the monastery of san juan de los reyes & the streets of toledo

Thursday, July 4:  After visiting the Sinagoga, I head up the street to the Monastery of San Juan de los Reyes.  This monastery was built by the Catholic King and Queen, Isabel  (Elizabeth) and Fernando (Ferdinand) to commemorate their victory at the Battle of Toro (1476) over the army of Alfonso of Portugal.

San Juan de los Reyes
San Juan de los Reyes

The Church is dedicated to Saint John the Evangelist, patron saint of King Juan II.  Common opinion says that it was intended to be used by the Catholic Monarchs as a pantheon (royal burial-place), but this idea changed after the conquest of Granada in 1492.   They were actually buried in the Chapel Royal of Granada Cathedral.

San Juan de los Reyes
San Juan de los Reyes

The Monastery was built in the Gothic Flemish school of architecture.  Construction began in 1477. The building is of solid granite stone.

The lower cloisters, with 24 Gothic vaulted ceilings and distinct ‘mudejar’ influence, open out into the garden through five large windows with center partitions which has decorative tracery.  The Gothic-form arches rest on pillars with relief carvings of flora and fauna.

I adore the cloisters of this monastery.

San Juan de los Reyes
San Juan de los Reyes
San Juan de los Reyes
San Juan de los Reyes
San Juan de los Reyes
San Juan de los Reyes
San Juan de los Reyes
San Juan de los Reyes
San Juan de los Reyes
San Juan de los Reyes
San Juan de los Reyes
San Juan de los Reyes
San Juan de los Reyes
San Juan de los Reyes
San Juan de los Reyes
San Juan de los Reyes
San Juan de los Reyes
San Juan de los Reyes
San Juan de los Reyes
San Juan de los Reyes
San Juan de los Reyes
San Juan de los Reyes
San Juan de los Reyes
San Juan de los Reyes
San Juan de los Reyes
San Juan de los Reyes
San Juan de los Reyes
San Juan de los Reyes
San Juan de los Reyes
San Juan de los Reyes
San Juan de los Reyes
San Juan de los Reyes
San Juan de los Reyes
San Juan de los Reyes

The ceiling is constructed of highly crafted larch wood, painted with the motifs and coat of arms of the Catholic Monarchs – the initials F and Y (Fernando and Isabel).

San Juan de los Reyes
San Juan de los Reyes

Since 1978-79, San Juan de los Reyes has been a fully functioning parish church.

San Juan de los Reyes
San Juan de los Reyes
San Juan de los Reyes
San Juan de los Reyes
San Juan de los Reyes
San Juan de los Reyes

I head back through the streets of Toledo, where I stop at a cafe near my hotel for a light dinner of salmon salad.  I’ve been drinking white wine in Toledo, something I don’t normally drink, because the chilled wine is the perfect antidote to the high temperatures.🙂

Streets of Toledo
Streets of Toledo
having dinner at another cafe
having dinner at another cafe
salmon salad
salmon salad

For dessert, I treat myself to a stracciatella gelato.

having a stracciatella gelato
having a stracciatella gelato

I’m starting to get a little worn down from all my travels and from trying to do too much.  I go back to my room early tonight, around 10:00, and relax in my air-conditioned room.  I think tomorrow in Toledo, I will sleep in and make it more of a restful day. 🙂

11 thoughts on “the monastery of san juan de los reyes & the streets of toledo

  1. The monastery is beautiful. I am fascinated by the life of Catherine of Aragon, who was a daughter of Ferdinand and Isabella. She probably knew this place well. It’s important to have rest days when you travel. Enjoy your sleep in!

    1. I love that monastery, Carol. I’m sure Catherine of Aragon did spend time in this place, especially in the beautiful cloister. I’m trying to take it easy; it’s hard to do when there’s so much to see!

    1. That monastery is one of the most beautiful I have ever seen, Marianne. Yes, the sky in Spain truly is an “impossible blue!” I love it here so far!! It won’t be long before I see you!

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