PEDRALBES, Visit

Audio File length: 2.52
Author: STEFANO ZUFFI E DAVIDE TORTORELLA
English / USA Language: English / USA

If the great medieval churches of Barcelona's city center inspire you with their austere, typical Catalan Gothic appearance, the Pedralbes complex, which was commissioned by a queen and inhabited by aristocratic virgins who had been consecrated to God, will instead seem to be blessed with a touch of grace in its elegant proportions, in short: "feminine".

The monastery has essentially been untouched since the first half of the 14th century: just think, the complex's most recent works are the beautiful stained glass windows that you can admire in the capital room, and they date back to 1419!

In the first half of the 17th century, the building was transformed into a noble residence. In the 1830s it was restored and then joined the list of the city's museums. But it has only been permanently open to the public since the 1980s.

The cloister at the center of the complex is a true masterpiece. The lower gallery opens up thanks to slender and bright arcades, with an almost musical rhythm that doubles and triples in the two upper, beautiful and light loggias. On one side of the cloister you can admire the founder's strategically placed Gothic tomb: if you look at her here, Elisenda wears widows' garb, while from the inside of the church you can see her luxuriously dressed as a queen. Nearby you can also see the tombs of some noble abbesses of the 1300s. But the complex's artistic jewel is located near the church's choir: it is St. Michael's chapel, beautifully frescoed by the greatest 14th-century Catalan artist Ferrer Bassa, who after a trip to Italy personally interprets Giotto's lesson here.

The church is picturesque with its simple, slender shapes. The elevated balcony was the choir that was reserved for the nuns.

Continuing along the cloister, on the opposite side of the church you'll see the rectangular refectory, which is preceded by the fountain for ablutions that is fed by a cistern. The adjacent kitchen is very interesting, as this room is rarely preserved in monasteries.

 

FUN FACT: are you getting married soon and don't want a rainy wedding? According to tradition, you should offer eggs to Saint Chiara! To bring them to the Clarisse nuns, you have to repeat: "Saint Clara and Saint Pujol, move these clouds that hide the sun!"

And with this we have finished our tour of the monastery of Pedralbes. MyWoWo thanks you for staying with us, and will see you at the next Wonder of the World!

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