Very close to Salamanca is a small town, the cradle of one of the most important and most famous noble houses in the history of Spain. We are talking about Alba de Tormes, a wonder that deserves a visit as it is a beautiful excursion that is highly recommended from the capital of Salamanca.
Alba de Tormes is closely linked to the Casa de Alba, which gave great splendor to this medieval town, but it is also known for being the place where Saint Teresa of Jesus, one of the most important writers of Spanish literature, is buried.
Visiting Alba de Tormes in one day is possible due to its size, despite which you have many points of interest.
What to see in Alba de Tormes in 1 day
The Medieval Bridge of Alba de Tormes
The first point of interest that you will find when you arrive in Alba de Tormes, will be its medieval bridge, from where you also have the best views of the town, in a beautiful image that you can have of the whole formed by the bridge, the town and the Tormes river..
The Medieval Bridge consists of 23 arches and has the peculiarity that they are all different. Although it was built during the Middle Ages in the same place as a Roman bridge, the current one was rebuilt after the War of Independence as it suffered significant damage.
From here you can start visiting Alba de Tormes, crossing the bridge and discovering all its wonders.
Basilica of Saint Teresa of Jesus
On the other side of the bridge we find another of the jewels to visit in Alba de Tormes. We are talking about the Basilica of Santa Teresa de Jesús, an unfinished jewel that welcomes you before entering the old town.
The Basilica of Santa Teresa de Jesús is neo-Gothic in style and its construction began at the end of the 19th century. The works have been interrupted several times, which is why it is not yet finished, although in 2007 they were resumed, finishing the apse and the presbytery.
In spite of everything, today you can visit and discover its chapels and its 3 naves. A highly recommended visit to a place destined to house the remains of Saint Teresa of Jesus, although they are not here. We’ll find out later.
The Plaza Mayor of Alba de Tormes
Ascending through its streets, we enter the old town of Alba de Tormes, arriving first at the Plaza Mayor, located a few meters away, a meeting place for the residents of the town and where we must highlight the Town Hall building and the Church of San Juan, as well as the central fountain surrounded by palm trees.
The Church of San Juan is in the Mudejar Romanesque style and it contains the tombs of important historical figures from Alba de Tormes.
From here we can walk a few meters to reach the most important point of the town, the Plaza de Santa Teresa, where you have different places to visit
The Plaza de Santa Teresa and the Convent of the Annunciation
Plaza de Santa Teresa is the most interesting square in Alba de Tormes. In it we can find the Church of San Juan de la Cruz, the first temple in the world dedicated to the mystical poet, which is part of the Convent of the Discalced Carmelite Fathers and of which we can highlight its beautiful façade.
But in this square is also the Convent of the Annunciation, in whose church is the tomb of Santa Teresa de Jesús, the most visited place in Alba de Tormes. In an urn located on the altar is her incorrupt body and two of her relics, her left arm and her heart.
In a building adjacent to the Convent is the Carmelite Museum, where you can admire a collection of works of art inspired by the life of Saint Teresa of Jesus and her times.
The Castle of the Dukes of Alba
The next destination will be the Castle of the Dukes of Alba, located a little further away but which you will reach in a few minutes. Along the way, we recommend you visit the Church of Santiago, also in the Mudejar style and of which we can highlight its Romanesque apse.
The Castle of the Duke of Alba, located in the highest part of Alba de Tormes. It has its origins in the 12th century and today only the Torre del Homenaje is preserved, one of the 6 towers that the fortress once had. Outside you can visit the archaeological excavations of its ruins.
Inside you can visit different rooms with beautiful paintings and you can also access its viewpoint, from where you have great views of the River Tormes and the Medieval Bridge.
Thus ends our one-day visit to Alba de Tormes.
You can find more information on the official Alba de Tormes tourism page.