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A journey through the monastery’s history

San Antonio el Real

The origins of the monastery

Located in Segovia, next to the top of the aqueduct, San Antonio El Real is a largely unknown site, a hidden gem that houses a unique collection of Mudejar tracery coffered ceilings from many centuries ago. Since he was a prince, King Enrique IV of Castile had a recreational palace in what used to be the outskirts of the city of Segovia. Afterwards, he decided to found a Franciscan convent dedicated to San Antonio and his sister, Queen Isabella I of Castile, made the convent women-only after the changes made to religious orders under her reign.

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Surviving the centuries

The site surprises visitors with its beauty and the compositions of its ceilings, its interesting and valuable works of art preserved as a museum and its many curiosities. The convent has never suffered any external attack and its appearance has not been changed by wars or fires. Even during difficult times, it was a refuge for religious women from other endangered communities.

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Visit the monastery

The tour starts in the church, a Baroque construction from the Eighteenth century, which is when the previous nave was transformed. The original coffered ceiling was left intact, an excellent Mudejar craft inspired by those of the Nasrid kingdom of Granada, much liked by the Castilian kings of the House of Trastámara. The wood came from the Valsaín pine tree forest and the plaster frieze, with Gothic decoration, contains the heraldry of King Enrique IV. The convent’s construction began with the church in 1455 and it contains a Flemish reredos from 1460.

The tour continues to the sacristy, whose ceiling polychromy was restored in 2002 with many colours and natural motifs. King Enrique’s coat of arms and the Franciscan cord appear interlayered.

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