Barco de Ávila: Ruta de Carlos V
During his last days in Castilla y León,
around the 10th of November 1556, the Emperor crossed the lands
of Barco de Ávila. This marked the last of Carlos V's stops
in Castilla y León during his journey.
The town t is famous for its beans and takes its name from the boat used in ancient times to cross the river Tormes.
It is situated in the area surrounding the Sierra de Gredos. The magnificent 16th century Roman bridge that is built on Roman pillars preserved its central tower until the 19th century when it was destroyed by French troops during the War of Independence. Another place worthy of a visit is the Church of la Asunción. The church still has traces of its 12th century origins, although it was restored in the 14th century. The church houses the Museo Parroquial, in which one can find gold and silver artefacts, coins, and religious sculptures and canvases.
However, perhaps one of the most outstanding features of this town is the 25 metres tower. It is known as the clock tower because, for many years, it did have a clock. The clock is now kept in the Casa del Reloj.
Among the splendid jewels of Barco de Ávila, the castle must be visited. From this castle, there is one of the best views over the river Tormes. Although the castle was originally built in the 12th century, it was rebuilt between the 14th and 15th centuries. The Torre del Homenaje was from this latter period.
The 18th century Ermita de San Pedro, the Casa de los Balcones and the Plaza Mayor blend in with the rest of the town's wall, which, despite the years, still maintains its Medieval flavour.
This is where Carlos V's journey through Castilla y León ends. It represents the Emperor's last journey on his way to his retreat, the Monasterio de Yuste, where he died on the 21th of September, 1558.