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Monasterio de la Encarnacion, Avila

St Teresa of Ávila entered this Carmelite convent, just outside the walls of the city of her birth, in 1535. She lived here almost 30 years. This south elevation shows the church on the right, and… Photo © Lawrence OP. View all images in our Monasterio de la Encarnacion Photo Gallery.
the Convent of the Incarnation Photo © jimforest.
The Convent of the Incarnation (La Encarnación) was the convent St Teresa joined in Ávila, and after being elected Prioress, she attempted to reform this Carmelite convent. In fact, this convent was… Photo © Lawrence OP.
St Teresa of Ávila, whose feast is on 15 October, spent many years in this convent of the Incarnation in Ávila. Photo © Lawrence OP.
Today, 15 October, is the feast of the Carmelite Doctor of the Church and mystic, St Teresa of Avila. This statue of the saint is in the chapel of the Transverberation in the convent of the… Photo © Lawrence OP.
The saint's signature housed in a reliquary of her convent of the Incarnation in Avila, Spain.… Photo © Lawrence OP.
Photo © Roberto Jiminez.

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.


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

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 Encarnacion

Site Information
Names:Monasterio de la Encarnación; Monasterio de la Encarnación, Avila; Monastery of the Incarnation
State:Castile and Leon
Categories:Monasteries; Shrines; Catholic Shrines
Faiths:Christianity; Catholic; Carmelite
Visitor and Contact Information
Location:Avila, Spain
Coordinates:40.662808° N, 4.699764° W  (view on Google Maps)
Lodging:View hotels near this location
Note: This information was accurate when first published and we do our best to keep it updated, but details such as opening hours can change without notice. To avoid disappointment, please check with the site directly before making a special trip.

Map of Monasterio de la Encarnacion

Below is a location map and aerial view of Monasterio de la Encarnacion. 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.


  1. Santa Teresa and Mysticism - Avila Tourism
  2. The Rough Guide to Spain 11, p. 178.

More Information

Article Info

Title:Monasterio de la Encarnacion, Avila
Author:Holly Hayes
Last updated:07/19/2009
Link code:<a href="http://www.sacred-destinations.com/spain/avila-monasterio-encarnacion/spain/avila-monasterio-encarnacion">Monasterio de la Encarnacion, Avila</a>