Carmus museum in Alba de Tormes – Tomb of St Teresa of Avila

CARMUS - Museo Carmelitano Teresa de Jesús, Calle Sor Mariana de San José, Alba de Tormes, Spain

Website of the Sanctuary

628 001 660

Opening times can be checked on the website of the convent and on the museum boards placed at reception

Alba de Tormes

Museum general entrance ticket gives Pilgrims access to the temple and from it, they can visit Santa Teresa’s of Avila Room and the Death Cell. Limited entrance tickets give access only to those two rooms (€1). The temple is open from 9:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. (the schedule may vary). It is a place of worship and explanations should be minimal, in a low voice, and far from the altar.

Private guided tours are not allowed. CARMUS staff makes the explanations to the groups that opt for the museum’s official guided tour. The museum is behind the church’s head, about 40 meters from the temple, and about 20m from the main square. The museum has an entrance area, a viewpoint over the basilica, ten rooms, and a reasonable number of toilets.

VISITING RULES: Online booking is recommended for all groups. Only professional guides, professors, and religious duly accredited can make guided visits in CARMUS. Access is not allowed with large packages (bags, backpacks, umbrellas, etc). Large packages should be left in the ticket office, at the reception, or in the umbrella stand. For groups, the museum provides containers with padlocks and keys are given to the group leader. Minors must be accompanied by adults.

EVERY entrance ticket INCLUDES:
1. Audiovisual.
2. Individual audioguide in Spanish, English, Portuguese, French, German, Italian, and Korean. The duration of the visit to the museum with individual audio guides: about 50 minutes.

The Museum has paintings, sculptures, ornaments, banners, goldsmiths, ceramics, and conventual trousseau rooms. From the safe-keeping room integrated into the new Museum, you get to the sepulcher of the Saint and her arm and heart.

The Discalced Carmelites convent of «La Anunciacion» in Alba de Tormes is the eighth of the seventeen convents founded by Saint Teresa of Jesus. It was promoted by Teresa de Laíz and her husband Francisco Velázquez. The first mass was said on January 25th, 1571 and within its walls, Mother Teresa of Jesus died (1582) in a convent cell that can be visited today (entrance ticket to CARMUS Museum gives access to that cell). She was buried in her church, where she is venerated in the center of the main altarpiece nowadays.

The close connection of Alba de Tormes Carmelite order with Santa Teresa is clear in the cell and in the sepulchral dressing room in which her body, arm, and heart are venerated, as it is also clear in the hundreds of pieces with religious, historical and artistic value exhibited in the temple, its chapels, the Prayer Room and the new Carmelitan Museum CARMUS. Some of these pieces, the less, proceed from the first years of convent life whereas the largest part comes from over years as a result of the devotion to the Saint in her monastery, increased after her beatification and canonization: 1614 and 1622.

The church of the Anunciación de Nuestra Señora del Carmen

After a big restoration effort, the church of the Anunciación de Nuestra Señora del Carmen is a renovated Teresian shrine. Santa Teresa’s room can be access from the temple. The room offers a unique approach to Santa Teresa and her reform of Carmel, her family, and those who were her spiritual family. From the safe-keeping room integrated into the new Museum, pilgrims and visitors can reach the most precious treasure of the Carmelites: sepulcher, arm, and heart of Saint Teresa.

The religious and cultural legacy that the convent keeps since its foundation can be grasped from the eight rooms of the Carmelite Museum opened in June 2014. It is not possible to summarize and asses here the great value of the more than 800 pieces that the museum exhibits. Amongst them, sculptures by Mena and Algardi; paintings by Rizi, Morales, Palmezano; engravings with Teresian themes; two rooms with a more than interesting collection of oil paintings on copper; another of goldwork presided over by its silver altar. An ornaments room with a 16th-century brocade cloth and valuable chasubles, dalmatics and pluvial layers; another singular of banners, among them the one that in 1622 presided over her canonization in the Vatican; a good collection of objects of the convent life that mixes pottery and ceramics, the collection of plates of the sacristy and candlewick trimmers.

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