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Real Monestir de Pedralbes

Real Monestir de Pedralbes (67)

If you feel like a little bit of peace, go to the upper part of the city and find the Pedralbes Monastery.

This area, which is far removed from the medieval city, was an ideal spot for hermitages and monasteries.

Pedralbes Monastery is one of the oldest, founded in 1326 by Queen Elisenda of Montcada, the fourth wife of King Jaume II, and it is very close to the road which bears her name. 

It is a perfect example of Catalan Gothic architecture, and you will be surprised to see how well preserved it is. With it church and beautiful cloisters, it is surrounded by a garden with its own well in the middle.

On the exterior of the church is a beautiful octagonal tower and on the façade is the coat of arms of the Montcada family. Inside the church there is a single, majestic nave with 14th century stained glass windows, and the tomb of Queen Elisenda, with her reclining statue modelled in alabaster. The Chapter Room is also important, with its lovely stained glass window dating back to the first half of the 15th century. 

From the cloisters you get to the Chapel of Sant Miquel where the magnificent frescos of Scenes of the Life of the Virgin by Ferrer Bassa are conserved. Bassa was one of the best painters and miniaturists of the 14th century. 

The monastery also houses a museum full of medieval jewels: painting, tapestries, sculptures and liturgical pieces and clothing.

But that’s not all. The Pedralbes Monastery also exhibits a part of the famous Thyssen collection of art, including works by Fra Angélico, Rubens and Canaletto.

Today a small community of nuns of the Order of Clarises still resides there, and according to tradition, whoever is going to get married and wants to ensure good weather, should take eggs to the nuns which will be made into cakes. 

Take a few hours out to rest and relax in one of the most beautiful examples of Catalan Gothic architecture.

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