Monastery of Sant Jeroni de Cotalba
|Full name||Saint Jerome of Cotalba Royal Monastery|
|Other names||San Jerónimo de Cotalba|
|Founder(s)||Royal Duke of Gandia|
|Important associated figures||Ausiàs March, House of Borgia, Duke of Gandia|
|Location||Alfauir, (Valencian Community), Spain|
|Visible remains||All. Fully preserved.|
The Monastery of Sant Jeroni de Cotalba (Valencian pronunciation: [ˈsaɲ ʒeˈɾɔni ðe koˈtaɫβa], Spanish: San Jerónimo de Cotalba, "Saint Jerome of Cotalba") is a monastic building of Gothic, Renaissance and Neoclassical styles constructed between the 14th and 18th centuries, located in the municipal area of Alfauir, (Valencia), Spain, about 8 km. from the well-known city of Gandia.
The monastery of Sant Jeroni de Cotalba is one of the most historic monastic constructions in Valencia and located near Alfauir, a village about eight kilometres outside Gandia. In 1374 Pope Gregory XI authorised hermit monks at Xàbia. In 1388 Alfonso of Aragon and Foix, Royal Duke of Gandia, constructed a fortress to protect the monastics from attacks by Berber pirates. Tradition claims Saint Vincent Ferrer preached publicly from the monastery. The family and the two wives of the well-known Valencian medieval poet Ausiàs March are buried in this monastery.
In the 16th century, the community housed monks of the Hieronymite order and came under the protection of the House of Borgia. The Duchess of Gandia, Maria Enriquez de Luna, financed the monastery's construction and extension. Later, also spent his last days in this monastery the wife of Saint Francis Borgia, Leonor de Castro, lady and intimate friend of the Empress Isabella of Portugal.
Spanish Renaissance painter Nicolás Borrás was so impressed by his stay at the monastery, he asked for membership in the order has his only payment. He took the habit in 1575, and professed final vows the following year. He passed the rest of his life painting, leaving twelve altar pieces in the church alone, and spent his own money to hire sculptors and builders for the monastery's embellishment.
The Ecclesiastical Confiscations of Mendizábal sold off the religious buildings to pay state debts. The Trénor family has owned it since 1843, although it became a military hospital temporarily during the Spanish Civil War.
In 1994, the monastery was declared as an item of cultural interest (BIC), and is now being restored. Since its May 2005, opening to the public, restoration work has been carried out on the area behind the church’s retable and Father Borrás’ painting gallery. Nowadays, most of the monastery is open to visitore.
Construction of the monastery began in the 14th century and continued though the 16th century, though its current layout dates from reconstruction in the 17th and 18th centuries. The main facade is overlooked by the main and priory towers. The gothic church has a rectangular ground plan with one aisle and chapels between buttresses, as well as Baroque elements from the 18th-century renovation. The most significant areas on the upper floor are the presbytery and the choir.
The bell tower's facade features 17th-century blue and white carvings, and includes the founder's date and name in Valencian. The cloister is arranged in four galleries on two floors encircling a garden. The lower cloister includes arches and vaults in two-coloured Mudéjar style remniscent of the Córdoba mosque. The sala capitular houses the remains of Prince John and Princess Blanche of Aragon, children of the mediaeval Duke Alfonso the Old.
Sections of the monastery
- Renaissance cloister double overlay.
- Gothic spiral staircase of the chapter house.
- The church.
- Romantic gardens.
- Gothic aqueduct.
Tour Routes and Visitor Information
The monastery now stands at the start of the Route of the Monasteries of Valencia (GR-236), a religious, cultural and tourist route established in 2008 to connect five monasteries located in central region of the Province of Valencia, (Valencian Community). It is also on the Route of the Borgias, a tourist route accessible by automobile.
Nowadays, it's possible to visit the majority of the building. The monastery's website includes scheduling information.schedule updated of visits.
- Este artículo incorpora texto del BIC incoado por la Consejería de Cultura de la Generalitat Valenciana
- es:Jesús Eduard Alonso López. Sant Jeroni de Cotalba: desintegració feudal i vida monàstica (segles XVIII y XIX). Gandía, CEIC Alfonso el Vell, 1988. ISBN 84-86927-00-5
- Fernando Mut Oltra y Vicente Palmer Terrades. Real Monasterio de San Jerónimo de Cotalba. Fernando Mut, Editor, Gandía, 1999. ISBN 84-605-9116-6
- Francisco Javier Delicado Martínez y Carolina Ballester Hermán. El Monasterio de Cotalba (Gandía). Una fundación Jerónima del Siglo XIV. University of Valencia.
- Mateo Gómez, Isabel, López-Yarto, Amelia y Prados García, José María, El arte de la Orden Jerónima: historia y mecenazgo, Madrid, Encuentro, 2000, ISBN 978-84-7490-552-6 pp. 281–284.
- Route of the Monasteries of Valencia
- Route of the Borgias
- PR-CV-100 (Route of the Monastery of Sant Jeroni de Cotalba)
- Dukes of Gandía
- Alfonso of Aragon and Foix
- Ausiàs March
- Pere March
- House of Borgia
- Maria Enriquez de Luna
- Nicolás Borrás
- Saint Vincent Ferrer
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Monastery of Sant Jeroni de Cotalba.|
- Website of the Monastery of Sant Jeroni de Cotalba (English) (Spanish)
- Videos on youtube about the monastery
- Monastery's page on facebook
- The Monastery of Sant Jeroni de Cotalba (English)
- The "Real Monasterio de San Jerónimo de Cotalba" - a slice of history (English)
- The monastery on Valencia province Tourist Info (English)