This is one of the nice surprises away from the larger sights of Madrid. This was basically right down the street from my hotel, so I started exploring Madrid here.
The convent is housed in a former palace by Joanna of Austria(Juana de Austria), daughter of Carlos I and Isabel of Portugal. It recruited only from the nobility, and these powerful women brought with them rich dowries. Soon this was one of the richest convents in all of Europe.
Over time the convent accumulated one of the finest art collections of any convent/monastery in Europe. Among its most important pieces are works by Titian (a big favorite of Spanish royalty) and various Flemish painters. The collection of paintings and tapestries is exquisite.
The tour shows you the highlights of the convent, its prized pieces, of which there are many. Though a smallish museum it has some beautiful pieces that are absolutely worth seeing. At the time of my visit, tours were only offered in Spanish and the guides unfortunately had a a rather unfriendly attitude.
Is the visit worth the somewhat elevated price? I would say yes without hesitation.
Sat and Tues-Thurs 10:30am-12:30pm and 3-5:45pm; Fri 10:30am-12:30pm; Sun 11am-1:15pm
admission- 5 euros
Tours- in Spanish only
a wonderful historical building in old Madrid, the monastery of the royal without shoes as best can translate it; it sits quietly in a bustling city yet is very old Madrid lineage
It occupied the old palace where lived the king Carlos I and Isabel of Portugal and where was born in 1535 their daughter Juana. As the she became widow of the Prince of Portugal, founded in 1557 this monastery of franciscans sisters. She is entomb in the monastery in a chapel with funeral marble work .
In the cloister there is preserve the structure and manhy elements of the decorated platenesque palace. Here lived later Juana and later her siste the widow emperatrice Maria that, also, died here in 1603. From the 17C it is presever many paintings n the stairs and the miraculous chapel or Capilla del Milagro. THe most sought after are those knitted in Brussels on cartons of Rubens, representing the apotheosis of the Eurcharist, ask to be done by the daughter of king Felipe II, the infant Isabel Clara Eugenia, Governess of the low countries (holland/belgium).
It is a masterpiece and a must to see in Madrid...I have been coming here since I was a teen...
Admission is 7€ adults ticket, open all year normally from 10-12 and then 14 to 18H but it has sporadic closing as there are still sisters in the place, so much better to call ahead when you are coming +34 91 454 88 00 and fax +34 91 542 69 47
The photo are not scale right, just had it from my blog old photo.
its a striking christian monumental building dating from the 16 th century it has a wonderfull staircase, with frescos and a lot of paintings amongst which Bruegel and Ribera. The stairway leads to a hallway where you find at the firts floor artefacts of rare quality and tresures.
Monasterio de la Descalas (Descalaz) Reales started its life in the 16 centrury as a Palace but Dona Juana, Filipe ll sister decided it should be a convent. She would visit the convent shoe less to show her humility as do most of the Sisters today. The name Descalzas literally means shoe less. If you plan on visiting inside please arrive early to be at the head of the line - only a few visitors are permitted inside for a tour and you may have a long wait if you are at the end of a line.
The Convent occupies the mansion that was the residence of the King Carlos I, and it was built in the 16th century.
It has tour escort and lasts 10 mins. Inside the building, there are some paintings and the decoration looks very nice.
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