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Link to Sercotel Carmen Hotel (the Dom's choice - good hotel, good downtown location)

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Ferdinand and Isabella - Los Reyes Católicos - attempted to establish a monastery for the Order of Saint Jerome in Santa Fe, "but the encampment was so badly plagued with insects that the monks did not look like monks of Saint Jerome but rather like those of Saint Lazarus, so badly were they stung and bitten".  The suffering monks were moved to a new site vacated by Nazarid King Boabdil, the resigned last Moorish Nasrid King of Granada, but did not get time to build more than a bit of monastery before they were moved again to their present site - again donated by Los Reyes - which they were able to occupy in 1521. 


The monastery was eventually closed down in 1835 along with all its brothers and sisters across Spain,  and converted into a cavalry barracks (a conversion option also used in Cluny and other places).  Restoration of what was left commenced in 1958, and in 1977 the nuns moved in.


The tangy perfume of orange blossom in the cloister of the Monasterio de San Jeronimo (now a nunnery)

The cloister contains around 500 memorial stones for the monks who spent their lives here.


Dom P, not a devotee of over-the-top Spanish churches, nevertheless found this church space very attractive - in part because it is full of light.  The Retablo behind the altar dates back to the end of the 1500s and contains four storeys of saints sculptured by the leading artists of the day - not nearly as fussy an arrangement as you find in many other show churches.  The statues on either side of the apse are those of the Duchess of Sesa and her hubby, El Gran Capitan to Charles V.  The Duchess in fact paid for the eastern half of the church as a memorial to her husband (and of course herself).



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