Monastery of Sant Jeroni de Cotalba

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Monastery of Sant Jeroni de Cotalba
General view from Ròtova.
Monastery of Sant Jeroni de Cotalba is located in Spain
Monastery of Sant Jeroni de Cotalba
Location within Spain
Monastery information
Full name Saint Jerome of Cotalba Royal Monastery
Other names San Jerónimo de Cotalba
Order Hieronymites
Established 1388
Disestablished 1835
Diocese Valencia
Founder(s) Royal Duke of Gandia
Important associated figures Ausiàs March, House of Borgia, Duke of Gandia
Location Alfauir, (Valencian Community), Spain
Coordinates 38°56′26.71″N 0°14′46.34″W / 38.9407528°N 0.2462056°W / 38.9407528; -0.2462056
Visible remains All. Fully preserved.
Public access Yes
Other information

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.

The buildings[edit]

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[edit]

  • Renaissance cloister double overlay.
  • Gothic spiral staircase of the chapter house.
  • The church.
  • Romantic gardens.
  • Gothic aqueduct.

Tour Routes and Visitor Information[edit]

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).[1][2] 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.




See also[edit]

External links[edit]