The San Miguel de los Reyes Monastery is located on the edge of the city. Today the monastery is the site of the Biblioteca Valenciana, a very big library used by researchers. The building has very beautiful architecture.
The monastery was founded by the Duke and Duchess of Calabria, Fernando de Aragon and Germana de Foix as a Hieronymite monastery in 1546, and its architecture was influenced by that of El Escorial. The monastery was intended to be used as the family crypt. The architect was Alonso de Covarrubias. The southern cloister was completed in 1607 and this cloister is a beautiful Renaissance cloister, one of the best in Valencia. The cloister has two galleries, one on top of the other. There are seven arches on each side and the ground floor uses the Doric order, while the gallery on the second floor uses the Ionic order. The communal rooms were on the ground floor, the monk’s cells were on the second floor, and the third floor was used by novices. The prior used the southwest tower.
The church was completed in 1644 and the ground plan is the Latin cross. The main altarpiece is beautiful and is made of marble, alabaster, jasper, and Alcublas stone in a marquetry design, which was Baroque. There is a crypt below with the remains of Fernando and Germana. The church is no longer a Catholic church because the government confiscated it in 1835.
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