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  • George Addair

San Juan de los Reyes Convent of the Franciscan Order was built under the patronage of Queen Elizabeth I of Castile with the intention of making it a royal mausoleum in commemoration of the Battle of Toro and the birth of the Prince Juan.

It is one of the most valuable examples of the Elizabethan Gothic style in Spain and the most important building erected by the Catholic Monarchs. The convent is also a monument commemorating the achievements of the Catholic Monarchs and their political program.

The person responsible for the decoration of the temple was the Flemish sculptor Egas Cueman, and at all times the presence of the Catholic Monarchs is observed, transforming the decoration into a continuous exaltation of his reign and politics.

The interior of the building is composed of an ample nave, in whose cover it emphasizes the dome and the Gothic vaults. The nave is decorated with chapels located between the buttresses.

The cloister is one of the jewels of the style, which has a square floor and two levels.

The main cover was later opened and worked according to the design of Covarrubias, but it was done many years later, when the taste for Gothic had been lost. It has a variety of sculptures of Franciscan saints courting the elevated image of San Juan Evangelista, within a conopial arch. Shield and cross crown the set between yokes and arrows. Two soldiers, with Roman coats and robe, guard the entrance from the height of some counter-forts, a point of rebirth out of place.

Reason for strangeness for the visitor is the presence of the tracería of chains that in their day would be more numerous. They are remnants and relics of chains of Christian captives rescued from the battles of Malaga and Almeria and which they themselves moved to Toledo as exiles of perennial gratitude to God and his Queen.

From our hotel, only 900 meters away from the Monastery, you can enjoy a path full of special places to see, such as synagogues, the Jewish quarter, among others.

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