San Jerónimo el Real

Madrid, Spain

San Jerónimo el Real, which has undergone numerous remodelings and restorations over the centuries, is the remaining structure of the Hieronymite monastery that once stood beside the royal palace of Buen Retiro, of which a portion now serves as the Prado museum. Its proximity to the royal palace also underscores a connection to royalty, serving for centuries as the church used for the investiture of the Prince of Asturias.

The Hieronymus monastery had been built near the river Manzanares, during the reign of Henry IV of Castile in the neighborhood of the El Pardo palace. But suffering due to the marshiness of the site, during the reign of Isabella I, the Monastery of the Hieronymites was moved to a site next to an incipient royal palace. The new monastery was built in Isabelline Gothic style. The church was chosen for the investiture of the Princes of Asturias and future king Philip II on April 18, 1528.

King Philip II moved the Spanish court to Madrid in 1561, and had the retreat enlarged to become the Palacio del Buen Retiro. He established a royal bedroom against the presbytery, such that he could hear mass from his bedroom. The Palacio del Buen Retiro was largely destroyed in the Napoleonic French occupation of Madrid. In 1808 the monks were expelled from the monastery and French troops were quartered in the monastery, causing major damage to the building, and the church was almost left in ruins.

The first major restoration was performed during the reign of Isabel II of Spain, between 1848 and 1859, by the architect Narciso Pascual Colomer, in the Isabelline Gothic style, who added some new elements such as towers. The second restoration, 1879 to 1883, by Enrique María Repullés, created the building as a parish church. Only a few external features remain of its original structure. The exterior remodeling of the nineteenth century in a neo-Gothic style by Pontian Ponzano remains controversial.

The stairway that faces the street, was constructed in 1906 on the occasion of the wedding of King Alfonso XIII to provide more impressive access to the church. For many decades, the Baroque cloister, designed by Fray Lorenzo de San Nicolás, remained in disrepair. Finally, in 2007, an agreement between the church and the government led to the appropriation of the land for the cloister by the Prado Museum. The inner courtyard facade was dismantled, and then rebuilt as a cubic room, designed by Rafael Moneo in an expansion of the museum.

The church contains sculptures by Benlliure, Juan Pascual de Mena’s 18th-century Cristo de la Buena Muerte, and paintings by Vincenzo Carducci and José Méndez, neo-Gothic lamps and stained-glass windows.

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Address

Calle Moreto 4, Madrid, Spain
See all sites in Madrid

Details

Founded: 1503-1505
Category: Religious sites in Spain

More Information

en.wikipedia.org

Rating

4.4/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

macedonboy (18 months ago)
St. Jerome the Royal is a pretty little church of the Gothic style. Its proximity to the then royal palace gives it it's royal connection. It's a beautiful building, both outside and inside. The acoustics inside are magnificent, if you are lucky enough to be able to listen to a concert of old music as it happened to us. Well worth a visit especially if combined with a visit to the Prado.
black Joh (19 months ago)
San Jeronimo is also beautiful church besides the Prado Museum.
Paul (20 months ago)
Beautiful architecture that only Madrid can show to its fullest potential..
Vassilis Papadakis (2 years ago)
A beautiful church next to the Royal library of Spain. A local person told me that the Royal family is being married in this church. Not sure if it is true but judging by the gold and preservation of the church I could believe it. It is a site that someone should visit when in Madrid. It is in walking distance from the center with Prado museum next to it. Highly recommended.
Clifford King (2 years ago)
Next door to the Prado is this lovely church. The facade is really beautiful and the inside is as well. If you enjoy touring cathedrals as much as I do, make sure to take a few moments to appreciated this lovely church.
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