Monastery of Pedralbes
The Pedralbes monastery is one of the finest Catalan Gothic examples in Barcelona. The building dates from the 14th century and shows the everyday life of nuns. For those who are interested in religious art, from the 14th to the 20th century, it is interesting to visit the monastery museum.Two highlights are the gardens inside the monastery and the three-storey cloister. Definitely worth seeing!
The Pedralbes monastery was founded in 1326 by Queen Elisenda de Montcada and her husband Jaume II. Her husband supported her to dedicate the monastery to Holy Mary. She widowed in 1327 and returned to the monastery of Pedralbes palace immediately. Although she was never a nun, she was endowed with wide powers over the internal works of the monastery. Elisenda remained there for the rest of her life. Since the monastery was built in just one year, it was not influenced by any other architectural style and it is an amazing example of particularly Gothic architecture in Catalonia. It was not before the 15th century that the third and lowest level was added to the cloister.
Visiting the monastery
There is no direct entry to the interior of the monastery from the church. You can find the entrance a few steps away from the church. Here you can enter the cloister. They recommended to follow the route through the monastery in an anticlockwise direction.
In the church you can see amazing attractions such as the tomb of Queen Elisenda, which has a special feature; the sarcophagus is double-sided. On the one side Elisenda is depicted as a mourning window, on the other side as a queen. Also impressive, is the St. Michael`s chapel, more tombs of reverend mothers who lived in the monastery, utility rooms (such as dining hall and kitchen), nuns day cells (where the nuns used to pray) and the staircase. So in a tour you can marvel at pieces of religious art as well as everyday objects of the monastery dating from the 14th to the 20th century. If you are in Barcelona in summer, you should visit the monastery during the midday heat. Inside the church, monastery and gardens it is pleasantly cool.
The gardens of the Pedralbes Monastery
The monastery certainly would not be as impressive and beautiful without its gardens in the courtyard. You would not find a quieter place in all Barcelona, with an exception of birds singing in the trees and a sound of the Renaissance fountain in the center of the courtyard. Large palm trees and cypresses do not only provide an amazing atmosphere but cool shade as well. From the lower cloister, there are several ways to the gardens.
Telephone93 256 34 34
1 April - 30 September:
Tuesday - Saturday: 10 - 17.00
1 October - 31 March:
Tuesday - Saturday: 10 - 14.00
All year round:
Sunday and holidays: 10 - 15.00
General fee: 7 euros
Group fee: 5 euros