Convento de San José (Ávila)

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Main facade of the Convent of Saint Joseph, in Ávila, Spain, by Francisco de Mora.
The church of the Convent of Saint Joseph, in Ávila, Spain.

The Convento de San José (English: Convent of Saint Joseph) is a monastery of Discalced Carmelite nuns in Ávila, Spain. It is situated not far from the center of the city but outside the medieval walls. Saint Teresa of Jesus was the driving force behind the foundation of the monastery, which was built from 1562 onwards. The church (by Francisco de Mora) was only begun in 1607.

History[edit]

The Convent of Saint Joseph is a monastery of Discalced Carmelite nuns located in the Spanish city of Ávila, in the autonomous community of Castile and León. It was the first monastery founded by Saint Teresa of Jesus, who had the support of such important figures as the Bishop of Ávila, Alvaro Hurtado de Mendoza, who was later buried there.[1] It has been a national monument since 1968.

The convent was built in the year of 1562, although the church, its most important architectural element, was built only in 1607. The church was designed by the architect Francisco de Mora (1553-1610), who devised a church with a single nave covered with a vaulted ceiling and a dome over the transept.

Its main facade, which is set on two levels matches with the top pediment and portal of three arches at the bottom, was one of the most imitated in the religious buildings of the seventeenth century and was adopted as a model of Discalced Carmelite construction. Inside the church is the Chapel of the Guillamas family, which serves as the family crypt.

Conservation[edit]

The Convent of Saint Joseph has been protected under Spanish law since 1968 when it was designated a national monument. The "Old Town of Ávila with its Extra-Muros Churches" is a World Heritage Site, although the monastery is not one of the extra-muros churches listed in the nomination.[2]

The convent currently houses a museum dedicated to Saint Teresa of Jesus, the Museo Teresiano of the Discalced Carmelites.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Bilinkoff, Jodi (1989). The Avila of Saint Teresa: Religious Reform in a Sixteenth Century City. Ithaca, New York: Cornell University Press. 
  2. ^ Old Town of Ávila with its Extra-Muros Churches

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 40°39′19″N 4°41′32″W / 40.6552°N 4.6922°W / 40.6552; -4.6922