Monasterio de la Encarnación

The Monasterio de la Encarnación:


While you are reading this, you can listen to a rock version of Winter from Vivaldi:

And here is another piece by Vivaldi called “summer” that you can listen when you finish the piece above “winter”:

Here is a photo in 360º of the Monasterio de la Encarnación. Thanks to this, you can see the monastery as if you were there. Enjoy!


The Monasterio de la Encarnación is a monastery from the 17th century located in Madrid, near the Plaza de Oriente and Palacio Real de Madrid.  Originally, it was next to the Real Alcazar, which is nowadays the Royal Palace.

The Monasterio de la Encarnación was built in 1616. Its construction started in 1611 and finished in 1616.

For many years, people thought that this monastery was built by the architect Fray Alberto de la Madre De Dios, but  nowadays they think Gomez De Mora was its architect and Fray Alberto continued it construction as both styles were very similar.

The exterior of the monastery has a clacissist-classical aspect that has nothing to do with the baroque style neither-nor with the herrerian style. On its façade we can find a clacisist style and a small courtyard which is the entrance for the convent.

This is the Monasterio de la Encarnación  main façade:

As you can see the façade of this monastery has 3 classical arches which are semicircular arches that came from Roman style. It is perfectly preserved. It is divided into three bodies and on its sides there are two marble shields. They were made of marble, a symbol of luxury.  These 3 sections  have simple rectangular vains that let the light go to the interior of the convent. On the top of the monastery, there is a big gable and on its top a big latin cross since it was a Catholic monastery. 

The monastery has two distinct parts: the convent and the church. They are both connected by the renaissance style bell tower. There is an arcade with 3 semicircular arches very similar to the façade that Mora designed for the Convento de San José in Avila.

This Convent was founded by the Queen Margaret of Austria and her husband Philip III because they were inspired by the religious Mother Mariana de San José, who they met in Valladolid when the court moved to the Castilian city.

Inside the monastery, there are works by Ventura Rodriguez framed with Corinthian columns made of marble and bronze. It has vaults and domes on its interior too and they have frescos on them. These frescos were made by the Velázquez brothers.

It used to be a convent for nuns, but nowadays its purpose is being a touristic monument. This convent includes a cloister and a Baroque Church on its interior.

The interior of the Church suffered a bid fire so it was redecorated in the 18th century including its frescoes from the vault, of the main chapel of Francisco Balleu, and a part of the collection of the 17th century art, inside the church. This work was carried out by the architect Ventura Rodríguez with the help of other Neoclassical painters and sculptures.

Its tabernacle, shaped like a temple, is made of jasper, marble, and gilded bronze. It has a Latin cross plan of 3 naves. The cruiser has semi-spherical octogonal dome finished in skylight of drum and pendants. People used to pray in the temple, more specifically the nuns. It has a fresco on the main altar that was painted by Francisco Bayeu.

The parochial house has access to the sacristy on its left side, both were made in 1737. At the foot of the temple there are choirs, low and high, as it is a symbol of the convent churches, closed by Rejería. The decoration of its interior is made up of plaster work and graffite of the arches, pendants and architraves. This is a characteristic of the baroque style on the area.

The church is the highest part of the monastery complex, due to the irregular terrain hillside of the mountain, with a big difference in relation to the rest ,so it is erected on a pyramidal-trunk shape that levels it. The temple is accessed by the portal decorated with ionic columns on which opens the niche with a painting on a stone of the Virgin of the Incarnation, which corresponds to the  last section of the chapels of the nave.

The architectural style of this monastery was called “Madrileño Baroque” and has important Herrerian influences. The walls of this monastery are ashlar walls.

This monastery has an important collection of paintings and sculptures highlighting the works of Lucas Jordán, Juan van der Hamen, Pedro de Mena, José de Mora and Gregorio Fernández.  That were also restored after the fire of the 18th century. The cloister has pictures with scenes of the Virgin Life.


It was built to commemorate the expulsion of the Moriscos who were still in Madrid.

In this photo you can see the church’s dome and its fresco.

The monastery was built by Alberto de la Madre de Dios. He used many materials depending on the part of the monastery. For example, the interior part has jasper, marble and gold bronze, and the exterior part has granite, which was adorned by a group of marble sculptures which represents the Annunciation of the  Virgin Mary.

When José Bonaparte went to Spain he presented  himself as the new king of Spain, one day it apears a cat hanged on a gate, with a warning label  where was written:

¨Si no lías pronto el hato, te verás como este gato¨ .

Also, Manuel Godoy (The Charles IV prime minister) went every day to the mass on this church, doing a walk every day.


These are some of the materials they used to build the Monastery:

Granite: They used this material due to its hardness and resintance.  They also use it for decoration. The granite is an igneous plutonic rock that was formed when molten magma solidified slowly inside the Earth’s crust.

Marble: It was used to make the relieves on its façade. They used this material to decorate but the main characteristic of marble is that is very resistant. Marble is a metamorphic non-foliated rock. It was formed when limestone was subjected to the heat and pressure of metamorphism.

Limestone: It is on the outside of the monastery’s  wall’s and it’s a clastic sedimentary rock as it was formed by accumulations of limes.

Here is a video where we talk more about this monastery:



  • The Lope de Vegas’ statue:

  • It was  built by the sculptor Mateo Iruina Laniosa and the architecture José López Salaberry

-It is made up of bronce.

-The statue represents the author standing up wearing a monks’ habit.

  • He appears reading a document that he holds in the left hand and with the right hand he carries a pen . It has a over coat that picks up on the right arm and shines the Cruz De La Merced.

-Was realized by the city council of Madrid to commemorate the majority of age and coronation of the King Alfonso XIII . It was inagurated on June 5, 1902

Here is the statue’s photo:


Thanks for reading

Written by:

Lucía Fontenla, Yu Ling Perez de Camino, Marcos Moreno, Nerea Gonzalez y Alejandro Hernanz