The walls of the city date from mediaeval times. The Gothic-Romanesque cathedral, the Royal Monastery of Santo Tomás and the Palace of Oñate and church of San Juan are must-sees for tourists before leaving the town. The Bulls of Guisando, in the village of El Tiemblo, are one of the most important examples of Celtiberian art. However, Ávila is particularly famous as the birthplace of mysticism, mainly due to St Teresa of Jesus, one of the most exceptional figures in Spanish religion.
Its wonderful Gothic cathedral is world famous and it is one of those monuments that give the town character and charisma. The Arch of Santa María, which was once a gate to the town, is today the best porch for entering the cathedral. The House of El Cordón dates from the 15th century and is also well-known and worth a visit. It was the place where the Catholic Monarchs received Christopher Columbus on his return from his second voyage to America. The Monastery of Las Huelgas and the Carthusian Monastery of Miraflores complete the important collection of religious architecture.
León is more than a city, much more than a province; it is a kingdom. Its history is nourished by walls and conquests. It was finally annexed to Castile in the 13th century.
León has excellent monuments of priceless artistic value. The cathedral is a magnificent example of Gothic art. Its construction began at the beginning of the 13th century and its stained-glass windows are unique, together with its extraordinary large rose window on the west facade.
The Basilica of San Isidoro is a Romanesque monument from the 12th century. The Pantheons of the Monarchs of León can be found at the back of the church. The Convent of San Marcos, which was once a hospital for pilgrims on their way to Santiago de Compostela, has a monumental Plateresque-style facade and has been turned into a luxury hotel.
Other works of great architectural value include the Palace of Los Guzmanes, the House of Botines (by Gaudí) and the Palace of Los Condes de Luna.
Situated on the plains of Tierra de Campos on the banks of the River Carrión. The city’s large historical and artistic heritage includes the Cathedral, the Plaza Mayor and the Town Hall building, the Palace of the Provincial Council, the House of El Cordón, which is home to the Archaeological Museum of Palencia, the Monastery of Santa Clara, the Church of San Miguel and the Christ of El Otero, which stands on one of the hills near the city.
Its Holy Week celebrations and the local pilgrimage of Santo Toribio are of particular interest.
Valladolid stands on the left bank of the River Pisuerga and is the seat of the parliament and government of the autonomous community of Castilla y León. The Plaza Mayor, the Royal Palace, the Palace of Los Condes de Benavente, the unfinished cathedral, the historical building of the University, the Palace of Pimentel, the Palace of Santa Cruz, the church of San Pablo, the convent of San Francisco, the National Sculpture Museum, the Museum of Christopher Columbus and the House-Museum of the poet José Zorrilla are examples of the excellent monuments to be seen in Valladolid. Holy Week is the most important cultural event in the city thanks to its priceless polychrome statues that date from the 16th and 17th centuries. Gregorio Fernández, a Spanish sculptor from the Baroque period and one of the best examples of the Castilian School of sculpture, worked in close collaboration with the brotherhoods of Valladolid from when the city was named as the capital of the Royal Court until his death.