The Monastery of San Jerónimo is one of the main points of interest to visit in Granada and is considered the first Christian temple in the city of Granada since it was built after the conquest of the city, although its foundation, in the town of Santa Fe, it is even prior to the taking by the Catholic Monarchs.
It is a Renaissance building formed by the monastery and the church and in it is buried next to his wife Gonzalo Fernández de Córdoba, the Great Captain.
What to see in the Monastery of San Jerónimo
To access the Monastery of San Jerónimo we must cross a large landscaped courtyard where the portals that give access to the church and the convent are located, where we can find two cloisters with different chapels and cells around them.
The largest of the cloisters, the Claustro Mayor, is found behind a portal with Doric elements made in 1594.
It is made up of 36 semicircular arches with the coats of arms, emblems and initials of the Catholic Monarchs. The cloister has 7 covers that give access to different chapels where great Granada families are buried.
The other of the cloisters was built in 1520 and in it we have Mudejar, Gothic and Renaissance elements. It consists of 2 floors, although the second was destroyed by a fire that forced it to be rebuilt in 1965.
The church of the Monastery of San Jerónimo is one of the most important temples of the Spanish Renaissance, despite the fact that the style was originally Gothic. The exterior doorway and the doorway that gives access to the main cloister stand out.
Of the church it is also necessary to highlight the side chapels that follow each other under large ribbed vaults.
But the most interesting is the transept and its head, in Renaissance style, and above all the High Altar with a spectacular altarpiece flanked on its sides by the statues of Gonzalo Fernández de Córdoba and his wife, whose remains can be found in the crypt.
The choir and its stalls is the last element that we must highlight in the church of the Monastery of San Jerónimo.
History of the Monastery of San Jerónimo
As we have said before, the monastery was founded in 1492 in Santa Fe, about 11 km from Granada, before the capture of the city by the Catholic Monarchs. It remained there until 1504 when it was decided to build the current architectural complex under the direction of different architects, although most of it is the work of Diego de Siloé.
The works began in the Gothic style, as the Catholic Monarchs liked, but the style was soon changed and its construction continued under a Renaissance model, the style with which we can admire it today.
Almost the entire monastery complex was built during the 16th century and its two cloisters stand out, around which various rooms are distributed, and the church, which is well worth a visit.
One of the worst episodes that the monastery suffered was the looting of the Napoleonic troops after the French invasion. Napoleon turned it into his artillery barracks, which led to the disappearance of part of his treasure and the destruction of his tower. It was not the only time that it was used as a barracks, since it was also from 1835 with the Mendizábal Disentailment, until 1967 when the monastery was returned to the Order of Saint Jerome.