Convento de San José (Ávila)

Convento de San José (Ávila)

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The Convento de San José (Monastery of Saint Joseph) is a monastery of Discalced Carmelite
Discalced Carmelites
The Discalced Carmelites, or Barefoot Carmelites, is a Catholic mendicant order with roots in the eremitic tradition of the Desert Fathers and Mothers...

 nun
Nun
A nun is a woman who has taken vows committing her to live a spiritual life. She may be an ascetic who voluntarily chooses to leave mainstream society and live her life in prayer and contemplation in a monastery or convent...

 in Ávila, Spain
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

. It is situated not far from the center of the city but outside the medieval walls. Saint Teresa of Avila was the driving force behind the foundation of the monastery, which was built from 1562 onwards. The church (by Francisco de Mora
Francisco de Mora
Francisco de Mora was a Spanish Renaissance architect. He was uncle to the architect Juan Gómez de Mora and to the humanist Baltasar Porreño...

) was only begun in 1607.

Conservation


The monastery has been protected under Spanish law since 1968 when it was designated a national monument. The "Old Town of Ávila with its Extra-Muros Churches" is a World Heritage Site
World Heritage Site
A UNESCO World Heritage Site is a place that is listed by the UNESCO as of special cultural or physical significance...

, although the monastery is not one of the extra-muros churches mentioned in the nomination.

The monastery houses a museum dedicated to St Teresa.

The Monastery of Saint Joseph is a monastery of Discalced Carmelite nuns that is located in the Spanish city of Avila, in the autonomous community of Castile and Leon. It was the first monastery founded by Saint Teresa of Jesus, who had the support of such important figures as Bishop
Bishop
A bishop is an ordained or consecrated member of the Christian clergy who is generally entrusted with a position of authority and oversight. Within the Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox Churches, in the Assyrian Church of the East, in the Independent Catholic Churches, and in the...

 Alvaro de Mendoza. It is a national monument since 1968.

The monastery was built in the year of 1562, although the most important architectural element, the church, was built in 1607. The Church was designed by the architect Francisco de Mora
Francisco de Mora
Francisco de Mora was a Spanish Renaissance architect. He was uncle to the architect Juan Gómez de Mora and to the humanist Baltasar Porreño...

 (1553-1610), who devised a church of a single nave covered with a vaulted ceiling and a dome over the transept.

Its main facade, which is set on two levels matches with the top pediment and portal of three arches at the bottom, was one of the most imitated in the religious buildings of the seventeenth century and was adopted as a model of Discalced Carmelite construction. Inside the church is the Chapel of the Guillamas family, which serves as the family crypt
Crypt
In architecture, a crypt is a stone chamber or vault beneath the floor of a burial vault possibly containing sarcophagi, coffins or relics....

.

The building is also home to the Museo Teresiano of the Discalced Carmelites.