The Monastery of Las Descalzas Reales in Madrid

By | 13 August, 2012 | 0 comments

For many years, its walls were home to many valuable treasures which were only accessible to the curia and noblemen.

However, now that we are in the 21st century, secrets are no longer secrets and all of this rich artistic and cultural heritage, a legacy of past generations, can be admired by all.

We are talking about the Monastery of Las Descalzas Reales in Madrid, which rises on a site that, up until the Sixteenth century, was occupied by a stately house. Oddly enough, it is built in what used to be the old suburb of San Martín.

The exact address is: Plaza de las Descalzas, s/n; and the quickest way to get there is on the metro, since lines 3 and 5, which leave from Callao, will leave you just a few yards from the entrance.

Opening times for guided tours are Tuesday to Saturday from 10.00 a.m. to 2.00 p.m. and from 4.00 p.m. to 6.30 p.m. On Sundays and holidays, it only opens in the morning and early afternoon, from 10.00 a.m. to 3.00 p.m. The monastery is closed on Mondays.

However, you will have to keep an eye on the time since ticket offices and access to the monastery close one hour before closing time.

Joanna of Austria, sister of King Felipe II, was the founder of this religious refuge in 1559.

As an anecdote, this monastery has overseen the religious education of many daughters of noble and rich families from Madrid to become nuns, since this was a custom of the time. For this reason, the Franciscan Clarist Order, who were in charge of the monastery, have received numerous donations throughout history and thus been able to maintain this rich legacy without any financial problems.

Among the many wonders you can see inside the monastery, there is an important art collection whose highlight is the praying statue of Joanna by Pompeo Leoni or the main church altarpiece by Gaspar Becerra among others.

Categories: Madrid Guías

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