Spanish version

San Jeronimo el Real Church

San Jeronimo el Real Church is located at Moreto, 4 next to the Prado Museum.

In the XVth century King Enrique IV built a convent for the monks of the order of San Jeronimo near the river Manzanares. But little water flowed in the river and the area was infected with insects. Therefore, in the XVI century, during the reign of the Catholic Monarchs, Isabel and Fernando, the monks asked to be transferred to another cloister. It should alsohouse the royal family whenever they came to Madrid. There had always been a strong relashionship between this cloister and the Royal Family and the new cloister was built where San Jeronimo el Real church is nowadays. It was surrounded by farmland and offered splendid views.
It was built in gothic Renaissance style.
Jeronimo el Real churchThe church was finished in 1505 and it is believed that the architect was Enrique Egas. Cloister as Prado enlargement by MoneoTwo cloisters were built. Only one of them remains and was included in the enlargement of the Prado Museum by the architect Rafael Moneo.

It is a fantastic building combining modern and classic styles.
Next to the monastery was a hostel frequently used by the monarchs retinue.
When Madrid became capital of Spain, King Felipe II asked his architect Juan Bautista de Toledo to enlarge the building. A Royal Room was built from which the King attended mass.
In the XVII century, King Felipe IV built the Palacio del Buen Retiro quite near to the cloister. From this palace only two buildings remain, the Cason del Buen Retiro (it used to be the Dance Hall) and the Salon de Reinos. Both belong now to the Prado Museum.
During Napoleon´s invasion the Palace and the cloister housed the French army. Many of the paintings and art objects disappeared.
After the War of Independence, a great part of the building was destroyed and King Fernando VII ordered that these parts of the building were demolished. The church and the monastery became the artillery headquarters.
In the XVIII century, Queen Isabel´s husband, Francisco de Asis Borbon was very interested in recovering old churches and asked his architect Narciso Pascual y Colomer to restore at least part Jeronimo el Real churchof the monastery. He built the bell towers. The bas-relief on the main entrance was made by Ponciano Ponzano.
In 1878 the monastery was donated to the Archbishopric. The interior was completly changed by the Jeronimo el Real churcharchitect Enrique Maria Repulles. He wanted to increase the gothic Renaissance style.
The altarpiece was painted by Jose Mendes.

All these events have changed the original design of the buildings which now presents a mixture of different styles.

Before the Almudena Cathedral was built,the Jeronimos´Curch was the official royal church. That is why from the Royal Palace, along calle Mayor, Puerta del Sol and Carrera de San Jeronimo we can go directly to it.

@Copyright 2008, 2009 Mª Dolores Diehl Busch. All rights reserved.
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