La Rábida Friary

La Rábida, Spain

The Friary of La Rábida (Convento de Santa María de la Rábida) is a Franciscan friary in Palos de la Frontera. It was founded in 1261; the evidence is a papal bull issued by Pope Benedict XIII in that year, allowing Friar Juan Rodríguez and his companions to establish a community on the coast of Andalucia. The first Christian building on the site was constructed over a small pre-existing Almohad building that lends its name (rábida or rápita, meaning 'watchtower' in Arabic) to the present monastery. The Franciscans have held great influence in the region ever since.

The buildings standing on the site today were erected in stages in the late fourteenth century and the early fifteenth century. The friary, and the church associated with it, display elements of Gothic and Moorish revival architecture; their walls are decorated with frescos by the twentieth-century Spanish artist, Daniel Vázquez Diaz (1882-1969). There is also a cloister and a museum, where numerous relics of the discovery of the Americas are displayed.

The buildings on the site have nearly 1,858 m2 of floor space and an irregular floor plan. Throughout its five hundred years of existence, the monastery has been refurbished and repaired countless times, but the most extensive modifications were undertaken as a result of damage from the Lisbon earthquake of 1755.

Christopher Columbus stayed at the friary two years before his famous first voyage, after learning that King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella had rejected his request for outfitting an expedition in search of the Indies. With the intervention of the guardian of La Rábida and the confessor to Isabella, Francisco Jiménez de Cisneros, he was able to have his proposal heard.

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Details

Founded: 1261
Category: Religious sites in Spain

More Information

en.wikipedia.org

Rating

4.4/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Marybeth Yu (11 months ago)
Great for those interested with history. Very educational.
Hannah (11 months ago)
Very interesting - lots of rooms and information. There are audio guides in different languages.
Gemunu Peries (12 months ago)
Interesting and a well worth a visit but being given 3 headsets among 4 of us with the assumption that our 11 year old daughter wouldn't need one is pretty rubbish. It costs nothing and there were only two families visiting at the time. Hence only 2 stars.
Zoltan Batky (13 months ago)
A place for their invisible friend. But nice. ;)
Trevor Nicholaidis (14 months ago)
An interesting add-on to the tour of the Columbus Museum in Huelva. Very well presented and the tour offers telephone commentaries in the language of your choice. All exhibits and rooms are numbered so that you can pick whichever commentary you wish to listen to, one at a time, in any order that you wish, i.e. you do not necessarily have to tour the monastery in a set order so you can by-pass any tour groups if you wish.
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