Reial Monestir de Santa Maria de Pedralbes
The Royal Monastery of Santa Maria de Pedralbes was founded by Queen Elisenda of Montcada at the beginning of the 14th century. It was home to a community of Poor Clares and consists of a church and monastery set around impressive three-tier cloisters, which are among the biggest and best preserved in Europe.
The harmonious structure is surrounded by the main rooms: the dormitory, the refectory, the chapterhouse, the abbey and the nuns' day cells, one of which contains Ferrer Bassa's splendid Gothic mural paintings. It also preserves numerous works of art, paintings, ceramics, furniture, silverware, goldware, liturgical ornaments, fabrics and documentation which the community of nuns has collected over the centuries.
All these pieces are associated with the everyday life of the nuns or with the objects the nuns brought with them when they joined the religious order, or which the community of nuns acquired to decorate the monastery, mainly in places of worship such as the church. Some of these objects can be seen on display in the dormitory in the Treasures of the Monastery exhibition. Visitors can also explore the recreation of a medicinal garden with fifty-one plant species with medicinal properties. Through the Sala de les Procures, where food was stored, you can access the medieval garden of the monastery, where the garden products were grown by the nuns in the Middle Ages.
Highlights inside the church include the tomb of the monastery's founder, Queen Elisenda of Montcada, as well as those of the noble families who played an important role in the history of Catalonia: the Pinós and Cardona dynasties, and even Antoni Gaudí's patron, Count Eusebi Güell. Curiously enough, the church was remodelled at the end of the 19th century by Gaudí's teacher, the architect Joan Martorell.
An exceptional place that invites you to meditate in peaceful surroundings as it is situated in one of the most tranquil places in the city. It also has an interesting calendar of events, including visits, concerts, lectures and temporary exhibitions.
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