Sign Up
Newsletter Signup
Free Fodor's Newsletter

Subscribe today for weekly travel inspiration, tips, and special offers.

Passport: Your weekly travel wrap-up
Today's Departure: Your daily dose of travel inspiration

Castile–León and Castile–La Mancha Sights

Real Monasterio de Santo Tomás

  • Pl. de Granada 1 Map It
  • Ávila
  • Religious Building/Site/Shrine

Updated 06/06/2014

Fodor's Review

A good 10-minute walk from the walls and among housing projects is not where you would expect to find one of the most important religious institutions in Castile. The monastery was founded by Ferdinand and Isabella with the financial assistance of the notorious Inquisitor-General Tomás de Torquemada, who is buried in the sacristy. Further funds were provided by the confiscated property of converted Jews who ran afoul of the Inquisition. Three decorated cloisters lead to the church; inside, a masterly high altar (circa 1506) by Pedro Berruguete overlooks a serene marble tomb by the Italian artist Domenico Fancelli. One of the earliest examples of the Italian Renaissance style in Spain, this influential work was built for Prince Juan, the only son of Ferdinand and Isabella, who died at 19 while a student at the University of Salamanca. After Juan's burial here, his heartbroken parents found themselves unable to return; in happier times they had often attended Mass here, seated in the upper choir behind a balustrade exquisitely carved with their coats of arms. There are free guided tours at 6 pm on weekends and holidays. The monastery also includes a quirky museum of Asian art, collected by missionaries who traveled to the East.

Sight Information


Pl. de Granada 1, Ávila, 05003, Spain

Map It



Sight Details:

  • €4
  • Mid-Sept.–May, daily 10:30–2 and 3:30–7:30; June–mid-Sept., daily 10:30–9

Updated 06/06/2014


Map View

Map of

What's Nearby

  • Restaurants
  • Sights
  • Hotels

See all sights in Castile–León and Castile–La Mancha

Add Your Own Review

When did you go?

Minimum 200 character count

How many stars would you give?




Don't Miss



No Thanks

Love To Travel?

Get FREE e-mail communications from Fodor's Travel, covering must-see travel destinations, expert trip planning advice, and travel inspiration to fuel your passion.

How we use your email

Thank You

Now sit back, relax, and check your inbox to start planning your next travel adventure.

Please tell us more about the type of travel you're interested in. Check all that apply.