Monastery of Santa Clara. Convent of San Juan Bautista

Fachada y entradas a la iglesia del convento
Facade and entry to the church

This is the first female convent to be founded in the Canary Islands, with nuns from Sanlúcar de Barrameda. Between 1547 and 1577 the nuns settled in the Franciscan convent of San Miguel de las Victorias; but in 1575, Olalla Fonte del Castillo became a benefactor of the order, and undertook to build a convent and church for the Poor Clares. On December 21, 1577 they took possession of it.

A fire in 1697 destroyed a large part of the building, which was rebuilt and opened for worship in 1700. Therefore the factory of the convent in its current configuration dates from the 18th century. It has two large courtyards following the characteristic typology of the monastic cloisters of the Canary Islands, based on wooden galleries. There is also a third open space, narrow and back, which follows the same characteristics of the previous ones. In the area bordering Anchieta Street is the so-called Beaterio, a set of private cells used by professed nuns.

From the outside, the ajimez or viewpoint in Mudejar style, which dates from 1717, is noteworthy. Its church has a single nave, with a rectangular presbytery, which is accessed through a semicircular arch. The roof of the main chapel is of special artistic interest, with an octagonal frame of Mudéjar influence. In its almizate, there is a relief in gilded carving made during the first quarter of the eighteenth century, in which Saint Francis and Saint Clare are represented.

The Monastery of Santa Clara has been a Site of Cultural Interest, with the category of Monument, since 27 January 1978.

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