Royal Monastery of Santo Tomás

Ávila, Spain

The Dominican Monastery of Santo Tomás was built under the patronage of Hernando Núñez de Arnalte (treasurer of the Catholic Monarchs), his wife, María Dávila, the Inquisitor Fray Tomás de Torquemada and the Catholic Monarchs.

The work began in 1482 and was completed in 1493; however, at the Catholic Monarchs' initiative, a palace was built around the eastern cloister, together with the sepulchre of Prince Juan in the church after he had died in 1497.

As a see for the Inquisition, the University of Santo Tomás was opened in the 16th century and remained in operation until the 19th century. The monastery has been attacked many times throughout its history: sacked during the French invasion, abandoned after the sale of church lands ordered by Mendizábal and destroyed by fires in 1699 and 1936.

The church front is based on a segmental arch and two buttresses that run through the arch vertically. The subtlety is broken by the existence of a huge rose window and the no less imposing coat of arms of the Catholic Monarchs. The decoration is completed with 10 sculptures by Gil de Siloé.

The interior stands out thanks to the elegance of the main nave and the ramifications of the ribs that make up the vault above the transept, marking off the area dedicated to the sepulchre of Prince Juan. The complex has three cloisters.

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Address

Calle Santa Fe, Ávila, Spain
See all sites in Ávila

Details

Founded: 1482-1493
Category: Religious sites in Spain

More Information

www.avilaturismo.com

Rating

4.4/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Paula Mortise (3 years ago)
Una visita necesaria en cualquier itinerario. La bóveda de crucería de la iglesia es espectacular, a la cual se puede entrar libremente. El precio de la entrada al monasterio es de 4 euros (no hay ningún tipo de descuento), la última visita es una hora antes del cierre, y si hay alguna ceremonia en curso no se permite acceder a la iglesia desde el monasterio; sí al coro. Es interesante la colección de arte oriental y no recomendable para un público sensible la colección de ciencias naturales, que consiste meramente en animales disecados.
Jose L. lo (4 years ago)
Ok
Juan Sandoval (4 years ago)
Beautiful, great architecture and other historical items
kendall martin (4 years ago)
Wonderful. Excellent facilities and outstanding food provided. Very caring people abound.
Alex Dragovic (4 years ago)
Large and quiet. Allow good 2 hours to walk around exploring different gardens, patios and rooms. There are small museums inside, natural history and oriental arts. First cluster is closed for renovation but still one of the nicest monasteries in Avila and a must visit
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