Convent of Santa Clara of Gandia
The Convent of Santa Clara is located in Gandia (Valencia), Spain. It is a closing convent founded in 15th century and inhabited by nuns of the order of the Colettine Poor Clares. It is located in the centre of Gandia and at few meters from the Collegiate Basilica of Gandia, in María Enríquez de Luna square.
The Convent of Santa Clara was founded in 1431 by Violante of Aragon, daughter of Alfonso of Aragon and Foix, Royal Duke of Gandía. It is a clear demonstration of the historical and artistic significance of the city. The gothic church and an altarpiece of Paolo da San Leocadio stands out in it. There were many women of the illustrious Borgia family who spent his life in this convent.
After the death of its founder, Violante of Aragon, spend a few years in which the convent is practically uninhabited. Later, the valencian noble Luis Vich and Corbera will be who decided to restore this convent. The convent was the new home for ten nuns from the same community who abandoned her French convent of the city of Lézignan-Corbières. Among these nuns was also María Escarlata, the sister of the French Prince. She took refuge in the convent of Gandia fleeing of being married by force.
María Enríquez de Luna, Duchess of Gandia entered the convent with the name of Sister Gabriela. She became Abbess of the convent in 1530, and died nine years later. Later, would be his daughter, Sister Francisca de Jesus which was chosen abbess of the convent in 1533, and ruled it until in 1548, he resigned to foundations away from their family environment. He had the satisfaction of seeing religious of his convent of Gandia to his own mother, Sister María Gabriela and five nieces, daughters of his brother Juan de Borja y Enriquez de Luna, sisters of Saint Francis Borgia.
In the courtyard of the convent is an olive tree which according to tradition was planted by Saint Francis Borgia. As the convent is in closing rules, there is no photos of the interior of the convent or the olive tree. The convent has the image of the Virgin of Baluarte, the Virgin of the rain.
The convent preserves an outstanding art collection bequeathed by the Borgias including the works of José de Ribera, Juan de Juanes, Paolo da San Leocadio, Francisco Salzillo or Francisco Ribalta school painters. In 2010 the convent signed a collaboration agreement which yields works to the Town Hall of Gandia that are a part of the future Museum of the Poor Clares, at the old Sant Marc Hospital.
It is a closing convent, so it is only possible to visit the church of gothic style which is located on the right side of the construction.
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- Artícle about the Convent of Santa Clara (Spanish)