HomeEuropeSpainPedralbes Monastery in Barcelona

Pedralbes Monastery in Barcelona

Pedralbes is one of the most prestigious districts of Barcelona. There are huge shopping malls, sports complexes, the best private colleges, as well as the famous elite disco Elephant Club. The Monastery of Pedralbes occupies a special place in this splendor because of its architectural features, its rich history and its atmosphere of detachment from the mundane and the mundane. It is considered a jewel of Catalan Gothic. The name is loosely translated as “white stones,” based on the color of the nearby rocks.

History of Pedralbes Monastery

Monasteries were usually built away from city walls. But as Barcelona sprawled, the monastery complex gradually found itself standing in one of the streets. Nevertheless, it has preserved the special atmosphere of silence, tranquility and peace, which is immediately felt by those who have entered its vaults.

History of the monastery

The convent of Pedralbes was founded by Queen Elisenda de Moncada in the 14th century. In this good endeavor she had the full support of her husband, King Jaime II the Just. The site was chosen on a sloping hillside, so the complex had to be built in ledges. It was very symbolic. The upper level is the house with the cells, just below is the church as the link between the material and the spiritual, and almost at the foot are magnificent gardens. Near them once stood the royal palace, demolished by the queen’s will after her death.

At the time of its consecration, only 14 nuns and Abbess Sobirana Olseth inhabited the monastery. The monastery of Pedralbes is still active.

Buildings and structures of Pedralbes Monastery

Inside the monastery

Initially, the monastery complex housed:

  • church, the foundation stone of which was laid in 1326, and the construction was fully completed in a year;
  • kitchen, equipped with unique stone sinks, the ovens did not survive the fire and in the process of restoration in the 19th century, the originals were replaced by more modern designs;
  • Chapel of St. St. Michael’s is famous for its frescoes created in the 14th century by the artist Ferrer Bassa;
  • The cloister, which is the center of the complex, surrounded by a three-story gallery with 26 stone columns on each side, with palm trees and orange trees, leaving an impression of quiet admiration for the architects of past centuries;
  • the Chapter House, where meetings used to be held, now turned into a museum;
  • The Abbey Church, which has survived to this day, is famous for its unique indoor wall paintings, which are made using a special technique that is a mixture of frescoes and tempera paintings;
  • a warehouse, in the basement of which a wine cellar was set up.

The highest point of the monastery is the unfinished octagonal tower with the Moncado family coat of arms. In the aisles of the church are the remains of the queen and other members of the noble family.

Museum at Pedralbes Monastery


It contains relics and furnishings. Many of the rooms have remained almost unchanged. After removing unnecessary layers of paint from the walls, ancient frescoes were discovered, which is of most interest to visitors. They were created in the same century as the buildings themselves.

The main exhibition of the Thyssen-Bornemisza Gallery consists of works of art spanning a period of six centuries. Among them a considerable part was donated by private collectors. In total, there are about 70 paintings of different styles and trends.

The three-story arcade with a Renaissance fountain deserves special interest from an architectural point of view. The monastery is listed as a tourist attraction and was even depicted in a famous painting by Joan Miró.

How to get to Pedralbes Monastery in Barcelona?

Quickly and comfortably enough you can get on public transport. Buses 64 and 68 run on schedule and stop directly at Pedralbes Square. You can use the subway, line L6.

The cost of the ticket is 5 EUR. It is comprehensive and entitles you to see Casa del Guarda in Parque Guell. Mode of operation of the complex varies depending on the season. In summer the museum is open from 10.00 to 17.00, on weekends visiting time is increased by 3 hours.

Those who want to save money on buying a ticket should note that from 15.00 every Sunday admission is free.

The Pedralbes Monastery in Barcelona has long been as famous as La Rambla or the Liceo Theater.

You'll like it



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Popular Articles

Ancient World