municipality in Castile and León, Spain
Ávila (UK: , US: , Spanish: [ˈaβila] (listen)) is a city of Spain located in the autonomous community of Castile and León. It is the capital and most populated municipality of the Province of Ávila.
It lies on the right bank of the Adaja river. Located more than 1,130 m above sea level, the city is the highest provincial capital in Spain.Distinctly known by its medieval walls, Ávila is sometimes called the Town of Stones and Saints, and it claims that it is one of the towns with the highest number of Romanesque and Gothic churches per capita in Spain. It has complete and prominent medieval town walls, built in the Romanesque style; writer José Martínez Ruiz, in his book El alma castellana ("The Castilian Soul"), described it as "perhaps the most 16th-century town in Spain". The town is also known as Ávila de los Caballeros, Ávila del Rey and Ávila de los Leales ("Ávila of the knights", "Ávila of the king", "Ávila of the loyal ones"), each of these epithets being present in the town standard.
Orson Welles once named Ávila as the place in which he would most desire to live, calling it a "strange, tragic place". Various scenes of his 1965 film Chimes at Midnight were filmed in the town.
Ávila was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1985. The site originally consisted of the walled city and four extra muros churches. The number of churches included in the site has since been increased.
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