Convent of the Discalced Carmelite nuns

  • Plaza del Salvador, 7D

Founded in the 17th century in the former family home of the Casa de la Cerda, one of the great Castilian families, whose matriarch was a great friend of Saint Teresa of Jesus and referred to her on several occasions in her writings. However, although Saint Teresa asked the family to cede the property for the creation of the convent, they refused, but she predicted that this would happen and it was fulfilled when Maria de la Cerda, a descendant of the family, ceded the palace of Los Arcos for the Discalced Carmelites.

This prophecy of the Saint could be seen in an inscription in the choir of the church, but the convent has been abandoned for years.

In the old chapel of the Carmelite convent are the tombstones of Maria de la Cerda and her parents. Died in 1616, the tombstone forbids anyone else to be buried in the grave.

Inside, the altars are particularly noteworthy. The largest, Baroque and gilded, covered the entire front of the presbytery, and in one of them was an image of Saint Teresa, which is attributed to Gregorio Fernández.

The façade of the convent overlooks Santa Ana street and Plazuela de El Salvador, this building is made of granite, masonry, brick and adobe. The façade of the conventual temple of the Carmelite nuns is recognisable by its stately door under the coat of arms of the Discalced Carmelite nuns and the founder of the convent herself; it has a slender neoclassical architecture and is made of very fine granite stone.

On the corner of Calle de Santa Ana and El Salvador there is a coat of arms of Bishop José Jiménez Samaniego, and above a door in Calle de Santa Ana, two coats of arms; a castle on waves, and a band with two eagles.

At present, the Carmelitas is owned by the Fundación Bancaria Caja de Extremadura, acquired by the Obra Social of the financial institution before the restructuring in order to create the museum to house the funds of the Salón de Otoño de Pintura, an international art competition with more than 40 years of history. But the 2005 crisis brought the project to a halt.

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