Outstanding Spanish religious architecture – Royal Monastery of Santa Maria de Guadalupe

Royal Monastery of Santa Maria de Guadalupe, Guadalupe, Španija

Website of the Sanctuary

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Every day: from 8.30 to 20.30

Royal Monastery of Santa Maria de Guadalupe

The monastery is an outstanding repository of four centuries of Spanish religious architecture. It symbolizes two significant events in world history that occurred in 1492: the Reconquest of the Iberian peninsula by the Catholic Kings and Christopher Columbus’ arrival in the Americas.

Its famous statue of the Virgin became a powerful symbol of the Christianization of much of the New World. See more Catholic shrines and Basilicas in Spain.

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Outstanding Spanish religious architecture - Royal Monastery of Santa Maria de Guadalupe

The Legend

The existence of this monastery and Sanctuary is closely linked to the origin of the image of Santa Maria de Guadalupe, and so is this the reason for its construction and its expansion worldwide.

Some ancient manuscripts place the origin of the image of the Virgin of Guadalupe in the first century of Christianity and its author to the very Saint Luke, but the image venerated in this place is a Romanesque carving, cedar from the twelfth century.

Legend has it that Saint Luke died, the image was buried next to him and moved with his remains from Achaia (Asia Minor) to Constantinople in the fourth century.

From there the Cardinal Gregorio took it to Rome (582), being elected pope in 590 under the name of Gregory the Great. Pope becomes the maindevotee and the first architect of expansion of veneration in Rome.

The image was moved from Rome to Seville, because the pope gave it to the archbishop of the city of Seville, San Leandro, whose main church began to be venerated until the beginning of the Arab invasion (711).

Outstanding Spanish religious architecture - Royal Monastery of Santa Maria de Guadalupe

Around the year 714 fleeing the invasion a few clerics fleeing Seville took theimage and some relics of saints, hiding it on the banks of the Guadalupe River near the southern foothills of the Sierra de Altamira, where they was found by a shepherd named Gil Lamb.

He walked several days looking for a lost cow and find her dead. In trying to take the skin and make the sign of the cross on the chest, at the time the Virgin appeared to him and told him,for the task of digging in the same place to find her image and then build a hermitage that eventually became Monastery and Sanctuary.

The pictorial splendor

The pictorial splendor of the Monastery of Guadalupe can be said to begin with the arrival of the Order of St. Jerome, which is in charge of the monastery on 22 October 1389.

The monks turned this place into an emporium of artistic wealth, making it a museum gem, in which the paintings stand out for the amount and also for their quality, filling almost all the spaces that make up this monastic building.

Outstanding Spanish religious architecture - Royal Monastery of Santa Maria de Guadalupe

Monastery Museum

The first buildings of this great monument started in the late fourteenth century in Gothic-Mudejar style, and with them the first pictorial manifestations, though it is later in the seventeenth century (Golden Age) when the monastery receives the presence of greatest elements.

Noteworthy not so much for its quality as for the theme of your content (Miracles of the Virgin) a total of 30 large paintings between 1621 and 1623 by Fray Juan de Santa Maria, which also serve to name the cloister, denominating “Faculty of Miracles”.

Outstanding Universal Value of the Royal Monastery of Santa Maria de Guadalupe

The Royal Monastery of Santa Maria de Guadalupe is located in the province of Cáceres (Autonomous Community of Extremadura, Spain) at a location of great beauty, overlooking a valley surrounded by high mountains. The town of Guadalupe, built around the Monastery, whose foundation dates back to 1337, offers in its medieval buildings a unique beauty that reflects the traditional architecture in an urban context.

It is an exceptional example of an ensemble comprised of widely differing architectural styles, including in particular the 14th- to 15th-century Mudéjar church and cloister.

The following architecture from different periods is worth underscoring: the Basilica (main church) or Templo Mayor – with a façade notable for its Mudéjar works, its doors ornamented with finely-worked bronze plaques, the interior nave and two side aisles with fine ornamented vaulting, and many richly decorated tombs and altars.

The sacristy built between 1638 and 1647is abundantly decorated and best known for the series of paintings by Zurbarán and wall paintings that highlight the austere lines of its architecture.

The Chapel of Santa Catalina of Alejandría, a square building that links the Sacristy with the Reliquaries Chapel, has an octagonal cupola lit by a lantern, contains some outstanding 17th-century tombs, and houses many elaborate reliquaries and other works of art in its arcaded alcoves.

The Camarín de la Virgen, a small octagonal building situated behind the presbytery of the basilica is amply decorated in Baroque style. Of special interest is the upper storey, the “Chamber of the Virgin” proper, in which the vaults are richly decorated in plaster and stucco and the walls covered with paintings, among them nine by Luca Giordano. It houses the famous statue of the Virgin of Guadalupe on a magnificently ornamented throne.

The cloister was constructed in brick in the Mudéjar tradition and painted in white and red. The small chapel in the centre dates from 1405, and there is an impressive portal ca. 1520-24 in Plateresque style.

The Gothic cloister has galleries on three sides with three tiers of arches, and the New Church, in modified Baroque style, has three naves.

The pictorial splendor

The pictorial splendor of the Monastery of Guadalupe can be said to begin with the arrival of the Order of St. Jerome, which is in charge of the monastery on 22 October 1389. The monks turned this place into an emporium of artistic wealth, making it a museum gem, in which the paintings stand out for the amount and also for their quality, filling almost all the spaces that make up this monastic building.

Monastery Museum

The first buildings of this great monument started in the late fourteenth century in Gothic-Mudejar style, and with them the first pictorial manifestations, though it is later in the seventeenth century (Golden Age) when the monastery receives the presence of greatest elements. Noteworthy not so much for its quality as for the theme of your content (Miracles of the Virgin) a total of 30 large paintings between 1621 and 1623 by Fray Juan de Santa Maria, which also serve to name the cloister, denominating “Faculty of Miracles”.

Outstanding Universal Value

The Royal Monastery of Santa Maria de Guadalupe is located in the province of Cáceres (Autonomous Community of Extremadura, Spain) at a location of great beauty, overlooking a valley surrounded by high mountains. The town of Guadalupe, built around the Monastery, whose foundation dates back to 1337, offers in its medieval buildings a unique beauty that reflects the traditional architecture in an urban context.

It is an exceptional example of an ensemble comprised of widely differing architectural styles, including in particular the 14th- to 15th-century Mudéjar church and cloister. The following architecture from different periods is worth underscoring: the Basilica (main church) or Templo Mayor – with a façade notable for its Mudéjar works, its doors ornamented with finely-worked bronze plaques, the interior nave and two side aisles with fine ornamented vaulting, and many richly decorated tombs and altars. The sacristy built between 1638 and 1647is abundantly decorated and best known for the series of paintings by Zurbarán and wall paintings that highlight the austere lines of its architecture.

The Chapel of Santa Catalina of Alejandría, a square building that links the Sacristy with the Reliquaries Chapel, has an octagonal cupola lit by a lantern, contains some outstanding 17th-century tombs, and houses many elaborate reliquaries and other works of art in its arcaded alcoves. The Camarín de la Virgen, a small octagonal building situated behind the presbytery of the basilica is amply decorated in Baroque style. Of special interest is the upper storey, the “Chamber of the Virgin” proper, in which the vaults are richly decorated in plaster and stucco and the walls covered with paintings, among them nine by Luca Giordano. It houses the famous statue of the Virgin of Guadalupe on a magnificently ornamented throne. The cloister was constructed in brick in the Mudéjar tradition and painted in white and red. The small chapel in the centre dates from 1405, and there is an impressive portal ca. 1520-24 in Plateresque style. The Gothic cloister has galleries on three sides with three tiers of arches, and the New Church, in modified Baroque style, has three naves.

The site has played a leading role in the history of medieval and modern Spain, being linked to the Crown of Castile from the reign of Alfonso XI and the other Peninsular kingdoms – particularly after the conquest of Granada, which resulted in the unification of all territories, the emergence of the Modern State in Europe, the end of the period of the Reconquest, and the discovery of the New World.

Its influence in the evangelisation of the discovered land has been enormous, spreading sanctuaries, institutions, and offerings in honour of the Virgin of Guadalupe, whose validity and relevance is still alive. The monastery was also a leading cultural centre for workshops and scientific activity: a centre which spread knowledge of botany and medicine through the Medical School of Guadalupe, first mentioned in 1451, or through the School of Surgery. It was also a centre where techniques were applied and experimented in luxury goods and music. This relevance is today portrayed in specific museums within the monastery.

The Monastery of Guadalupe is of exceptional interest as an ensemble of religious architecture spanning some six centuries. The Monastery symbolises two significant events in world history that occurred in the same year, 1492, namely the final expulsion of the Muslim power from the Iberian Peninsula and the discovery of the American continent by Christopher Columbus. Its influence on the evangelisation of the Americas was substantial; the statue of Santa Maria de Guadalupe became a powerful symbol of the Christianisation of much of the New World. The Monastery was, and remains, a centre of pilgrimage for the Western world and Latin America.

The Monastery of Santa Maria de Guadalupe is located in the town of Guadalupe, Guadalupe is a Spanish municipality in the province of Caceres, in the autonomous community of Extremadura. It is situated in the region of Las Villuercas with judicial party in Logrosán.

In the municipality the Monastery of Santa Maria de Guadalupe, is considered one of the greatest symbols of Extremadura, and the image of the Virgin of Guadalupe, as patron saint of this region.

Half an hour before the Eucharist.

 

Every Thursday – Exposition of the Blessed and Vespers

  • 18:30-19: 00 (Winter)
  • 19:30-20: 00 (Summer, except July and August)

Legend

The existence of this monastery and Sanctuary is closely linked to the origin of the image of Santa Maria de Guadalupe, and so is this the reason for its construction and its expansion worldwide. Some ancient manuscripts place the origin of the image of the Virgin of Guadalupe in the first century of Christianity and its author to the very Saint Luke, but the image venerated in this place is a Romanesque carving, cedar from the twelfth century.

Legend has it that Saint Luke died, the image was buried next to him and moved with his remains from Achaia (Asia Minor) to Constantinople in the fourth century. From there the Cardinal Gregorio took it to Rome (582), being elected pope in 590 under the name of Gregory the Great. Pope becomes the maindevotee and the first architect of expansion of veneration in Rome. The image was moved from Rome to Seville, because the pope gave it to the archbishop of the city of Seville, San Leandro, whose main church began to be venerated until the beginning of the Arab invasion (711).

Around the year 714 fleeing the invasion a few clerics fleeing Seville took theimage and some relics of saints, hiding it on the banks of the Guadalupe River near the southern foothills of the Sierra de Altamira, where they was found by a shepherd named Gil Lamb.

He walked several days looking for a lost cow and find her dead. In trying to take the skin and make the sign of the cross on the chest, at the time the Virgin appeared to him and told him,for the task of digging in the same place to find her image and then build a hermitage that eventually became Monastery and Sanctuary.

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