of the Province of Avila. The city is popularly known as The Town of Stones and Saints and is about 100km from the city of Madrid.
Avila is known for its medieval city walls built in 1090.
The walls are 40 feet high and 10 feet thick and are made of stones and granite.
Avila is one of the prominent walled cities in Europe and was built in Romanesque style. The city claims to be one of the Spanish towns that have the most number of Gothic and Romanesque styled churches in the whole country. The 2.5 kilometer long city wall of Avila is popular because it is still almost intact up to this date.
Behind the massive walls of Avila is the Old Town of Avila
Constructed in 1090 and made of brown granite, the walls surround the city’s layout.
The history of the medieval walls of Avila is all things but blah. The walls are 40 feet high and 10 feet thick with eighty-eight towers placed at uniform intervals and nine gateways. There used to be a moat and a barbican outside but they don’t exist anymore. The building of this huge defense was done in less than a decade.
Just one side of the huge fortress.
Who would’ve thought that something built many centuries ago can still remain intact up to now?
The area enclosed by the walls of Avila is now called the Old Town which encompasses the city’s famous landmarks. This includes the Gothic Monastery of Santo Tomas that was built by Queen Isabella in 1482. Other landmarks include Romanesque churches, the Gothic Cathedral and the tombs of Tomas de Torquemada, the first grand inquisitor of Spain and Don Juan, the only son of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella.
One of the nine gateways.
You can walk half-the circumference of the walls during the day. At night, the fortification is lit up by halogen lights, making it the “largest, fully illuminated monument in the world.”
The walls are lit by orange-yellow halogen light at night
In 1985, the Old Town of Avila was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. To date, it is one of the most visited tourist spots in Europe.
A Glimpse of Ivan the Terrible’s Fortress, the Island Town of Sviyazhsk in Russia
The island town of Sviyazhsk is a monument of Russian history and culture, but what prompted the creation of this tiny island town?
The 1500s was a trying time for the Russians. Ruled then by Ivan the Terrible, he led several campaigns against Kazan. So what was Kazan's beef with Russia? Well, the Khanates (whose capital is Kazan) has been at war with Muscovites (Ivan's army) for hundreds of years. Their main problem is that both of them want to own Kazan, which has a strategic location on the Volga River. But since the Khanates inhabited Kazan, they pretty much blocked Ivan's forces from passing through there out onto the Caspian Sea.
Ivan led many campaigns against Kazan, but they couldn't seize the city. Until one day Ivan's troops found a little wooded island around 30 kilometers from Kazan. He came up with the idea to create a base near Kazan to make it easier to launch attacks against the city.
Sviyazhsk was initially uninhabited until Ivan the Terrible stumbled upon it in 1550.
The Grim History of the Bridge of Sighs in Venice
Who would have thought that this iconic Venetian bridge had such a rich, yet tragic history?
The Bridge of Sighs is known to some as the Ponte sei Sospiri, and it's one of the most famous bridges in Venice. The beautiful bridge sits atop the Rio di Palazzo canal in Venice, and is made with intricately carved white limestone with tiny latticed windows.
It was built in 1600 to connect the Doge's Palace to the newly established prison at the time called the Prigioni Nuove.
The Bridge of Sighs is a famous landmark in Venice...
This Magnificent White Beach in Tuscany Hides A Very Dark Secret
Beach-goers become victims to tumors and high mortality rates because of this dark secret.
Rosignano Solvay is a tourist haven. This southern Tuscany area boasts of brilliant white sand beaches that attract thousands of visitors every year. Little do they know, the glorious Caribbean-like white sands they frolic on actually hides a dark secret.
This picturesque Italian town’s main tourist attraction is its seemingly beautiful coastline of sparkling sand locals call Spiagge Bianche.
However, the stunning stretch of beach isn’t a wonder of nature at all.
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