Just outside the medieval walls of Ávila is the Convento de la Encarnación (Convent of the Incarnation), an important stop on the pilgrimage to St. Teresa's Ávila. This is where Teresa lived, wrote, and had many of her mystical experiences.
History of Monasterio de La Encarnación
St. Teresa entered this Carmelite convent on November 2, 1535. At the time it was one of the most populous and wealthy in the city, and many of the monastic rules had been relaxed.
Teresa lived in La Encarnación for 30 years. It was here that she received the advice of Francisco de Borja, Juan de la Cruz (John of the Cross) and Pedro de Alcántara, began to reform the Carmelite order, and had some of her mystical experiences.
Teresa left the convent in 1562 to found her first monastery and returned in 1571 as prioress. She left the Convent for the final time three years later.
What to See at Monasterio de La Encarnación
Today, the Monasterio de la Encarnación remains an active convent but also houses a public Museum of St. Teresa. Here you can visit her monastic cell, tour other rooms associated with the saint, and see a variety of items used or touched by her. A display provides an introduction to Teresa's life, with maps showing the convents she founded and a selection of her sayings.
The courtyard of the convent is paved with a visual representation of the Interior Castle, written by St. Teresa in 1577. This work compares the contemplative soul to a castle with seven successive interior courts, or chambers, analogous to the seven heavens.
Quick Facts on Monasterio de La Encarnación
|Names:||Monasterio de la Encarnación · Monastery of the Incarnation|
|Dedication:||Incarnation of Christ|
|Visitor and Contact Information|
|Coordinates:||40.662808° N, 4.699764° W|
|Address:||Paseo de la Encarnacion|
|Hours:||Monâ€“Fri: 9.30amâ€“1.30pm, 3.30â€“6pm|
Sat-Sun: 10amâ€“1pm, 4â€“6pm
|Lodging:||View hotels near Monasterio de La Encarnación|
Map of Monasterio de La Encarnación, Avila
Below is a location map and aerial view of Monasterio de La Encarnación. Using the buttons on the left (or the wheel on your mouse), you can zoom in for a closer look, or zoom out to get your bearings. To move around, click and drag the map with your mouse.