Madrigal de las Altas Torres
Madrigal de las Altas Torres is a centrally Spanish municipality ( municipio ) in the province of Ávila in the Autonomous Community of Castile -Leon. The old center was classified as a cultural ( Bien de Interès Cultural ) in the category Conjunto histórico - artístico.
Madrigal de las Altas Torres lies in a fertile valley basin in the northern foothills of the Sierra de Gredos nearly 80 km ( driving distance ) north- west of the provincial capital Ávila; the city of Salamanca is about 70 kilometers to the southwest. The nearest major town is Medina del Campo; she is just 26 kilometers north-east.
In the 19th century the population was consistently well over 2,000 people.
The agriculture, especially livestock, traditionally the largest role in the economy of the community who was also a regional center for trade and commerce for the hamlets and isolated farmsteads in the area in earlier times. Revenue from tourism in the form of the rental of apartments ( casas rurales ) have been added in recent decades.
Finds from Roman and Visigothic period are missing. After the arrival of Islam in the early 8th century depopulated the area and was only in 11-12. Century gradually settled. In 1447 the marriage of John II of Castile and Isabella of Portugal was held here, also a few years later, her daughter, the future Queen Isabella of Castile, brought here to the world. This convened on the occasion of her coronation in 1476, the Spanish national assembly ( cortes ) by a Madrigal.
- The approximately 2300 meters long and 1,50 meters thick medieval walls ( 13-14. Century) with its towers and gates partially preserved includes the modern city, whose area is unchanged since the 16th century. It is made of rubble masonry with intermediate layers of bricks - some parts of the walls are plastered.
- The Iglesia San Nicolás de Bari is the most important church in the city. The whole building is built entirely of brick and dates from the 13th century; the series of blind arches on the apses of the choir still show Mudejar style elements as well as to churches in the province of Zamora occur (eg San Salvador de los Caballeros or the Holy Sepulchre in Toro ). In the 15th century, the three-nave interior was remodeled and fitted with a paneled ceiling in the Moorish style; several altarpieces decorative accents. In a separate museum room a Romanesque baptismal font is shown in which - said to have been baptized Isabella of Castile - according to the local tradition.
- The church of Santa María del Castillo in the 13th Century; dates from this time the Mudejar chancel with its four superimposed rows of blind arcades. The church was completely rebuilt in the 18th century, so its interior character rather corresponds to the age of the Baroque.
- The Palace John II is also built of partly plastered bricks. Worth seeing are its two courtyards, which now belong to one Augustinian convent.
- The Hospital de la Purisima Concepcion was donated I of Aragon in 1420 and wife of King John II of Castile in 1443 by María, the eldest daughter of Ferdinand. It is an early modern Hospitalbau with an interesting two-storey courtyard, whose pre-built wooden gallery resting on finely crafted monolithic columns.
- Alonso Fernández de Madrigal (1410-1455), clergyman, writer and bishop of Ávila was born in Madrigal.
- Queen Isabella of Castile (1451-1504) was born in Madrigal.
- Vasco de Quiroga ( 1470-1565 to ), first bishop of Michoacán (Mexico) and advocate of the Indians was born in Madrigal.
- Luis de León (1523-1591), an Augustinian monk, theologian and poet, died in Madrigal.