The religious edifices are an important part of the Spanish National Heritage. The monasteries of Madrid are a good example of that: it looks like the time stop there and nowadays they house important pieces of arts that we can admire.

In Spain, there are 7 royal convents and 3 of them are monasteries in Madrid. The Descalazas Reales Monastery, the Encarnación Royal Monastery and the Santa Isabel Royal Monastery are some of the most beautiful edifices in Madrid. All of them are located in the historical area of the city so that looking for an accommodation in Madrid centre is an excellent option because it is one of the areas where you can find the best apartments in Madrid.

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Monastery of las Descalzas Reales in Madrid. Picture by MShades on flickr

The Royal Monestary of the Encarnación of Madrid is located at the Plaza de Encarnación, very near from the Royal Palace. It is an edifice which construction, in the 17th Century, was supervised by Philippe III of Spain and Margaret of Austria for the Agustinas Recolatas´ nuns. Inside you can admire works of Juan Van der Hammen, Pedro de Mena, Gregorio Fernández and Lucas Jordán. The monestary is opened to everyone from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and from 4 p.m. to 6.30 p.m. from Tuesday to Saturday. On Sundays and bank holidays, you can only visit it between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. During the San Pantaleón celebration (27th of July) whose blood is preserved in a relic, the monastery is closed.

On the Plaza de las Descalzas, close from the Puerta del Sol, there is the ancient Palace which was the house of Charles V and Isabella of Portugal. Their daughter, Joan, decided in 1557 to convert this place in a monastery for the Franciscanas Clarisas nuns. Even if the original name is of the monastery is “Monasterio de Nuestra Señora de la Visitación”, we know it as “Monasterio de las Descalzas Reales de Madrid”. Inside, you can admire an important collection of Flemish tapestries but also the Cristo Yacente (work of Gaspar Becerra) and an emblematic sculpture during the Holy Week processions.

The entrance to those monasteries costs 7€ but note that you can acquire a Bono Monasterios Madrid 48H for 10€. This option allows you to enjoy your stay in an apartment in Madrid by days even more and to visit the two monasteries.

The Royal Monastery Santa Isabel Church (48 bis, Santa Isabel Street) can only be visited during the worship hours. A perfect time to visit it would be in winter because it uses to be open more regularly to exhibit the nativity scene.

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