Catedral del Salvador

sights / Religious

Catedral del Salvador information

Ávila , Spain
Plaza de la Catedral
+34 920 21 16 41
admission incl audioguide €4
Opening hours
10am-7pm Mon-Fri, 10am-8pm Sat, noon-6.30pm Sun
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Ávila's 12th-century cathedral is both a house of worship and an ingenious fortress: its stout granite apse forms the central bulwark in the historic city walls. The sombre, Gothic-style facade conceals a magnificent interior with an exquisite early-16th-century altar frieze showing the life of Jesus, plus Renaissance-era carved choir stalls and a museum with an El Greco painting and a splendid silver monstrance by Juan de Arfe. (Push the buttons to illuminate the altar and the choir stalls.)

The cathedral was the first Gothic church in Spain; the famous altar frieze of 24 paintings was completed by Juan de Borgoña in 1515, the year of Santa Teresa's birth. Above, the stunning ochre-stained limestone columns and cantilevered ceilings in the side aisles produce an effect unlike any other cathedral in the country.