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Address Palacio de los Verdugo
C/ Lope Nuñez, 4
05001 Ávila (Ávila)
Concejalía de Patrimonio
Telephone 920 35 00 00
Visitas mensuales14727

Transformations in the Period from the Middle Ages to the French Revolution (16th-18th centuries)

In the 16th century, the city of Ávila reached its political and economic peak. Its population grew considerably and the result was an intense period of public and private building work that was to transform the city’s mediaeval appearance under the new Renaissance baton.

Even though the dangers of confrontation that had led to their construction had disappeared, the walls still played an important role for the Crown and the city (command of the territory, protection of the city and control of the economy, etc.) and, far from being ignored, the defence constructions were altered, repaired, maintained and conserved during the period from the Middle Ages to the French Revolution. However, as the threat of war had disappeared, the decision was also taken to dismantle and remove some of the additional defence devices (barbicans and moats, etc.) that had been rendered ineffective by the military machinery of the day. Some of the buildings adjoined to the outside faces of the walls today are also of particular interest: the corn exchange and the chapel of St Segundo, etc.

With the advent of the 17th century, the city fell into a period of decadence caused by the departure of the nobility to the court in search of positions in government, the appearance of plagues, heavy taxes, the stagnation of craft and trade and the expulsion of the Moors, all of which was to sink the city into a long period of deep recession. In this situation, new building work was stopped and the work on the walls was reduced to superficial repairs that had little in common with the work carried out in the 16th century. For almost two centuries, only the most urgent and necessary repair work was to be carried out.

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