San Juan de los Reyes - A magical monastery
The Convent of San Juan de los Reyes, in Toledo, of the Franciscan Order, was built under the patronage of Queen Isabella I of Castile with the intention of turning it into a royal mausoleum, commemorating 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 memorial to the achievements of the Catholic Monarchs and their political program.
The head of the decoration of the temple was the flamenco sculptor Egas Cueman, and at all times the presence of the Catholic Monarchs is observed, which transformed the decoration into a continuous exaltation of his reign and politics.
The interior of the building consists of a large nave, whose coverage highlights 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 front was later opened and worked according to the design of Covarrubias, but it was made many years later, when the taste for the Gothic had been lost.
It has a variety of sculptures of Franciscan saints that court the elevated image of San Juan Evangelista, inside an ogee arch. Shield and cross crown the set between yokes and arrows.
Two soldiers, with Roman coat and cloak, guard the entrance from the height of some contra-forts, point of rebirth out of place. Reason for strangeness for the visitor is the presence of the tracery of chains that in their day would be more numerous.
They are remains and relics of chains of Christian captives rescued from the battles of Malaga and Almeria and that they themselves moved to Toledo as votive offerings of perennial gratitude to God and his Queen.
From our hotel only 900 m away from the Monastery, you can enjoy a path full of special places to see, such as synagogues, the Jewish quarter, among others.