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The ancient city of Avila is located in central Spain, in the autonomous community of Castile and León, about 100 km to the west of Madrid. Regarded as one of the finest walled city in Europe, Avila is built on the flat summit of a rocky outcrop which rises abruptly in the middle of a vast treeless plain strewn with immense grey boulders and surrounded by lofty mountains. Its 2,500-meter long city wall is almost completely intact.

Avila was once part of the Roman Lusitania, before falling to the Arab and Berber invaders in 714 CE. For the next three and a half centuries the northern Iberian Christian kingdoms tried repeatedly to seize control of the city, but it was King Alfonso VI of León and Castile, who eventually managed to conquer the Muslims in 1088 ADE. The King immediately started building a great stone wall around Avila to protect his latest conquest from further attacks. The job was supervised by his brother-in-law, Raymond of Burgundy, who was a legendary figure himself.

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Photo credit: Never House/Flickr

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© Amusing Planet, 2016.


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