Across the bridge in Avila and following the road as far as the shrine of the Four Pillars, seeking this intimate, magic moment in which the city is lit up, with the city wall in the foreground, and the sky of Ávila turns from blue to black in an unforgettable experience. Viewed from here, tourists can see the Cabalistic structure of Ávila, the Jerusalem of Castile as it was christened by the poet Avner Pérez, and the interior castle of Teresa de Cepeda y Ahumada.
The St. Teresa Convent is located on the streets of Via de la Dama, allowing access to the square where the convent of La Santa is located. This monastic foundation was assembled over what used to be the house where Teresa de Jesús was born, a top writer on Spanish Golden Century literature and Christian mysticism. Teresa was a judeoconverso, a jew that converted to catholicism, because she is closely related to a family of new Christians in Toledo. The Convent of St. Teresa was built between 1629 and 1636, with a magnificent example of the Carmelite style. Underground, there is a Santa Teresa Museum that contains pieces which are still relatively unknown to the general public and are extremely valuable. On the other side of the Santa gate, the Mysticism Interpretation Centre is organised into four rooms, each corresponing to the three universal elements established by Saint Catherine of Siena: being by yourself, being with God, and being with the world, as well as a fourth being identified with tradition. The Hebrew origin of Saint Teresa of Jesus or of Saint John of the Cross, both suffering with some problems when they started to practice their faith, shows how conversion was actually an option accepted by part of the Jewish community.
Out of the numerous Jewish communities in Spain, the Juderia of Avila plays a special role in the history of Spanish Jewish rights. The Jews of Sevilla were not subjected to a great deal of discriminatory behaviors unlike their brothers in other cities. They served the city as being distributors of fine clothing and other textiles. However, despite this good fortune, the Jewish quarter itself had not stood the test of time. There are few traces of this community but what has been remembered through documents and records has been identified and preserved. The building where the Rebbe’s house once stood has since been converted into a hotel. However, the latest victory has been the unearthing of the local medieval Jewish cemetery just outside the 11th century walls of the city!
The historian on Sephardic themes, D. A. Halperin put forth the theory that the current Mosén Rubí chapel was originally built in 1462 as a major Synagogue and that later, when it had already been converted into a church, it was added to the hospital, following the will of María Herrera, the daughter of Diego Martínez de Herrera, a converted Jew, on October 2nd, 1512. D. A. Halperin wanted to justify this speculation by stating that his nephew, Diego de Bracamonte who implemented Maria's will, built a wooden hospital and the chambers of the chaplains adjacent to an existing temple. Diego de Bracamonte transcribed an engraving that is inside the Chapel. The message was found to be the date of construction relating to the Jewish calendar and records the existence of a Star of David on the northwest front of the building.
The Ávila Jewish cemetery is loacted behind the Encarnación convent, giving the name Jewish Cemetery of Incarnation. The foundation of the cemterary was placed in the year 1511, when Beatriz Guiera acquired the houses of Pilón de la Mimbre, originally found, at that time, alongside the Gate of St. Vincent, alongside the Lomo synagogue. Here, Beatriz Guiera bought a Jewish Graveyard which was outside the city walls, and built his convent. During the 2012 archaeological works, many funerary structures were found. The architecture that was uncovered belonged to the graveyard of the Jewish alijama, whose community buried their dead with tombs in rows, alligned O-E, directed to the sun at the time of departure. In this cemtery, two types of tombs were established: staggered, presenting a step on either its north and south fronts, and tombs dug into a simple pit. The tombs had a sugnal on the outside, but the ones that don't have it were the tomb buried after the expulsion of the Jews in 1492.
While theories suggest that the current Moses Rubí chapel was the former Main Synagogue, others believe that the Main synagogue could be that of Lomo which was situated in the present Esteban Domingo street. Documentary evidence pertaining to the synagogue place it in the late 15th century alongside the first incarnation convent, already converted into a church going by the name of Todos los Santos (All Saints). A Royal Decree issued in Madrid on December 6th, 1495 by the Catholic Monarchs states that in 1482 doctor Pedro Sánchez Frías, the Chief Magistrate of the city, took possession after the segregation of the Jewish community to the Telares District in compliance with a decree by the Courts of Toledo in 1480, of certain synagogues which the Jews had in Ávila.