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“Atmospheric & informative” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Convent of the Royal Barefoot Nuns (Monasterios de las Descalzas Reales)

Convent of the Royal Barefoot Nuns (Monasterios de las Descalzas Reales)
Plaza de las Descalzas Reales, s/n, 28013 Madrid, Spain (Centro)
34-914-548-800
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Ranked #49 of 457 Attractions in Madrid
Type: Architectural Buildings, Historic Sites, Art Museums, Landmarks/ Points of Interest, Cultural
Attraction details
Watford, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
5 attraction reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Atmospheric & informative”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 13, 2013

No problems getting onto an English speaking tour (early October) and it was interesting & informative & well worth doing. Perhaps a good idea to have a rudimentary knowledge of Spanish history before visiting so you know whom the tour guide is referring to. Very atmospheric interior too, perhaps because it is still a working convent.

Visited October 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Date | Rating
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English first
Madrid, Madrid, Spain
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
10 attraction reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“A crazy collection”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 4, 2013

The parts of the monastery which can be seen are not that extensive and the whole visit takes about an hour. The impression you come away with is of a crazy collection of religious objects and paintings accumulated over a very long period. Before it was a monastery this was a palace, and it still retains some of the original features. Well worth a visit. It is free in the afternoon, but be prepared to queue and arrive well ahead of time, as the number of tickets is limited and it is popular. No photography inside, which is a shame. For more information see Spain's Patrimonio Nacional website, for times and prices.

Visited August 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
gulf shores
Top Contributor
257 reviews 257 reviews
144 attraction reviews
Reviews in 128 cities Reviews in 128 cities
235 helpful votes 235 helpful votes
“This was on our list in Madrid”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 30, 2013

My wife and I visited Monasterio de las Descalzas Reales in Madrid in July 2013. We visited because we consider this place to be a Christian site. Some what hard to get in. We finally got in on our third try on our third day. Our tour guide was gracious and our tour was in English. This is a working convent. Over the centuries the residents brought expensive dowries which built up a wealth of art treasures and Holy relics. Still the residents had no money and could barely feed themselves. The State stepprd in to support the residents and thus the doors were opened to the public. Some say a piece of the True Cross and some of the bones of St. Sebastion are there. Never saw those. The paintings and the tapestries are amazing. The theme of the art is the salvation offered by Jesus Christ. The guide was quite clear in regards to the Gospel. The painting I admired she said was by Juan van der Hamen titled the Apocolyspe. It was a pictorial representaion of God's throne room as described in the Book of Revelation chapter 4. My mind was in worship and I had tears in my eyes as I walked through the Convent. This is why I had come to Madrid. Awesome.

Visited July 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
56 reviews 56 reviews
29 attraction reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
“A Must Do!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 17, 2013

What a beautiful place, really gets to your heart, very exclusive as its still a working location with nuns living in so you need to get there early to benifit from a english guide, for some strange reason they only do one a day the rest are all in Spanish? Get there at 10am sharp and buy your ticket for the 12 noon guide trust me this is second on the DK travel books top ten things to do and see in Madrid - I don't want to spoil it for you you by explaining the features so just do it!

Visited July 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“remarkable beauty hiding behind these walls”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 9, 2013

Perhaps late June is the best time to visit?, as we experienced no problem with lines, tickets or rudeness, etc mentioned in some reviews. Our tour was in Spanish but I understand some and my daughter was there for a foreign exchange program, so not an issue (no English tours were offered that day anyway). The quantity and quality of largely religious artwork within Descalzas Reales is awe inspiring. Every room brims with stellar portraits, trompe l'oeil paintings, tapestries, sculptures, altars and religious artifacts, etc. A small but lovely gift shop is on site, offering postcards, etc, and multilingual guide books featuring artistic highlights of this centuries old monastery/convent. Our guide was quietly reverential, as were the Spaniards touring with us, in keeping with the fact that Descalzas still functions as a convent (hence the small and limited tour sizes). Beautiful interior courtyard gardens were viewable through the ancient stained glass windows. Guidebooks state that tours are now offered to help cover expenses so none of the artwork would have to be sold off. A wise decision, as it appears to be a near priceless collection accumulated through the centuries. The exterior size of the building belies the extent of the collections we saw, and the tour length and fee were appropriate. Would love to tour again some day!

Visited June 2013
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