Pedralbes
Community ID
 
1223
 
Town
 
Barcelona
 
Diocese
 
Barcelona
 
Region
 
Catalonia
 
Corporate Status
 
Abbey
 
Dedication
 
Virgin Mary of Pedralbes
 
Date Founded
 
1326
 
Date Terminated
 
Still active
 
Religious Order
 
Poor Clares
 
Foundation Information
 

Elisenda de Montcada, queen of Aragon and fourth wife of King Jaume II purchased the manor of Pedralbes (lat.: petras albas = white stones) from Admiral Bernat de Sarria, and used the land to found a monastery to which she retired when the king died in 1327, and from which she continued to participate in the affairs of court.

 
Notable Heads
 

NULL. Beginning in 1586, the nuns instituted a system by which an abbess would rule for three years only, then be replaced by another, although many women ended up serving twice, or sometimes even three times. This system continues down to today. However, during the medieval period, the abbesses of Pedralbes served for life, or until they chose to retire. The following is a list of medieval abbesses. The end dates of their abbacies are the dates of their death, unless otherwise noted.// 1326-36: Sobriana d'Olzet; 1336-64: Francesca Sa Portella; 1364-75: Sibila de Caixans; 1375-96: Agnes ca Rovira; 1396-1409: Violant de Pallars (died 1418); 1409-11: Isabel March; 1411-24: Saurina Vallseca; 1424-47: Margarida de Montcada; 1447-77: Violant de Centelles; 1477-94: unknown; 1494-95: Violant de Montcada i Lluna (died in 1515, after serving a second term); 1495-1507: Teresa Enriquez (died later, in a convent of Jeronimes [S. Maties?]); 1507-1515: Violand de Montcada i Lluna (2nd term).

 
Other Ecclesiastical Relations
 

A small community of Franciscan friars (called the "conventelet" or "conventet") was founded near the convent during the fourteenth century, and the friars ministered to the nuns' spiritual needs.

 
Patrons/Benefactors
 

Founder, Philip II, Monsignor Jaume Despujol. Enjoyed noble patronage throughout the medieval period, and well beyond.

 
Relative Wealth
 

Extremely wealthy.

 
Literary Works
 

In 1897, Sister Eulalia Anzizu produced a history of the house: Fulles historiques del Real Monestir de Sta. María de Pedralbes

 
Art & Artifacts
 

The monastery possesses many treasures, including a gold-plated silver "true cross," donated to the monastery in the 14th century by its administrator, Monsignor Jaume Despujol. The community's most famous artistic treasure is the group of paintings, dating from 1346, in St. Michael's chapel. Ferrer Bassa painted over two dozen seperate scenes (see St. Michael's Chapel frescoes and Christ Seated in Judgement for images, and more details about the paintings and the artist).

 
Architecture & Archaeology
 

Pedralbes Monastery, exterior, Pedralbes Monastery, cloister (view 1), NULL, Pedralbes Monastery, chapter house and Pedralbes, chapter house (detail). The monastery church (not pictured) is a typical example of the Catalan Gothic style, featuring massive walls with little ornamentation. It is a single nave, with side chapels. Queen Elisenda is buried where the south wall of the church abuts the north wall of the cloister, and her tomb is marked by a funerary sculpture on either side: On the cloister side she is depicted as a nun, while on the church side, she is shown as a queen.

 
State Of Medieval Structure
 

The monastery was declared a national historic and artistic monument in 1931. The ajuntament of Barcelona purchased the cloister from the nuns in 1972, building them a new cloister nearby, and converting the old cloister into a museum.

 
Contributors
 
Marie Kelleher
 
Date Started
 
1326
 
Length
 
2077