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Towards the Convent of San Antonio el Real

Towards the Convent of San Antonio el Real

The fourth itinerary goes through the streets of Segovia passing through the Convent of San Francisco, the Romanesque Church of Santos Justo and Pastor until arriving at the Convent of San Antonio el Real. Follow us!

The Monastery of Santa María de El Parral

From the feet of Aqueduct We went up the street of Teodosio el Grande (Roman emperor born in the Segovian village of Coca), parallel to the monument, to get to the building of the Artillery Academy, which was originally Convent of San Francisco, of which a beautiful patio is conserved. We passed under the gigantic monument and we found ourselves in the square of Díaz Sanz (one of the legendary Segovian captains who conquered Madrid), in whose center there is a large granite fountain. In front of her, on the corner of the street of San Alfonso Rodríguez, there is a building, recently undergoing restoration, in which a plaque indicates that the aforementioned Segovian saint was born there. The mansion conserves in its upper part a gallery that was characteristic in the houses of the handlers of cloths and wool, and the father of the saint was it. Alfonso, killed his wife and children, entered the company of Jesus and was destined to Mallorca; on the island they consider him as an employer.

The Church of Saints Justo and Pastor

Behind the house where the saint was born we went to the street of Ochoa Ondátegui (famous manufacturer of cloths), to enter immediately into the little square where the Romanesque church of the Santos Justo and Pastor, in whose baptismal font was baptized San Alfonso Rodríguez, in 1530. The temple, abandoned for many years and converted into a warehouse for old objects, suffered a few decades ago the detachment of the plaster vault, an occasion that promoted in the Caja de Ahorros de Segovia a great interest in recovering this temple, beginning the restoration work . During them important works of art were discovered; the discoveries increased the surprises, because, when observing some románicas paintings in the lateral ones of the apse, it was decided to retire the altarpiece, appearing in the wall some compositions to the fresco quite well conserved. The Marquis of Lozoya lived these works very directly, on which he published a small book in 1966 in which he describes the content of the paintings, which presides over the Pantocrator and that according to the specialist don José Gudiol, whose team of restorers worked in the recovery of the paintings, they turn out to be "one of the most important sets of Romanesque painting in Spain, capable of being compared with Tahull, Maderuelo, San Baudilio de Berlanga and San Isidoro de León", according to Don Juan de Contreras in the aforementioned booklet. Restored the temple, returned to the same the image of the recumbent Christ of the Gascons, the twelfth century, which was venerated earlier here. It is so named because, according to tradition, it was brought to Segovia by soldiers of the French Gascony, on the back of a mare, who fell dead precisely where the temple is located, which was interpreted as the divine will of the image of the Christ, that has the articulated arms, should stay here in this place.

A short distance away is the Romanesque church of El Salvador, of considerable dimensions and with important remains of its origin. Among other works of art he keeps an Immaculate by Gregorio Fernández and a painting by Francisco Camilo, who left several notable works in our city.

The Convent of San Antonio el Real

Down the street from Cañuelos (by the jets or water pipes that there were) we went to the avenue Father Claret, at the height of a monument dedicated to this saint, in front of the school building of his name, of the missionary fathers of the Heart of Mary. During his stay in La Granja as confessor of Isabel II, Saint Anthony Mary Claret often came to the residence of his congregation, where he preached. Entering the current and modern church, on the right there is a corridor in which the latticework that was in the primitive temple was imbedded and after which Father Claret retired to pray; tradition says that in this place he spoke with Jesus and with Mary.

Going up the avenue of the Father Claret, for a narrow walk that runs next to the beginning of the channel of the Aqueduct, one leaves to an esplanade in which is the Convent of San Antonio el Real, one of the outstanding jewels preserved by the city, inhabited by nuns of Santa Clara. The building was the pleasure house of Henry IV when he was Prince, and at the beginning of his reign, he founded there a convent of Franciscan Friars, who later gave the monastery to the Clarisse nuns. The church was possibly the main hall of the palace, with a Mudejar ceiling that is an authentic jewel. In the same temple we must carefully admire a wonderful altarpiece of Calvary, protected by safety glass, as some consider it to be the most important work of Flemish sculpture in Europe. The visit to the monastery includes several of its dependencies, some of great aesthetic impact, as well as the cloister with Mudejar coffered ceilings and three small altarpieces in "Tierra de Pipa", of the school of Utrecht, very rare specimens. In this cloister the nuns who died in the convent are buried; but there is no inscription, because the humility of the rule prevents the recording of names; only in a small "homemade" book is the place where each nun is buried.

Important Characters

ALONSO OR ALFONSO RODRÍGUEZ the year 1530 was born. As a young man he went to Alcalá de Henares to expand his studies, but due to the death of his father he had to return to Segovia to take charge of the extended family and business. He married and had two children. The business was not going well and there was the painful circumstance of the death, first, of his wife and a son, and later, of the other son and his mother. On some occasions he experienced desires to withdraw from the world, and in the face of family circumstances, in 1571, at 41 years, he took the habit of a Jesuit in Valencia, being assigned to Mallorca. There, in the convent's door, he left samples of his sanctity; on several occasions he suffered serious illnesses, but his life resisted until the 86 years, dying in 1617. Pope Urban VIII beatified him at 1627; Leo XII elevated him to Blessed in 1825, a circumstance that was celebrated in Segovia with the greatest enthusiasm, and the 15 of January of 1888, Leo XIII elevated him to the altars, canonizing him as well as St. Peter Claver, the apostle of the blacks , who had been a disciple of San Alonso Rodríguez in Palma de Mallorca.

SAN ANTONIO MARIA Claret was born in Sallent, diocese of Vich, the 23 of December of 1807. Since childhood he stood out for his intelligence. Although he had aspired to enter the seminary since he was young, his parents' financial situation did not allow him to do so, so he devoted himself fully to working in the family's small textile factory. His religious vocation was so strong that he finally entered the Vich Seminary and was ordained a priest in the 13 of June of 1835, in Solsona. After being parish priest in Sallent, he resided in Rome, returning to Spain as regent of Viladrau, moment in which he begins his famous missions throughout Catalonia. Founded in Vich the congregation of Missionaries Sons of the Immaculate Heart of Mary but, shortly after, he is named, in front of his resistance, archbishop of Santiago de Cuba. There I work tirelessly as a missionary. He was called to court by Queen Elizabeth II as his confessor, a stage in which he made frequent visits to Segovia while the court was in La Granja, and when the republic was proclaimed in 1868, he went to France and then to Rome, where he intervened in Vatican Council I, being one of the great defenders of the dogma of pontifical infallibility. Pope Pius XI declared him blessed in 1934 and the 7 of May of 1950, Pius XII elevated him to the altars.

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