Nestled in a charming little square between the Royal Palace and Plaza España, the Monasterio de la Encarnación is the second of Central Madrid's royal Hapsburg monasteries. In addition to an interesting church, cloister and collection of art, it contains a fascinating relics room that includes the miraculous blood of a saint.
History of Monasterio de La Encarnación
The Monastery of the Incarnation was founded by Queen Margaret of Austria, wife of Philip III, in 1611 (the year the King James Bible was published in England). After a destructive fire, it was rebuilt by Ventura Rodriguez in 1767. The monastery is still active today, but the nuns stay out of sight during visiting hours.
What to See at Monasterio de La Encarnación
As at the Monasterio de las Descalzas Reales, visits to the Monasterio de la Encarnación are by guided tours in Spanish only. The convent includes a nice cloister, a fine Baroque church with a frescoed ceiling (by Francisco Bayeu), and a large but not especially impressive collection of 17th-century art.
For many visitors, the highlight of La Encarnación is the reliquario (relics room), where a variety of relics of saints contained in gold and silver reliquaries are displayed. The most important and interesting of these is the blood of Saint Pantaleon, which is kept in a glass orb. Every year on July 26, the eve of his feast day, the blood is said to miraculously liquefy. If it does not, then disaster is sure to follow.
Quick Facts on Monasterio de La Encarnación
|Names:||Monasterio de la Encarnación · Monastery of the Incarnation|
|Categories:||monasteries; miracle sites|
|Dedication:||Incarnation of Christ|
|Visitor and Contact Information|
|Coordinates:||40.420028° N, 3.711630° W|
|Address:||Plaza de la Encarnación 1|
|Hours:||Tue-Thu, Sat: 10:30am-12:45pm and 4-5:45pm|
|Lodging:||View hotels near Monasterio de La Encarnación|
- Real Monasterio de la Encarnación - Spanish National Heritage
- Descalzas Reales and Encarnación convents - Rough Guide to Spain
- Monasterio de la Encarnación - Frommer's Madrid
- Royal Convent of La Encarnación - Wikipedia (July 2009)
- Photos of Monasterio de La Encarnación - here on Sacred Destinations
Map of Monasterio de La Encarnación, Madrid
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.