The Convento de San José is a monastery of Discalced Carmelite nuns in Ávila. It is situated not far from the center of the city but outside the medieval walls. Saint Teresa of Jesus was the driving force behind the foundation of the monastery, which was built from 1562 onwards. The statue in the facade was commissioned by King Philip III of Spain via artist Giraldo de Merlo.
In 25 August 1963, Pope Paul VI sent Cardinal Arcadio Larraona Saralegui to canonically crown their antiquated image of Saint Joseph, enshrined within their convent. The same Cardinal as prefect of Sacred Congregation of Rites executed their papal bull of coronation, initially signed by Pope John XXIII.
The convent was built in the year of 1562, although the church, its most important architectural element, was built only in 1607. The church was designed by the architect Francisco de Mora (1553-1610), who devised a church with a single nave covered with a vaulted ceiling and a dome over the transept.
Its main facade, which is set on two levels matches with the top pediment and portal of three arches at the bottom, was one of the most imitated in the religious buildings of the seventeenth century and was adopted as a model of Discalced Carmelite construction. Inside the church is the Chapel of the Guillamas family, which serves as the family crypt.
The Convent of Saint Joseph has been protected under Spanish law since 1968 when it was designated a national monument. The 'Old Town of Ávila with its Extra-Muros Churches' is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, although the monastery is not one of the extra-muros churches listed in the nomination.
The convent currently houses a museum dedicated to Saint Teresa of Jesus.References:
The Château des ducs de Bretagne (Castle of the Dukes of Brittany) is a large castle located in Nantes. It served as the centre of the historical province of Brittany until its separation in 1941. It was the residence of the Dukes of Brittany between the 13th and 16th centuries, subsequently becoming the Breton residence of the French Monarchy. Today the castle houses the Nantes History Museum.
The restored edifice now includes the new Nantes History Museum, installed in 32 of the castle rooms. The museum presents more than 850 objects of collection with the aid of multimedia devices. The castle and the museum try to offer a modern vision of the heritage by presenting the past, the present and the future of the city. Night-time illuminations at the castle further reinforce the revival of the site. The 500-metre round walk on the fortified ramparts provides views not just of the castle buildings and courtyards but also of the town.