Monasterio de San Jerónimo de Valparaíso
Monastery in Córdoba
The Monasterio de San Jerónimo de Valparaíso or Monastery of San Jerónimo de Valparaíso is an old 15th century monastery in the municipality of Córdoba, Andalusia, in Spain. It is located in Sierra Morena, above the amazing Medina Azahara and surrounded by native Mediterranean vegetation. It is currently a private home and inhabited for much of the year .
A short History of the Monasterio de San Jerónimo de Valparaíso
The origin of the order can be found in Brother Vasco de Sousa, a Portuguese anchorite friar, who took Saint Jerome and his way of life which was based on prayer and penance, as an example to follow. Friar Vasco was joined by other friars and some nobles who abandoned life at court, together they formed a congregation together.
In 1394 land was donated by Doña Inés de Pontevedra, who was the widow of the Warden of the Donceles for the monastery to be built. The land was close to the royal pasture of ‘Córdoba la Vieja’ where the opulent palatine city of Medina Azahara used to be, about 5 kilometers from the city.
The work of the monastery itself did not begin until 1408 when the prelate Fernando González Deza y Biedma granted permission for it. At first, Brother Vasco de Sousa built a small church, near some hermitages, and a bedroom, much closer to the concept of hermit life than the great monastery that was built later.
On August 30, 1835, the monastery was become owned by the City Council. Although the City Council tries to install a hospital for the insane, in 1871 it was sold to private hands, who in turn sold it in 1911. It is in this year when it is acquired by the Marquises of Merit who take over a property who have been carrying out its restoration throughout the past century. On November 21, 1980 it was declared a Site of Cultural Interest.
What does the Monasterio de San Jerónimo de Valparaíso look like?
It was originally Gothic in style, although different reforms in Renaissance and Baroque style have added a wealth of interesting details to the building. The owners, the Marquises of El Mérito, have done a great job over several generations in restoring the building.
The grand facade, with its balconies and windows, is an impressive sight and in the middle of the entrance there is a white marble medallion with a relief of St. Jerome. Within, the main courtyard is a cloister with Doric columns and Gothic vaults, with several chapels leading off it.
According to tradition, it was built with materials from Medina Azahara, which at that time was completely in ruins. True or not, the truth is that in one of its patios a fawn from the palatine city is preserved.
Visiting the Monasterio de San Jerónimo de Valparaíso
It is usually closed to visits to the public. There is a two week period every year when visits are allowed, which is organized by the archaeological site of Medina Azahara.
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Visiting Monasterio de San Jerónimo de Valparaíso
Only certain days a year through Medina Azahara.