Many stories waiting to be told
Archaeological investigations have revealed a history stretching back many centuries, to the days when it was inhabited by the Vettones, Carpetani, Celts, Iberians and Saracens. Outstanding remains dating back to the days of the Romans, the Late Roman period and the Visigoths can be admired in San Miguel de Corneja and the Shrine of Santa María de la Vega.
The town was reconquered and repopulated in the second half of the 13th century, remaining part of the borough of Ávila until Alphonse VIII granted the town its own economic and legal status under the Manorialism of Valdecorneja.
The town’s fortress was home to Berenguela, the daughter of Alphonse VIII, Queen of Castile and mother of Ferdinand the Holy Prince, who was born here. It is also the birthplace of the 16th century’s most famous Duke of Alba, the Spaniard Fernando Álvarez de Toledo, who built the ‘Palace of the Dukes of Alba’ in the French Baroque style. A place of royal splendour, it caught the imagination of none other than Francisco de Goya himself, who painted ‘Summer’ and ‘The Grape Harvest’ during the time he spent here in 1786. A magnificent place that combines art, culture and history.