Ávila


Ávila
Ávila [äv′i lə]
city of central Spain, west of Madrid: pop. 45,000

* * *

Á·vi·la (äʹvə-lə, äʹvē-lä)
A town of central Spain west-northwest of Madrid. It is a religious and tourist center. Population: 42,165.

* * *

Spain
in full  Ávila de los Caballeros  
 city, capital of Ávila provincia (province), in the Castile–León (Castile-León) comunidad autónoma (autonomous community), central Spain. The city of Ávila is situated on the Adaja River at 3,715 feet (1,132 metres) above sea level and is surrounded by the lofty Sierra de Gredos (south) and the Sierra de Guadarrama (east). The city lies 72 miles (115 km) northwest of Madrid. A pre-Roman settlement on the site became part of Roman Lusitania and was known as Abula, or Avela, before falling (c. 714) to the Moors. It was recaptured for the Christians by Alfonso VI in 1085. Ávila's walls, in polygonal form and extending 8,202 feet (2,500 metres) in circumference, were built in the 12th century and encompassed the whole of ancient Ávila (the old town was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1985); the modern part of the city lies outside. With the expulsion of the Moriscos (people of Moorish descent) in 1607–10, the city's commerce declined.

      Ávila has been called the “finest medieval remnant in Spain” and is a noted tourist centre. Historic landmarks include the Gothic cathedral (begun c. 1091, completed 13th–15th century), in which the work of the goldsmith Juan de Arfe y Villafén (16th century) is preserved; the Convent of Santo Tomás (1482–93), containing the tombs of Tomás de Torquemada, who was the first grand inquisitor of Spain, and of Don Juan, the only son of Ferdinand and Isabella; the Romanesque basilica of San Vicente; and the Encarnación convent, built on the site of the house of the mystic St. Teresa, a native of Ávila.

      Commercial activities now include leather tanning, flour milling, liquor distilling, and the manufacture of soft drinks, meat by-products, and automobile parts. Some of Ávila's industries are linked with those of Madrid and Segovia. The service sector dominates the economy. Pop. (2006 est.) 52,563.

      provincia (province) in the Castile-León comunidad autónoma (autonomous community), central Spain, on the northern Meseta Central (plateau). Ávila is separated from Madrid province by the Sierra de Guadarrama to the east and from Toledo province by the Sierra de Gredos to the south. Agriculture predominates on the level ground in the north, but the soils are poor, relying on outwash from the central sierras. To the south, sierras rise steplike from the plateau to the Sierra de Gredos and are separated from each other by longitudinal valleys, the most important of which are Alberche, Adaja, and Tiétar.

 There is little industrial development, and agriculture predominates throughout the province. The raising of stock, especially of Merino sheep, is the principal activity; the forests, mostly pine, are still economically important in places. Wheat and barley, with and without irrigation, are increasing in acreage. Rye, oats, corn (maize), sugar beets, and tobacco are also grown. Modern methods have been widely adopted; production of cereals exceeds consumption, and a surplus is exported to other parts of Spain. Agricultural processing is largely confined to the provincial capital, Ávila, and the chief market is the town of Arévalo. The Tiétar and Alberche valleys produce wines of some repute; olive cultivation is confined to a few sheltered localities (e.g., Arenas de San Pedro and Cebreros) with very high yield. The sierras formerly abounded in game; the diminution of the ibex (wild goat) of the Sierra de Gredos led to the creation of an ibex sanctuary in 1905. Area 3,108 square miles (8,050 square km). Pop. (2007 est.) 168,638.

Vicente Rodriguez
 

* * *


Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Ávila — Bandera …   Wikipedia Español

  • Avila — Ávila Pour les articles homonymes, voir Ávila (homonymie). Vue de la muraille …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Avila — may refer to:Places*Ávila, a city in Spain *Ávila (province), a province in Spain **Ávila (Spanish Congress Electoral District) the electoral district covering the province *Avila Beach, California, in the United States *Cerro El Ávila, a… …   Wikipedia

  • ÁVILA — ÁVILA, city in Castile, central Spain. Jews are mentioned there in 1085. The first documentary evidence of a Jewish community is from 1144. In 1176 the king granted one third of the taxes levied on the Jews to the bishop of Ávila. However, they… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Ávila — es una ciudad española, en Castilla y León, capital de la provincia homónima. Situada a 1.128 m de altura, en un enclave rocoso a la orilla derecha del río Adaja, afluente del Duero, siendo la capital de provincia más alta de España. Su término… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • AVILA, DE — AVILA, DE, Sephardi family. Several of its members held prominent positions in Spain, both when professing Jews and after they became ostensibly converted to Catholicism, in the 15th century. From the second half of the 17th century the family… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Ávila — (Паленсия,Испания) Категория отеля: 2 звездочный отель Адрес: Conde de Vallellano, 5 Bajo, 340 …   Каталог отелей

  • Ávila [1] — Ávila, span. Provinz in Altkastilien, grenzt im N. an Valladolid, im O. an Segovia und Madrid, im S. an Toledo und Caceres, im W. an Salamanca und hat 7882 qkm (143,2 QM.) Flächenraum. Die Bevölkerung betrug 1900: 197,694 Einw. (25 auf 1 qkm).… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Avila — f English: this occurs in the Middle Ages as a Latinized form of a medieval Germanic name related to AVIS (SEE Avis). In modern use, however, it is borne almost exclusively by Roman Catholics, among whom it is bestowed in honour of St Theresa of… …   First names dictionary

  • ávila — v. d Espagne (Castille et Léon), à 1 121 m d alt.; 40 170 hab.; ch. l. de la prov. du m. nom. Enceinte fortifiée (XIIe s.); cath. mi romane mi goth. (XIIe XIIIe s.); égl. romanes. V. Thérèse d ávila …   Encyclopédie Universelle


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.