Convent of the Capuchins

Convent of the Capuchins
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The Capuchin Convent was founded in around the year 1600.

The members of the "Mareantes de la Balsa" were never admitted to the Brotherhood of San Nicolás, so they raised a shrine dedicated to Nuestra Señora del Buen Viaje, in an orchard area known as El Desengaño. Here, in around the year 1634, the Capuchin Convent was founded after a promise from the then VIII Duke Don Manuel Alonso Pérez de Guzmán, who after recovering from a serious illness wanted to acknowledge his gratitude to the members of this order of Franciscan friars.

The convent's links with the Americas and with the La Balsa neighbourhood have always been very close. The image of the Virgin del Buen Viaje which accompanied the sailors on their voyages can today be seen at the top of the main altarpiece in the church. The cloister also contains a unique set of paintings representing saints in the order, who were martyrs in the missions to the Americas. One interesting fact is that in the late 18th century, a seminary or college of missionaries linked to the Americas was established in the convent, known as the College of Missionaries for the Indies.

The architect was Martín Rodríguez de Castro,  whose work is characterised by its great simplicity and austerity. The convent site, which during the first half of the 19th century – as so many other convents and churches of the time – suffered the consequences of the French invasion and the two ecclesiastical confiscations,  practically conserves its original structure and its layout around open spaces (orchard, garden and cemetery). The entrance is through a simple triumphal façade, formed by a corded segmental arch with prominent stonework flanked by Tuscan pilasters bearing a hollow triangular pediment crowned with three merlons. The monastery is simple and austere.

The site is surrounded by a sturdy merloned wall, more typical of a fortification.

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Convent of the Capuchins
Plaza de Capuchinos, 7, 11540
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